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Mar 152016
 

Some covers are more equal than others. Good, Better, Best looks at three covers and decides who takes home the gold, the silver, and the bronze.

Chris-Isaak

Chris Isaak‘s “Wicked Game” is one of those songs that seems to exist on their own plane of music. Released as a single in 1990, the track floated on its own hazy eddy, separate from the currents of both the ’80s that preceded it and the grunge sound of the early ’90s that came soon after. The song seemed more like a dream than anything else; a fevered hallucination, showing up unbidden in Isaak’s mind as some love he had no business having in the first place circles around and around.

The song was originally not all that popular as a single. It took two separate events to cement it as a classic: It was included in David Lynch‘s film Wild at Heart, and a second video (the first was directed by David Lynch for the Wild at Heart soundtrack) featuring the now-legendary black-and-white image of Helena Christensen rolling topless in the sands of Hawaii. An entire generation was captivated by the sexiness of the both the image and the song itself. The bleak look back at this relationship has an almost Gothic feel to it. The lyrics are steeped in a dark romanticism and the reverb and delay of the guitar make the listener feel unmoored from reality. It’s no wonder, then, that so many artists have felt the desire to cover it. There have been dozens of attempts, many of which have already been written about on Cover Me. This, then, is a look at some that haven’t examined yet.

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Jul 182013
 

For many, Chris Isaak‘s “Wicked Game” is either a reminder of David Lynch’s Wild at Heart or a slo-mo beach music video featuring Helena Christenson being an early 90s babe. For Amsterdam-based Mannen met Snorren (which roughly translates to “Men with Moustaches”), it was an opportunity to turn a song with an already bizarre Lynchian connotation into a macabre sort of electro-dance hit. Continue reading »

Oct 032011
 

Los Angeles-based a cappella group SONOS is known for their “indie” song selection and liberal employment of effects pedals to enhance their vocal performance. As one of the groups performing on NBC’s The Sing Off, they had to ditch those sweet sounding effects to rely on their voices alone on last week’s cover of Chris Isaak‘s “Wicked Game.” That didn’t stop them from releasing a video of the song as they would normally do it. Continue reading »

Feb 202018
 
conversing with oceans

Who can forget the video of the haunting song “Wicked Game” from rockabilly Chris Isaak? The 1990 video with the slow-motion beach scenes won several awards, and “Wicked Game” got a big commercial boost as well from the David Lynch movie Wild at Heart. Many artists have covered this favorite about obsessive love; we’ve written about some at Cover Me. Conversing with Oceans gives it a go this time.

Conversing with Oceans is the solo project of Alex Bondarev, who moonlights as a dentist. After leaving Chechnya as a refugee, with a stop in India, Bondarev landed in the Bronx. His original music has a positive theme, perhaps a nod to his refugee state of mind. This indie artist has kept the ball moving forward by playing with friends, being at SXSW and working with John Forte from the Fugees. Continue reading »

Aug 192013
 

There is no shortage of covers of Chris Isaak‘s 1989 hit “Wicked Game,” but that doesn’t mean we aren’t always excited when we hear a new one. During a recent trip to BBC’s Maida Vale studios, art rock trio London Grammar played some songs off their upcoming debut, If You Wait, and also delivered a stellar cover of the ballad. Continue reading »