Musical Monday: Chris Isaak

Ploughing once more through my archives I found this. Seems somehow appropriate at the end of summer.

Wicked Game is a song by American rock musician and actor Chris Isaak, released from his third studio album Heart Shaped World (1989). The track did not become a hit until it featured in the 1990 David Lynch film Wild at Heart. Lee Chesnut, an Atlanta radio station music director who loved David Lynch films, began playing the song, and it quickly became an American top-ten hit in January 1991, reaching number six on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Isaak’s first hit.

There are two different music videos for this song. The most well-known was directed by Herb Ritts, shot in Hawaii at what was formerly known as Kamoamoa beach in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. The newly formed black-sand beach was created from lava from Kilauea volcano flowing into the ocean about a mile away. The beach was covered by lava not long after the video was shot. The video featured supermodel Helena Christensen rolling and frolicking on the beach with Isaak. It was mostly filmed in black and white.

The video won the MTV Video Music Awards for Best Male Video, Best Cinematography and Best Video from a Film. It was ranked number 13 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Videos, number 4 on VH1’s 50 Sexiest Video Moments, number 73 on Rolling Stone magazine’s The 100 Top Music Videos, number 1 on Rolling Stone magazine’s The 30 Sexiest Music Videos of All Time, and number 1 on Fuse’s 40 Sexiest Videos in 2010.

Another video was commissioned for the Wild at Heart VHS release. Directed by David Lynch, it features scenes of Lula (Laura Dern) and Sailor (Nicolas Cage) from the film, interspersed with black-and-white footage of Isaak performing the song.

Wicked Game has been covered by many other artists and been featured in numerous movies and television series and advertisements, so much so that Dazed magazine questioned whether it might be the most influential love song in modern music – who knows, maybe.

8 Comments on “Musical Monday: Chris Isaak

  1. I loved this song, still do …so haunting and memorable. They used it on General Hospital for Karen and Jagger’s theme. I don’t watch the soap anymore, but I always think of it when that song comes on.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I first came across it when it was used as the theme song for a film of Daphne’s Du Maurier’s book ‘My Cousin Rachel’. Very interesting to find out some background on it. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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