Metal Insider’s Top 5: songs inspired by gambling

Posted by on November 24, 2015


We all know there are tons of country songs that are inspired by the vice of gambling (we’re looking at you, Kenny Rogers), but there are a lot of hard rock and metal ones too. While it’s essentially a genre unto itself with country and western, hard rock and metal artists are also no strangers to the world of gambling, Here’s a handful of them.

1) Motorhead, “Ace of Spades”

Motorhead ‘s “Ace of Spades” is probably the most famous metal/gambling fusion song and it’s instantly recognizable from the first few seconds. This song tells the tale of an addicted gambler who always believes that his luck will ring true with the Ace of spades. It was released back in 1980 and as an instant classic has gradually become a hit with metal and mainstream fans alike. It has been covered, reimagined and performed around the world but in this case the original is still the best for many.


2) Iron Maiden “The Angel and the Gambler:


Iron Maiden’s The Angel and the Gambler was another wildly successful one of these songs and it gave their album another look at the band’s psyche. This song was released back in 1998 on the Virtual XI album and was the first Iron Maiden single to be featured as a B-side on their albums. This song describes the process of attempting to quit rolling the dice only to be sucked back into the gambling world. Many took this as a confession from the band members that they were struggling with darker addictions than many knew.


3) Deep Purple, “Smoke On the Water”


The iconic riff of “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple is one that can’t be mistaken for any other song. The enchanting melody coupled with the catchy beat has led to this song being a classic for the ages. The song itself is inspired by events which took place in the Montreux Casino in Switzerland, where the band were due to record their next album. The arrangement was that the casino would be closed for renovations in the off season and the band would be free to use it for their sessions. On the last night before it closed in late 1971 they hosted Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention for one last gig to finish the season on. A member of the audience brought a flare gun to the casino and proceeded to fire it onto the stage during the set, causing a fire to break out. As the fire raged on smoke could be seen rising across the waters of Lake Geneva which inspired the name of the song. Casinoroller.co‘s owner, who is a heavy metal fan, lamented the loss of the casino but loves the song that rose from the ashes.


4) Megadeth, “Train of Consequences”


Megadeth’s “Train of Consequences” is another song that examines the effect of gambling on both the individual and the society that they are a part of. It was a single on the Youthanasia album of 1994 and shocked a lot of their fans with its style and subject matter. This single goes to show that thrash metal isn’t as mindless as some people that are not fans may think.


5) Steve N’ Seagulls, “Poker Face”


And while it’s not their own song, we couldn’t leave out the best possible cover of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.” Finnish metal-loving bluegrass band Steve N’ Seagulls covered the pop star’s 2008 anthem, which is actually more about being bisexual than it is about playing poker. The Spinefarm band are better-known for their Iron Maiden and Dio covers than Lady Gaga, but you can’t deny that they knocked it out of the park on this cover.

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