What has music got to do with gambling?
In this article, we'll explore the relationship between the world of music and the world of gambling. A bittersweet love story as old as the blues riffs that rocked the world and gave birth to modern music.
Music and gambling could be described as two cousins that regularly meet up to hang out. Songs about gambling have been around since the good old bluesy days when guitar legend Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil by the famous crossroad at Clarksdale, and music has been crucial for creating a proper gambling mood since the saloons of the Wild West were being equipped with pianos.
Over the years we've seen plenty of music legends expressing their love for the casino world. For instance, in the 50s and 60s Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davies Jr. and the rest of the "Rat Pack" regularly performed in Las Vegas, where they notoriously gambled and partied all night long. Soon they were joined by "The King" himself, as Elvis Presley embraced "Sin City" and all its glamour. Today, the likes of Jay-Z and Rihanna have taken their place.
Other notable bands and artists that have written songs about gambling include The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Ray Charles, Motörhead, AC/DC, Kenny Rogers, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison, The Eagles, The Clash, country legend Townes van Zandt and many, many more.
Today's importance of a catchy theme song
Today, when you can easily visit an online casino from your cell phone, tablet or computer, the proper score to a casino game could be more crucial than ever. When players have hundreds, if not thousands of games to pick between, you need to capture their attention right away. A great theme song is an excellent way of doing that. And combined with good looking graphics and somewhat inventive gameplay, you've got yourself covered.
Since the casino business started to go online, more and more musicians have begun to compose theme songs to the industry. And since the interest for online gambling continues to flourish all over the world, with all the benefits you can't get from a land-based casino, many more slot machine songs and virtual poker table themes will need to be written.
Musician's attraction to the casino world
So, what is it with gambling that inspires some of the greatest songwriters known to mankind? Well, for instance, you've got the dramatic aspect. As in the casino movies, the protagonist of a gambling song often have much at stake. What happens if he loses? Why does he need to go "all-in"? Or more crucially, why has Lady Fortune forsaken him?
Another thing about the casino world, that musicians forever can be grateful for, is how well known some gambling terms have become as similes. For example, Lady Gaga's hit song "Poker Face" has gotten its title (and refrain) from a poker concept about hiding your emotions to make it harder for your opponents to tell if you've been dealt a winning or losing hand. Even if the song is stuffed with poker terms (poker face only being one of them), it's not about poker at all. In fact, Lady Gaga has revealed that it's an allegory for bisexuality. As you can see, gambling terms can be quite handy to keep things mistified.
Of course, there's so much more to be said about the relationship between gambling and music. But with this article, we hope we've provided you with a solid introduction.
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