Endless Loop: Wicked Game

chrisisaakHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak

Though it was always kind of lame, I have some pretty vivid memories of watching VH1 in the early 90’s, at night before my bedtime in junior high, a series of sexy and steamy pop videos on a program I can no longer remember the name of (Google searches have proved fruitless). This parade of PG skin consisted of soft lit videos by George Michael, or Janet Jackson, or Madonna, or Divinyls, or any other top 40 artist of the time, and provided plenty of adolescent fantasy to go along with the quaintly risqué images from schlock like Silk Stalkings or the edited B-movie trash screened on USA Up All Night. (That might have been the most 90’s sentence I’ve ever written.) Through it all, the sounds and images that left the most undeniable mark on me were the brooding crooning of Chris Isaak and the admittedly super hot video for his hit “Wicked Game.”

Originally appearing on the 1989 album Heart Shaped World, and then later used in David Lynch’s Wild at Heart, it took a couple of years before the song really took off and embedded itself within the cultural consciousness. A whole lot of that had to do with the song’s video, a black and white affair featuring a topless Helena Christensen and shirtless Isaak rolling around on the beach in Hawaii. Those images, topped with that indelible guitar line and Isaak’s croon pretty much cemented the song as part of the lexicon, a little piece of late 80’s/early 90’s pop nostalgia that has managed to weather the test of time, and come out of it all mostly unscathed and irony-free.

I can still dig on this song without a hint of embarrassment or snark, even considering its use on things like Friends, or Beverly Hills 90210, or Days of Our Lives, or any other old show we should probably just all forget about. It has staying power. That being said, I’m certainly not going to cue the track up for a date night because that would be just be cheesy…and probably a little awkward too.


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

One Response to Endless Loop: Wicked Game
  1. Shawn Reply

    A perfect song. Great write up too. You captured that late night tv teenage scavenging for borderline eroticism.

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