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Chris Isaak Songs: 7 of the ‘Wicked Game’ Crooner’s Dreamiest Tunes

See why he was the Elvis of the '80s and '90s

Chris Isaak will forever be best known for hit 1989 song “Wicked Game.” The gorgeously cinematic, haunting track received heavy airplay on MTV, thanks to its unforgettable black-and-white music video featuring the handsome musician and the stunning supermodel Helena Christensen cavorting on the beach.

Over 30 years later, “Wicked Game” is still often ranked as one of the sexiest songs and music videos of all time. While Isaak never again hit it quite as big, he’s no one-hit wonder, and has released 12 albums since his 1985 debut.

The multitalented musician has also appeared in films by acclaimed directors like David Lynch and Jonathan Demme, and had has own sitcom, The Chris Isaak Show, from 2001 to 2004. In 2009, he hosted a talk show, The Chris Isaak Hour.

There aren’t many other musicians quite like Isaak, and he’s still going strong today, wearing retro suits and sounding as Elvis-like as ever. Here are seven other Chris Isaak songs you should know — they’re just the thing when you want to conjure up a mysterious mood.

Chris Isaak onstage in 1994
Chris Isaak onstage in 1994Getty

1. “Livin’ for Your Lover” (1985)

Chris Isaak had his signature mix of ’50s-style crooning and ’80s slickness down from his very first album, Silvertone. The mysterious sensuality of his music caught the attention of David Lynch, who raised the musician’s profile when he put “Livin’ for Your Lover” in the soundtrack of his iconic 1986 film Blue Velvet.

Four years later, Lynch included “Wicked Game” in the soundtrack of his 1990 film Wild at Heart, and the song eventually became a sleeper hit.

2. “Blue Hotel” (1986)

With reverb-heavy guitar riffs and simple yet evocative lyrics about loneliness, “Blue Hotel” feels timeless, and the song was an excellent showcase for Isaak’s impressive vocal range. It was a hit in France and the UK, but not in the US, which just goes to show how underrated he is.

3. “Can’t Do a Thing (To Stop Me)” (1993)

“Can’t Do a Thing (To Stop Me)” is one of the Chris Isaak songs that could be a sequel to “Wicked Game,” what with its swoony instrumentation, a music video featuring a scantily clad model and lyrics speaking of (what else?) an illicit affair.

4. “Two Hearts” (1993)

“Two Hearts” has a bit more of an upbeat sound than the typical Chris Isaak songs. The song was featured in the 1993 film True Romance, and it was a perfect fit, as the movie featured Christian Slater as an Elvis obsessive — much like Isaak himself.

5. “Somebody’s Crying” (1995)

After “Wicked Game,” which reached the top 10, “Somebody’s Crying” was Isaak’s only other single to hit the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 45.

Isaak said he wrote the Grammy-nominated song while sitting in the closet following a bad breakup, and he made romantic despair sound pretty darn good.

6. “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing” (1995)

In just under three minutes, “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing” finds Isaak going from a growl to a falsetto and conjuring up a scandalous fantasy. The voyeuristic video featured French model Laetitia Casta, and the song was memorably featured in the legendary director Stanley Kubrick‘s final film, Eyes Wide Shut.

In the film, Nicole Kidman dances suggestively to the song, which she choose herself. As Isaak recalled, “Somebody told me they had asked her, they said, ‘What would you feel comfortable rehearsing to and dancing?’ And she brought that song and was dancing to it and Kubrick heard it and went, ‘That’s perfect.’ So I have Nicole to thank for that.”

7. “Perfect Lover” (2015)

Isaak’s last album of original songs, First Comes the Night, came out in 2015. He called the song “Perfect Lover” “a song about bad dreams and happy endings” and described it as his tribute to Roy Orbison, one of his midcentury musical heroes, saying, “Somehow ‘Perfect Lover’ ended up as Orbinesque as anything I ever wrote.”

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