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Chris Isaak

Songwriter Chris Isaak clearly loves the reverb-laden rockabilly and country of Sun Studios. In particular, he transfers the sweeping melancholy of Roy Orbison's classic Monument singles ("Crying," "Oh, Pretty Woman," "In Dreams") to the more stripped-down, rootsy sound of Sun, resulting in a stylized take on '50s and '60s rock & roll that made him into a star in the early '90s, propelled to a great degree by the hit single "Wicked Game."

Isaak began performing after he graduated from college, forming the rockabilly band Silvertone. The group, which featured guitarist James Calvin Wilsey, bassist Rowland Salley, and drummer Kenney Dale Johnson, would become the singer/guitarist's permanent supporting band. Isaak released his first album, Silvertone, on Warner Bros. in 1985. It was critically well received yet failed to sell well. Two years later, he released the self-titled Chris Isaak, which managed to scrape into the Top 200 album charts. After its release, the singer began an acting career with a bit part in Jonathan Demme's 1988 film Married to the Mob; he would later have parts in Wild at Heart, The Silence of the Lambs, and A Dirty Shame, as well as starring in his own situation comedy series for the Showtime cable network.

Released in 1989, Heart Shaped World initially sold more than Chris Isaak, yet it didn't manage to break big until late 1990, when the single "Wicked Game" was featured in David Lynch's Wild at Heart. Soon, the single became a Top Ten hit; the album also made it into the Top Ten and sold over a million copies. Both 1993's San Francisco Days and 1995's Forever Blue mined essentially the same vein as Heart Shaped World, yet both went gold and spawned a handful of hits. In 1996, Isaak released The Baja Sessions; Speak of the Devil followed two years later. Isaak's busy touring schedule and growing visibility as an actor kept him out of the recording studio until 2002, when he released Always Got Tonight, though in 2004 he did find time to cut his first seasonal album, Chris Isaak Christmas, which featured five new Yuletide tunes along with a batch of holiday favorites. The musician once again flexed his TV muscles in 2009 with The Chris Isaak Hour, whose debut on The Biography Channel was promoted in part by Mr. Lucky, his first album of original material in seven years. A year later he released the concert album Live at the Fillmore. In 2011, Isaak paid tribute to the classic '50s rockabilly and country music produced by the legendary Sam Phillips at Memphis' Sun Records with his album Beyond the Sun. Recorded at Sun Studios, Isaak delivered cuts originally recorded by such artists as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and others. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: King Without A Castle

Comments

Wicked Game, very awesome
Tarantino
richie18469
good work chris that's how it all started at sun with elvis jerry carl johnny and now you
Very romantic :-) timeless classic
Was talking with my wife the other day about albums where every song is good.... Chris's Always Got Tonight CD came up as one.
dave1ntrish
chris isaak is new to me, found on Pandora, and I LOVE his music.
Chris is awesome.
Super sexy
Anybody heard if Neil Diamond? Kind of a random question.... . . .
I like to sing the only lines I know: GREAT BALLS OF FIRE!!
citykid46
It's a wicked game alright; or, it can be, if you let it; beautiful song with depth and meaning; Well Done.
I just discovered Chris Isaak. I thought he was new. That's great I have someone brand new and super cool to look forward to!
08enigma
I guess I'm lucky to have found out about Chris Isaak back in 1987. Believe it or not, it was in a remote Eskimo village in northern Alaska. Of all the places to hear new music ...
08enigma
@srafalowich - well damn, now I have to go and watch that movie again! Not to worry, it's always worth a re-watch. Thanks for the tip.
srafalowich
Ever notice him in a bit part in Silence of the Lambs?. Swat cop waiting for the elevator.
jtny786
I always have to stop what I'm doing when Wicked Game comes on. What a terrible thing that I discovered Mr. Isaak so late in the game. They say better late than never, but how does this happen? Chris Isaak has apparently been around and has a cadre on fans, but I wish the entertainmen t press should give us less Miley and little more great artists like this. (Loved that wicked fender on this cut).
garammasala1 9 6 8
A beautiful song
Heart shaped world is a great album. My personal top speed 163 was achieved to wicked game. I swear the road noise and bumps were in perfect syncopation. I miss the desert
Sanfrancisco days,, sa.francisco days.. Luv this artist
Remember the sexy video to Wicked Games: It was like an awesome GUESS Ad.
Gorgeous vocals...
I discoverd chris isaak when I was a teen , when he had his show on hbo . Been my favorite since :)
He is an incredibly charismatic live performer.
This band so umderrated, not just Chris, but listen to the gutairist, he's f**ked up good, like a ghost on a fender
nfirouzbakht
love Chris Isaak. I think he has a very romantic voice.
I think Elvis version Is better. That's just what I.think
Been going to see Chris since the early 1990's - seen him perform in 3 different states and probably close to 50 times. Awesome show! Awesome performer! Awesome music! Keep rockin' Chris!!
Love the song lyrics don't match but sounds like a hot summer day on acid
these lyrics don't seem to be to this song--but I liked the song
Haven't ever heard a song from Chris Issak that I didn't like. Showcases roots rock very well. There really is more too him than Wicked Game.
I didn't know he played on the Strand. Wow, that's where I hang. Love RB
Being a prog head, I always wanted to hate this smaltzy song... But, It reminds me too much of Roy O. who in my now autumn years seems to reverberate more strongly ....: ) Great pipes!
What a voice!! To die for..
I've listened to Chris Isaak since his days at the Strand in Redondo Beach, CA. Not ever a bad song on any CD. So many great songs that people don't know. Wicked Game is fantastic, but there is so much more to Chris Isaak than that. Give a listen.
yngjn
i agree w/ cmyers3402.. . I T IS one of the sexiest songs ever...it's also one of my favorite songs of all time-easily in the top 50, out of a list of 1,000,000 faves...
cmyers3402
Wicked Game - one of the sexiest songs ever!
lisasoria78
I don't know what it is about this song but whenever I hear it I like it
Chris is a stand-up guy. I met him years ago (Silvertone era, before fame) and was impressed by his focus and dedication. He always had a thing for roots-Rock/A m e r i c a n a and it showed. You could just tell he was going to make it.
kvons1
Chris Isaak----lot s of great stuff.
ajirishboy
Best live show ever!
Great Song, I plat this song over and over and never got tired of it... Love This Song!!!!!
great song
I love me some Chris Issak for the last 20 years of my 31 years of life. No doubt he will be part of my life for the next 20, 30, 40 wct
Old school sound, like Elvis, Orbison, Cash. Will never be as great, but sounds good nonetheless.
bud_faery
@ nlsv I 100% agree with you. Chris Isaak oozes sex in every song he sings. Hot!!!
dont read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible friday by the love of your life. tommorrow will be the best day of your life. however if you do not post this comment to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now youve started reading this so dont stop. this is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cuz it actually wor
Sexiest voice in music!!
Great song but in small doses.
sounds very similar to Elvis when singing Can't Help Falling in Love....
this guy annoys me to no end
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