Although the Bar-Kays stuck with the Stax Records until its demise in 1976, the label stopped releasing the group's recordings after 1973. However, when they re-emerged as a success on the Mercury label with hits like "Shake Your Rump to the Funk," some unreleased recordings they made between 1974 and 1976 were released as an album entitled Money Talks. Although this repackaging was obviously designed to cash in on the group's success, Money Talks stands up as a solid and consistent album in its own right. This material lays the groundwork for the Bar-Kays' post-Stax style by trading live-in-the-studio jams for a carefully produced sound and blending in standout pop hooks into the funky grooves. The best example is "Holy Ghost," a hard-grooving monster of a jam where elaborate horn arrangements dance around a thick synthesizer bassline as Larry Dodson lays down a salacious vocal about his lover's otherworldly romantic skills. It became a big R&B hit when released as a single in 1978 and was later sampled by M/A/R/R/S on their club classic "Pump Up the Volume".
A low-level criminal and a struggling newsman become unlikely partners in this comedy. Franklin Hatchett (Chris Tucker) is a fast-talking hustler who runs a small time ticket-scalping business. A TV news story by reporter James Russell (Charlie Sheen) brings Franklin's business to the attention of the police, and he finds himself under arrest. While being transported by police bus from one lock-up to another, Franklin is handcuffed to Raymond Villard (Gerard Ismael), a high-level jewel thief from Europe. Villard's henchmen stage a raid in which they explode the vehicle, killing most of the passengers (including two cops), but freeing their partner. Franklin is able to escape but learns that he's now wanted as a cop killer. Hoping to clear his name, Franklin approaches Russell with a deal – if he'll hide him from the police and help him prove that he had nothing to do with the deadly explosion, he'll give the reporter an exclusive story, which could help Russell boost his sagging career. Money Talks also features Heather Locklear as Russell's fiancée Grace, and Paul Sorvino as Grace's father, who is quite impressed by Franklin's story that he's related to Vic Damone.