A few weeks ago, “Blue Hotel” came on the Radio Eins Berlin, and I thought “yeah let’s put on some Chris Isaak records tonight.” To my dismay, I thumbed past my Indochine, Billy Idol and Janis Ian records, and couldn’t find my worn copies of “Silvertone” or “Heart Shaped World.” Later that week, somewhat woefully, I picked up the “Best of Chris Isaak” which Warner released back in 2006.
Not particularly a fan of greatest hits records, they do serve a good purpose: easy to put on when you’ve got company and need “crowd pleasers, ” for instance. While you’re rebuilding your collection of an artist, as I am, then at least you’ve got this to keep you company.
In any event, the 2 LP gatefold does have most of what you’d want on it: “San Francisco Days” one of my personal favorites starts the 18 track compilation. It includes the earlier-mentioned “Blue Hotel” and mega-hit “Wicked Game.” I was a bit disappointed that “Heart Shaped World” didn’t make the cut, but I was excited to hear his cover of Cheap Trick’s “I want you to Want me” which somehow I’d either forgotten about or not heard before.
I’ve always thought of him as the American Lloyd Cole (equally talented and handsome). Although I’ve never interviewed or met him, he strikes me as a good guy. He’s kept a lot of the same band and team around him throughout his career which tells you something good.
You can keep tabs on him via his website, and he’s usually out on the road. Not to miss.
If you don’t have any of his music on vinyl, this set is a good start.