“You play Russian Roulette this way.”

7 Sep

Every so often since the mid-1980s, a piece of spoken dialogue has surfaced in my thoughts: a man with a heavy Russian accent saying, “You play Russian roulette this way.”

It popped into my head again today. I knew it was a sample used in a song, but I couldn’t’ remember what song it was. Instead of dismissing the thought, this time I started hunting for the source.

A search brought me to a forum where, in 2006, someone posted the entire scene and asked forum members where it was from. No one knew.

“Only way to settle this argument is to play Russian roulette. Do you know how to play Russian roulette?”
“No, I don’t.”
“You play Russian roulette this way. I have this pistol. One bullet in chamber. Spin cylinder. Cock the gun. Hold the gun to your head, and pull the trigger. I go first. Good luck.”
“Now you go. Here is the pistol”
“Aha, you lose!”

Searching using additional keywords from that post led me to the 1999 Junkie XL song “Love Like a Razorblade”, which samples the scene.

Of course, that wasn’t where I first heard it! But I could then create a new search string: love like a razorblade sample russian roulette.

That search led me to the site Who Sampled it. There, I learned that the sample came from a 1963 track titled “Russian Roulette” by a company called Audio Fidelity Records. Between 1954 and 1984, they produced thousands of stereophonic tracks for audiophiles. Here’s the track:

From there, it was easy to find the list of artists who sampled the track—and the answer to my question. In 1987, Bomb the Bass used it in their absolute banger of a song, 1987’s “Beat Dis”.

As much fun as it was to track this sample and song down, I’m hoping this blog post will make the search much simpler for other people with this earworm in their heads.

2 Responses to ““You play Russian Roulette this way.””

  1. CaptainJaq September 8, 2020 at 4:25 am #

    That was much easier than what this guy had to go through – https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/19/arts/reply-all-podcast.html

    • Wade Rockett September 8, 2020 at 3:44 pm #

      SUCH a great episode!

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