By Mitch Rice
The rise of bingo has been quite phenomenal in the past 24 months, and in particular since the pandemic locked people down in March. Millions of people worldwide are familiar with playing online bingo with it being among the most popular pastimes around currently.
It’s a game that’s developed far beyond the 60+ lady sa in a bingo hall and it really is a big part of our culture. So you’d perhaps be surprised that there are so few songs and albums referencing the historic game.
However, there are some, and by some pretty big artists too! So, without further ado here are our top three albums with bingo in the title…
Bingo Masters at the Witch Trials – The Fall
With an album cover that features bingo cards and the general thrills of a bingo night, set to an eerie backdrop of witch trials, Bingo Masters at the Witch Trials is a 2016 reissue of the Live at Deeply Vale show initially recorded in 1978.
It was when Mark E Smith was in his pomp, with the show including a number of masterpieces, including Rebellious Jukebox, Brand New Cadillac and Bingo Masters Breakout, a song all about the game itself.
Bingo Hand Job – REM
REM released 35 albums in total over their 30 year history, with Bingo Hand Job their last release back in 2019 for Record Store Day. It’s an album based upon a recording of their infamous 1991 gig in which they performed under the pseudonym Bingo Hand Job in front of just 200 people at the Borderline.
The show was packed with hits, including The One I Love, Radio Song, and Losing My Religion, with the members of REM also joined by the likes of Billy Bragg, Peter Holsapple and Robyn Hitchcock who also appeared under pseudonyms.
It proved to be a real legendary night to which fans talk about this day, with the gigs widely bootlegged before being released last year.
Let Them Eat Bingo – Beats International
Beats International were a band formed by Norman Cook in the late 1980s following his departure from the Housemartins and before he found fame as Fatboy Slim.
They released two albums, with Let Them Eat Bingo released in 1990 and peaking at number 17 in the UK chart. On the album was the number one single Dub Be Good to Me which is largely considered the bands signature song, reinterpriting the SOS Band’s famous Just Be Good To Me.
It also samples Jam Hot by Johnny Dynell and The Guns of Brixton by The Clash. The song itself saw widespread acclaim and was ranked as the 59th best dance anthem of the 1990s by MTV Dance back in 2011.
The song has also been covered a number of times with Professor Green and Lily Allen most famously covering it, while Jack Penate, the Ting Tings and Faithless have also covered it since the turn of the millennium.
Many still cite Let Them Eat Bingo as a hugely influential album on them and it kickstarted Cook’s move into dance music, in which he would go on to become one of the most recognisable artists on the planet.