Ace of Spades

Album: Ace of Spades (1980)
Charted: 13


  • This is Motörhead's most famous song; it is about gambling and risks. Lemmy recalled writing the song in an interview with Mojo magazine February 2011: "'Ace of Spades' is unbeatable, apparently, but I never knew it was such a good song. Writing it was just a word-exercise on gambling, all the clichés. I'm glad we got famous for that rather than for some turkey, but I sang 'the eight of spades' for two years and nobody noticed."
  • The "Ace Of Spades" is the dead man's hand, which was Wild Bill Hancock's hand as he was shot dead (he was an American sheriff who was killed during a game of poker). The hand consists of aces and eights, including the ace of spades.
  • After playing this for years, Lemmy admitted he was sick of the song, but said he kept it in the setlist because, "If I went to a Little Richard concert, I'd expect to hear Long Tall Sally." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    John - Glasgow, Scotland, for all above
  • This song was featured in the episode of The Young Ones called "Bambi," where Motörhead performed as the the stars of the show got to the train station. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Amandass - Buckley, WA
  • This is used in the video game Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, and also appears in the movie Superbad. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Matt - Milton, PA
  • Lemmy had a tattoo of the ace of spades on his left forearm. After the Motörhead frontman died on December 28, 2015, Dave Grohl got an ace of spades tattoo on his wrist. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • He may have embellished the tale a bit for the sake of a story, but Lemmy claimed he wrote this song in the back of a transit van traveling at 90 mph.
  • Lemmy recorded a new down-tempo blues version with bandmates Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee in 2010 for a Kronenbourg 1664 commercial. This updated more leisurely rendition, which sees Lemmy playing harmonica, emphasises the brand's assertion that this is a beer that should be "enjoyed slowly."
    It was the first time Lemmy had taken the song back into the studio since it was originally released 30 years previously and director Matt Doman, who shot the ad for Kronenbourg, said it was a challenge working with the rock icon. "But it's really because he's very protective of the track," he explained. "Spending a day with him in the recording studio was a roller coaster."
  • This is one of the most commonly covered songs among Punk and Hardcore bands. Elvis Suissa of Three Bad Jacks told us why: "It's one of the greatest and most aggressive rock and roll songs I've ever heard in my life. Makes me just want to f--king scream at the top of my lungs. Every time I hear it my blood just pumps and I just want to explode. It's one of the most amazing things I've ever heard in my life."

    The Three Bad Jacks version appears on their 2005 album Crazy in the Head.
  • This was produced by Vic Maile, who also worked with Fleetwood Mac, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton. Motorhead were strangely receptive to some of Maile's more left-field production ideas such as adding woodblock to this song. "He didn't drink, he didn't smoke, and he was very delicate because he was diabetic," guitarist Eddie Clarke recalled to Uncut. "He had to have his Ryvita (a rye-based crispbread) at six o'clock. We couldn't get heavy with him, couldn't f--king shake him, you know what I mean? He might die! So we had to listen to him."

    "If it was anyone else, we'd have told him to go and f--k off and die or tied 'em to the car and run around the car park with them," Clarke added regarding the wood block. "But because it was Vic we said, 'Oh, all right Vic...' So we're there with these blocks of wood banging them together. He put loads of reverb on and that's the sound you hear - 'dang dang dang dang dang dang CLACK.' We didn't want to upset him in case we killed him."

    Sadly Maile did pass away at the age of 45 from cancer on July 11, 1989.
  • The "Desert Scene" Ace of Spades album cover was actually shot in a sandpit near Barnet, 10 miles northeast of London.
  • A campaign to send this song back into the UK Top 40 following the death of Lemmy on December 28, 2015 saw the track re-enter the singles chart at #13. This was two places higher than its original position of #15.
  • In tribute to Lemmy, who died about six weeks earlier, The Hollywood Vampires (led by Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry) performed this song at the Grammy Awards in 2016. Dave Grohl introduced the act and said, "I have an ace of spades tattoo but the truth is, Lemmy and Motörhead left their mark on me a long time ago, just as they did for everybody who has ever loved rock and roll. As Lemmy taught us in the song 'Ace of Spades,' the pleasure is to play."

Comments: 20

  • Nate from Attleboro,maI hate this song because the card, ace of spades, essentially killed Cliff Burton
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPer: {01-11-2018}...
    LONDON (AP) - British hard rock band Motorhead says former guitarist Edward "Fast Eddie" Clarke has died aged 67.
    Motorhead says on Facebook that Clarke died Wednesday in a hospital while being treated for pneumonia.
    Clarke joined Motorhead soon after it was founded in 1975 by former Hawkwind bassist Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister. He was the final survivor of the band's classic lineup: Lemmy, Clarke and drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor.
    Kilmister and Taylor both died in 2015.
    Clarke's time in Motorhead produced some of the band's biggest hits, including the ferocious anthem "Ace of Spades."
    Clarke left Motorhead in 1982 and later formed the band Fastway.
    A later Motorhead guitarist, Phil Campbell, said on Facebook that Clarke "will be remembered for his iconic riffs and was a true rock n roller. RIP Eddie."
  • Mike from DublinWonder where Lemmy got the song from well watch this
  • Jim from Long Beach, CaLemmy is GOD!! Go see his documnentary LEMMY it is great man!!
  • Caitlyn from Royersford, PaLemmy for President!!!
  • Marcelo from Santiago, ChileThis song appears in the video game Guitar Hero III, and is one of the songs i like to recharge my 'batteries'
  • Luke from Saint Augustine, Flthis song is about number 12 of my all time favorite songs. sorry die hard motorhead fans but guns n' roses, megadeath, and iron madian come first.
  • Andrew from Sd, CaThis song is also featured in the John Cusack movie "Grosse Pointe Blank."
  • Fay from Idaho Falls, IdLemmy is one homely dude, but man can he sing!He really belts this one out!
  • Tom from Cleveland, OhLemmy Kilmister also contibuted to Eagle Record's Christmas compilation -We Wish You A Merry Xmas and A Headbanging New Year - Released on October 13, 2008... The track also features Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Dave Grohl (Nirvana/Foo Fighters)
  • Chris from Laval, CanadaThis song has always given me a ton of energy whenever I've heard it. It's a ride.
  • Lester from New York City, Ny'Ace of Spades' is also in used "Zombie Nightmare", a movie starring Adam West that was riffed on by the MST3K crew.
  • A.j. from Chicago, IlThis song is in Smokin' Aces (2006 - Jeremy Piven, Ryan Reynolds).
  • Joe from Bellingham, Wathis song is on tony hawk pro skater 3
  • Luke from Manchester, EnglandIt was Wild Bill Hickok not Hancock who was killed during a game of cards.
  • Steven from Viking, CanadaMotorhead also does all of the proffesional wrestler Triple H's entrance themes. ie: The Game, King of Kings, and A Line in the Sand
  • Nils from Oslo, NorwayActually, Lemmy loves gambling, but prefers the slot machines, but, as he once said, "it really isn't that cool singing about spinning fruit!"
    And the Ace of Spades is not the synonym to The Dead Man's hand.. The Ace of Spades is, as the name implies, the ace in spade
  • Matt from Melbourne, AustraliaThis song Rules!!! Saw thm in melbourne last year supporting Motley Crue!
    Show went off! Rock on!
  • Steve from Solihull, EnglandThe Dean Man's Hand is two pair: black aces and eights. This was indeed the hand the Wild Bill Hickock was holding when he was shot in the back of the head in a bar in Deadwood. There is some debate as to what the fifth card his was holding was. The most popular opinion is that it was the 5 of diamonds.
  • Scott from Tredegar, Waleslemmy wrote this song at half seven in the morning pissed out of his head on an acoustic guitar!
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