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Best of Chris Isaak

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Album Review

In many ways, Chris Isaak is a perfect candidate for a "best-of" compilation: he has been consistent over the years, not only in the quality of his output but in his music, which hasn't strayed much from the sweetly moody retro-pop — part Elvis, a large part Roy Orbison, a small part early Neil Diamond — he essayed on his 1985 debut, Silvertone. As such, his records can be a little interchangeable, but even the bad ones are enjoyable, and when they're mixed and matched as they are here on his first-ever compilation, they hold together as well as if it were a proper album. Not that Best of Chris Isaak is exactly a "greatest-hits" — he only had seven charting Billboard singles, and three of them aren't here; it's understandable that the 2004 Christmas tune "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" isn't here, but 1989's "Don't Make Me Dream About You" and 1995's "Go Walking Down There," while not big hits, may be missed by some casual listeners, particularly since this is a generous 18-track compilation that finds space for such OK relative rarities as a cover of Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me" and an acoustic version of "Forever Blue." But these are the kind of complaints that are found only if somebody is looking for flaws, since otherwise Best of Chris Isaak is an expertly chosen selection of his best easy-rolling, slyly sexy retro-pop, containing his four big hits ("Wicked Game," "Can't Do a Thing (To Stop Me)," "Somebody's Crying," "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing") along with many of his best album tracks, like "San Francisco Days," "Two Hearts," "Speak of the Devil," "You Owe Me Some Kind of Love," and "Dancin'," among others. It's so well done and so comprehensive, it's easy to imagine that for many listeners — particularly those who liked Isaak's style, whether musical or personal — that this will be all the Chris Isaak they'll ever need.

Customer Reviews

Dark style and depairing elegance compiled.

Remember this is a 'best of' and not a 'greatest hits' before you look to tick off the few commercial hits he had. As ever Chris Isaak puts in the effort and his 'best of' is more than that; he's included some new songs such as a wonderfully bouncy take of an obscure tune called 'I want you to want me'. 'Let's have a party' is new but lets face it, Isaak’s idea of having a party is to drown out the sobbing! Another new song is the smouldering 'King without a castle' and could be from his 'Forever Blue' album, of which there's a nice acoustic version of. His great back collection makes him a one man juke box and is a cause for endless melancholic replays, the moody 'Dancin', the drifting 'Blue Spanish Sky' and the stylish 'Please' are a must along with earlier Roy Orbinson influenced numbers such as 'You owe me some kind of love', if ever I heard a malevolent guitar its on this track! Of course any best of has to include the iconic Wicked Game and ironic Blue Hotel, these are intrinsically weaved into the psyche of any Chris Isaak fan and are present on this album. Other tracks such as 'San Francisco Days' just pulls you in with its light guitar and west coast style, marvellous. This is an accomplished set of soulful tunes for anyone, Isaak fan or not; my only minor criticism - where the heck is 'Don't make me dream about you', that tune rains elegant longing and soft despair onto any uncovered ear, still the rest of the storm is on the album and I defy anyone not to get saturated by it.

Songwriting From The Heart

Chris Isaak has got to be one of the most talented of artist. This best of is simply stunning. There are just so many songs that pluck at your heart. Real songs. Not disposable chart fodder. After buying this, I bought his entire back catalogue. 'nuff said?

chris Isaak

wow! it was a chance download, i'm so glad! i first heard 'wicked game' when i was about five, and found it a couple of years ago when HIM covered it. I had no idea that he was such a talented artist. 100% brill. =D


Born: 26 June 1956 in Stockton, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
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Best of Chris Isaak, Chris Isaak
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