Awhile back when I made my list of the world’s purest non-operatic tenors, I must not have been fully awake; I included Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, John Denver, Timothy B. Schmit, and my nephew Bubba–but somehow missed the most sensuous voice of the lot: Chris Isaak.
The first song of Isaak’s I heard was “Wicked Game”, after it was featured in David Lynch’s 1990 film Wild at Heart; it was originally released on Isaak’s 1989 album Heart Shaped World. My guitarist brother had heard “Wicked Game”, found the guitar solo fascinating, and brought me the cassette tape to listen to.
Needless to say, that was all she wrote. I fell in love with the voice.
“Blue Spanish Sky” is also from Heart Shaped World. Moody, part bluesy, part Spanish, it’s one of those the broom and I love to dance to in the kitchen, late at night when nobody’s watching. 😉
Many people compare Isaak to Elvis–he is a right hunky guy, like Elvis was c. 1968, in the black leather–but I hear a totally different influence in Isaak’s voice: he reminds me more of Roy Orbison.