Music draws inspiration from all walks of life so it is no surprise that songs often focus on the emotional rollercoaster that is gambling to get the message across to the audience. Here is our list of the top 5 songs that are all about gambling.
“A Good Run of Bad Luck” by Clint Black
The 1994 country hit is the classic gambling metaphor for falling love. It was first released as a song on Black’s No Time to Kill album and reached number one in both the Canada Country Tracks Chart and the US Hot Country Songs Billboard Chart. Co-written between Black and Hayden Nicholas it has gone on to be a vintage country song that sums up gambling and love in equal measure.
The song resonated with gambling so much that it was used on the official movie soundtrack of Maverick starring Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster. It was later used in the end credits of the popular US television show Las Vegas that starred Josh Duhamel and James Caan which was proof of the song’s timelessness.
“Poker Face” by Lady Gaga
It was quite the debut on the pop scene when Lady Gaga stormed to number one with her “Just Dance” hit in 2008 but who would have seen the smash hit follow-up in “Poker Face” coming the same year? The enigmatic and charismatic songstress went viral with her album The Fame and “Poker Face” played a huge part in the album’s success.
One of the brilliant aspects of “Poker Face” and its synthpop feel is that as soon as those first notes start the song is instantly recognisable. A song that was simply Lady Gaga comparing troubles in love with the classic casino table game of poker wowed the world and it went on to sell 9.5 million sales across the globe to become the best-selling single of 2009. Altogether now… “can’t read my, can’t read my, no you can’t read my, poker face!”
“Viva Las Vegas” by Elvis Presley
The King himself could not be left off such a prestigious list as this and he is the artist with whom we decide to end our proceedings. Released in 1964, in typical Elvis fashion, this was not just a song but a musical film starring Elvis and Ann Margret. The film tells the story of Elvis’ character Lucky Jackson who must try to find the funds to repair his car engine ahead of a big race in Sin City and falls in love with the beautiful Rusty Martin during the process. Needless to say, Elvis always ended up getting the lady and this plotline was no different.
This song has long since become associated with the gambling destination. At 10 minutes and 31 seconds long it is regarded as an epic piece of music that embodies the spirit and optimism that the city offers those that visit. Incredibly, the re-released version from 2010 stretched to a mammoth 31 minutes and 31 seconds. There is no better song to put you in the mood to play roulette at the tables in Las Vegas or on one of the good gambling websites. The song has appeared in a number of promotional videos for the city and was also used in the 2000 movie The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas and an episode of the US television show Angel.
“Luck Be a Lady” by Frank Sinatra
Well, it wouldn’t have been a gambling song list without the big man himself included on the chart. “Luck Be a Lady” was originally written by Frank Loesser and first performed by Robert Alda. It was composed for the musical Guys and Dolls. However, the song entered a new stratospheric level when old blue eyes himself covered it in 1965.
The song tells of a gambler named Sky Masterson who is hoping that he can win a bet that will decide whether or not his relationship with his dream girl is saved. The song has been hugely influential in pop culture having been used in The Simpsons, The L Word, Roseanne, NCIS, Family Guy, and Doctor Who.
“Ace of Spades” by Motorhead
It is time to change the tone slightly and we move onto the heavier rock tones of British rock band Motorhead with this classic hit “Ace of Spades”. Released in 1980 from the Ace of Spades album the song became synonymous with the gravelly vocals of the late and great lead singer Lemmy.
The song has been hugely praised since its release for being a definitive rock classic. The lyrics “you win some, lose some” tapped into an audience that was disillusioned with life in the 1980s. It has gone on to be voted the 27th Greatest Guitar Track by Q magazine and NME listed it as the 155th Greatest Song of All Time.