In thrall to the delirious twang of surf rock and the reverb-addled gusto of early rock’n’rollers such as Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, Chris Isaak brought a retro cool to the late-80s MTV generation. Catching the ear of film directors and Hollywood leading ladies alike, the best Chris Isaak songs made listeners swoon and sway to his intoxicating soft-rock mojo, updating a long-forgotten mode of melancholia for the modern era. With a clean production style that has gone on to influence the likes of Lana Del Rey, Isaak’s songwriting has undoubtedly stood the test of time. From the spring reverb colour-burst of Blue Hotel to the cinematic sensuality of Wicked Game, here are the best Chris Isaak songs…
Listen to the best of Chris Isaak here, and check out our best Chris Isaak songs, below.
10: San Francisco Days (from ‘San Francisco Days’, 1993)
Released as the second single from his album of the same name, the beatific ballad San Francisco Days is a delightful and melancholic Bay Area charmer reportedly written at Chris Isaak’s beachside home. “If I stand up I can see the ocean,” Isaak said, “so that’s good inspiration.” The song peaked at No.62 in the UK in July 1993, and perfectly captured the mid-afternoon glow of the Frisco sun.