Wicked Game

Best of Chris Isaak (Remastered) by Chris Isaak

2000, 1 track, 4 mins 46 sec

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One of the most haunting love songs ever is usually cited as one of the sexiest by people who pay more attention to the visuals than they do the lyrics. “Wicked Game” is about being led into a relationship, and then emotionally dumped. The subtext here is that a gorgeous woman whose the narrator allowed into his heart was actually playing him the whole time. Perhaps it was all just physical for her, and in order to be physical, she had to invent an emotional story, inviting him to play a part. Or maybe she used the narrator in order to get make the one she really wanted jealous. Regardless of her motives, Isaak sings of heartbreak, in a subtle and romantic fashion. Therefore, when he wails about love, it is pain but it sounds sexy and soothing to the listener. Isaak laments “the world was on fire and no one could save me but you, it's strange what desire will make foolish people do, I'd never dreamed that I'd meet somebody like you, and I'd never dreamed that I'd lose somebody like you.” Anyone who has ever attained a connection with their crush, only to lose them, surely can relate to this terrible, disappointment. Notably here is that he was not thinking this all the way through, as desire clouded his judgement, and he was probably a fool several times before actually being dumped, most likely ignoring the warning signs. Another way of looking at this story is that Isaak already had his heart broken by a girl, and this new girl reminds him of the same building situation wish he would like to avoid this time around, though, he already knows it’s probably hopeless and he will invite the same pain again; “No, I don't want to fall in love (this girl is only gonna break your heart).” The Elvis of our times, yet more than just mere impersonator, Isaak is vocally enchanting, and “Wicked Game” represents some of the coolest songwriting ever for a love ballad. The surf guitar slides sensually and the whole arrangement sounds like how good drugs feel, but the comedown might be a bitch.

Written by @taylor

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Song Info

"Wicked Game"


Chris Isaak, Chris Isaak, Chris Isaak, Chris Isaak, Chris Isaak


  • Dec 05, 2000


  • CD single
  • CD maxi
  • 7" single
  • 12" maxi


  • Reprise
  • Syco Music
  • GH Records
  • Spinnin' Deep


  • Erik Jacobsen
  • Per Magnusson; David Kreuger
  • Gemma Hayes


  • Country
  • Soft rock
  • rockabilly
  • folk rock


"Wicked Game" is a song by American rock musician Chris Isaak, released from his third studio album Heart Shaped World (1989). Despite being released as a single in 1989, it did not become a hit until it was later featured in the David Lynch film Wild at Heart (1990). Lee Chesnut, an Atlanta radio station music director who loved David Lynch films, began playing the song, and it quickly became a nationwide top-ten hit in January 1991, reaching number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it the first hit song of Isaak's career.
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