Chris Isaak biography
Early lifeIsaak was born in Stockton, California, the son of Dorothy (née Vignolo), a potato chip factory worker, and Joe Isaak (1929-2012), a forklift driver. Isaak's mother is Italian American, originating from Genoa. His father was German American. Isaak attended Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in north Stockton, graduating in 1974. He was class president all three years, culminating with his election as Student Body President in his senior year, along with being the 1974 graduating class valedictorian and head of the all male cheer squad. He subsequently attended a local college, San Joaquin Delta Community College before transferring to the University of the Pacific, graduating with a bachelor's degree in communications in 1981.
MusicIsaak signed a contract to Warner Bros. Records in 1984 for his first album, Silvertone. Two tracks from this album, "Gone Ridin'" and "Livin' for Your Lover", were featured in David Lynch's cult classic Blue Velvet. Isaak's second self-titled album, Chris Isaak, was photographed by fashion photographer Bruce Weber. Isaak's contract was renewed in 1988 when Warner Bros. moved him to their Reprise Records label.
Isaak's best known song is "Wicked Game". Though released on the 1989 album Heart Shaped World, an instrumental version of the song was later featured in the 1990 David Lynch film Wild at Heart. Lee Chesnut, an Atlanta radio station music director who was obsessed with Lynch films, began playing the vocal version and it quickly became the station's most-requested song. Chesnut spread the word to other radio stations around the country and the single became a national Top 10 hit in February 1991. The music video for the song was directed by Herb Ritts and was a big MTV and VH1 hit; shot in black and white, it starred Isaak and Danish-Peruvian supermodel Helena Christensen rolling on the beach, embracing and whispering in each other's ears. Another less-seen version of "Wicked Game" is directed by David Lynch and comprises scenes from the film Wild at Heart. "Wicked Game" also featured as the backing music in the 2001 TV advert for the Jaguar X-Type range of cars in the UK. In 1995, Isaak split with longtime guitarist James Calvin Wilsey. That year's Forever Blue album and the accompanying tour featured Hershel Yatovitz on guitar.
In 1999, Isaak's "Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing" was featured in Stanley Kubrick's final film, Eyes Wide Shut, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. The song is on his 1995 Forever Blue album. The music video for the song is directed by Herb Ritts, it was shot in color and featured Isaak and French supermodel Laetitia Casta in a motel room. This was Isaak's second collaboration with Ritts.
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