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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‘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 232023
francesca blanchard wicked game cover

Chris Isaak’s most-iconic and most-covered song, “Wicked Game” can be a bit of a challenge for some cover artists. Isaak’s definitive, inimitable, swoony croony vocal is a tough feat for most singers, both in terms of the range and in terms of his twang.

The smart artists don’t try to copy him. Los Angeles-based singer Francesca Blanchard, who we last saw covering Dido, is not trying to imitate Isaak on her new cover of “Wicked Game.” She doesn’t avoid the challenges of the song so much as she makes the vocal her own. Continue reading »