If I Had a $1,000,000
Writer(s): Steven Page, Ed Robertson (see lyrics here)
Released: December 1992
First Charted: February 19, 2000
Peak: 37 AR, 13 CN, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): --
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 12.5 video, 37.82 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Barenaked Ladies formed in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, in 1988. They released about 500 copies the next year of a tape called Buck Naked. It featured the song “If I Had a $1,000,000.” It showed up again in 1990 on their tape Barenaked Lunch. 2000 copies of it were released. It showed up once again on The Yellow Tape. That sold over a half million copies and became the first independent release in Canada to be certified gold.
“If I Had a $1,000,000” got a lot of airplay on the Toronto radio station CFNY-FM and helped the band get signed to a major label deal with Reprise Records. The song saw release yet again on the band’s 1992 Gordon album, which sold a million copies. Despite never having a proper video or single release, the song became a staple in the band’s catalog. In 2005, it was ranked #2 on a list of the top 50 essential Canadian tracks as aired on CBC Radio. WK
It was released as a one-track radio single in December 1992. It reached #13 in Canada and was officially released in the UK as a commercial single in the UK. A 1996 re-release, thanks to the live album Rock Spectacle, prompted the song to hit #13 on the UK rock chart. In 2000, the song reached #37 on the Billboard Adult Top 40.
Steven Page and Ed Robertson came up with the song while counselors at a summer music camp. It became a trademark of the song for Page and Robertson to break into free-form banter, improvising eccentric purchases they’d make with a million dollars. WK The recorded version included references to Kraft macaroni and cheese dinners, the Elephant Man’s (John Merrick) remains, and exotic animals (a reference to Michael Jackson’s lavish spending habits).
First posted 10/9/2022.