Christopher Joseph “Chris” Isaak (born June 26, 1956) is an American rock musician and occasional actor. He is best known for his hit “Wicked Game”, as well as the popular hit songs “Baby Did A Bad, Bad Thing” and “Somebody’s Crying”. He is renowned for his signature 1950s rock & roll style and crooner sound, as well as his soaring falsetto and reverb-laden music. He is closely associated with film director David Lynch, who has used his music in numerous films and gave him a large role in the film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. His songs generally focus on the themes of love, loss and heartbreak. With a career spanning four decades, he has amassed a total of twelve studio albums, and has accumulated numerous award nominations and tours. He has been called the Roy Orbison of the 1990s, and is often compared to Orbison, Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson and Duane Eddy.
Isaak’s best known song is “Wicked Game”. Though released on the 1989 album Heart Shaped World, an instrumental version of the song was later featured in the 1990 David Lynch film Wild at Heart. Lee Chesnut, an Atlanta radio station music director who was obsessed with Lynch films, played the vocal version and it became the station’s most-requested song. Chesnut spread the word to other radio stations and the single became a national Top 10 hit in February 1991. It also reached No. 10 in the UK Singles Chart.
The music video for the song was directed by Herb Ritts and was a MTV and VH1 hit; shot in black and white, it featured Isaak and supermodel Helena Christensen in a sensual encounter on the beach, caressing each other and whispering erotically in each other’s ears. Another less-seen version of “Wicked Game” is directed by David Lynch and comprises scenes from the film Wild at Heart. “Wicked Game” featured as the backing music in the 2001 TV advertisement for the Jaguar X-Type in the UK. In 1995, Isaak split with longtime guitarist James Calvin Wilsey. That year’s Forever Blue album and the accompanying tour featured Hershel Yatovitz on guitar.