Wicked Game

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This article is about the song. For the Chris Isaak album, see Wicked Game (Chris Isaak album). For Il Divo album, see Wicked Game (Il Divo album). For Gemma Hayes single, see Wicked Game (Gemma Hayes song).
"Wicked Game"
Single by Chris Isaak
from the album Heart Shaped World
B-side "Wicked Game" (Instrumental)
Released November 8, 1990
Format CD single, CD maxi, 7" single,
12" maxi
Genre Rockabilly, soft rock
Length 4:46 (album version)
4:06 (edit)
Label Warner Brothers
Writer(s) Chris Isaak
Producer(s) Erik Jacobsen
Chris Isaak singles chronology
"Don't Make Me Dream About You"
(1989)
"Wicked Game"
(1990)
"Blue Hotel" (re-release)
(1991)

"Wicked Game" is a 1990 song by Chris Isaak from his third studio album Heart Shaped World. 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 #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it the first hit song of his career.

Composition[edit]

The song is written in the mode of B Dorian and it is a ballad about unrequited love,[1][2] performed in what Allmusic describes as a "brooding, sorrowfully conflicted" tone.[3]

Through several years, many different versions and arrangements of the song were made before the final version was released. Both the bassline and drums (except the cymbals) were sampled from previous recordings of the song and then looped.[4] James Calvin Wilsey played the distinctive lead guitar solo on the song.

Music videos[edit]

There are two different music videos for this song. The most well-known music video of the song was directed by Herb Ritts, shot in Hawaii and featured top model Helena Christensen rolling and frolicking on the beach with Isaak. It was filmed in black and white. Christensen and Isaak were both topless through most of the video, although Christensen's nudity was concealed by clever camera angles. The video won the MTV Video Music Awards for Best Male Video, Best Cinematography and Best Video from a Film. The video was ranked #13 on VH1's 100 Greatest Videos and was also ranked #4 on VH1's 50 Sexiest Video Moments. The video was ranked #73 on Rolling Stone magazine's "The 100 Top Music Videos". The video ranked #1 on Fuse's "40 Sexiest Videos" in 2010.

A previous version of the video was commissioned for the Wild at Heart soundtrack, and was directed by David Lynch.[5]

Use in popular culture[edit]

Track listings[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

Cover by HIM[edit]

"Wicked Game"
Single by HIM
from the album Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666
Released September 28, 1998
Format CD Single
Genre Rock
Length 3:54
HIM singles chronology
"Your Sweet Six Six Six"
(1998)
"Wicked Game"
(1998)
"It's All Tears (Drown in This Love)"
(1999)

The Finnish band HIM remade this song, first using it in their demo This Is Only the Beginning, then on their EP 666 Ways To Love: Prologue, followed by another recording of it on their first album Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666, and lastly on the British and American versions of their second album Razorblade Romance. The last recording they made of it then reappeared on their compilation album And Love Said No: The Greatest Hits 1997–2004. With "Wicked Game" on their EP and first album, HIM gained fame in their native Finland.[citation needed] HIM frontman Ville Valo had this to say about "Wicked Game": "I went to Pasila's library and borrowed the soundtrack-vinyl of Wild At Heart and recorded it on tape. So with Linde we tried to 'learn' the song from the tape. It was kind of funny, that we learnt the song a bit wrong. We did not hear the guitar parts well enough from that 'bad quality' tape. We also heard the lyrics wrong, and when the song was later recorded to our first EP, there were a few funny mistakes in the lyrics."[citation needed]

Track listings[edit]

German release
  1. "Wicked Game" – 3:54
  2. "For You" – 4:00
  3. "Our Diabolikal Rapture" – 5:20
  4. "Wicked Game" (666 Remix) – 3:58
Finnish release
  1. "Wicked Game"
  2. "For You"
2000 UK release
  1. "Wicked Game" – 3:36
  2. "When Love and Death Embrace" (Amnt mix) – 3:34
  3. "The Heartless" (Serdlidlim Mix) – 3:11
2000 Swedish release
  1. "Wicked Game" 2000
  2. "When Love and Death Embrace" (Amnt mix) – 3:34

Parra for Cuva cover version[edit]

"Wicked Games"
Single by Parra for Cuva featuring Anna Naklab
Released 14 October 2013
Format CD single
Genre Folktronica, deep house
Length 3:15
Label Spinnin' Records
Parra for Cuva featuring Anna Naklab singles chronology
/ "Wicked Games"
(2013)
Music video
"Wicked Games" on YouTube

In 2013, German house producer Parra for Cuva released a cover version that featured Anna Naklab. The single was retitled as "Wicked Games" in plural. This version has charted in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Tracklist
  1. "Wicked Games" (Radio Edit) (3:15)
  2. "Wicked Games" (Original Mix) (5:58)
Charts
Chart (2013) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[23] 15
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[24] 23
France (SNEP)[25] 127
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[26] 6


Cover Version by Gemma Hayes[edit]

"Wicked Game"
Single by Gemma Hayes
Released March 10, 2012 Ireland
March 12, 2012 International
Recorded January 2012
Genre Alternative
Length 4:05
Label GH Records
Producer(s) Gemma Hayes

Singer song-writer Gemma Hayes recorded a version of the song.

On February 16, 2012 Hayes revealed in an interview with Evening Echo's 'Downtown', she recorded a cover version of Wicked Game" for US Teen drama Pretty Little Liars, the song featured throughout her 2012 tour playlist.[27]

On 1 March 2012, gemmahayes.com confirmed her cover of "Wicked Game" would appear on Pretty Little Liars on 12 March and will be available to download as a single.

The track was released after her fourth studio album Let It Break and before her fifth studio album release Bones+Longing.

Cover by Marié Digby[edit]

On January 23rd, 2014 former Hollywood Records and current indie artist Marié Digby published her cover version of "Wicked Game" on her popular YouTube channel. Marié Digby gained acclaim from her work as a cover artist in 2007 and her version of Chris Isaak's song is earning rave reviews from fans enjoying the video. Marié noted on her YouTube page "This music video from the 90's is so iconic.....So I decided to do a simple one-take style piano cover"

Chart position[edit]

In January 2012, Hayes was asked to record a cover version of Chris Isaak' 'Wicked Game' for US Teen drama 'Pretty Little Liars'. The track appeared on US TV in March 2012.[28] The track was released on iTunes on 12 March 2012.[29] The song performed well in the charts peaking at #5 in Canada, #4 in Ireland, #3 in France and #1 in Sweden.[30]

Other versions[edit]

Performances
Various

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kim, Jae-Ha (21 April 1991). "Chris Isaak finally wins success in wicked game". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Goldstein, Patrick (17 February 1991). "Isaak's 'Wicked Game' a Surprise Smash". L.A. Times. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Huey, Steve. "Wicked Game - Chris Isaak". allmusic. Rovi Corp. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Classic Tracks: Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game"". Mixonline.com. 2002-05-01. Retrieved 2011-05-22. 
  5. ^ Claire PITTARD. "US Screencaps - Wicked Game". Chrisisaak.online.fr. Retrieved 2011-05-22. 
  6. ^ "Covers by Nicholis Louw". WhoSampled. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
  7. ^ "Karnivool - Lifelike & Wicked Game [Live] (Good Quality) (Whole Song)". Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Chris Isaak – Wicked Game". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – Chris Isaak – Wicked Game" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
  11. ^ "Lescharts.com – Chris Isaak – Wicked Game" (in French). Les classement single.
  12. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  13. ^ Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved February 23, 2008)
  14. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Chris Isaak search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  15. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Chris Isaak – Wicked Game". Top 40 Singles.
  16. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Chris Isaak – Wicked Game". Singles Top 60.
  17. ^ UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com (Retrieved August 9, 2008)
  18. ^ a b c Billboard Allmusic.com (Retrieved August 9, 2008)
  19. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 122. 
  20. ^ "Single top 100 over 1991" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 13 April 2010. 
  21. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1991". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  22. ^ U.S. certifications riaa.com (Retrieved August 9, 2008)
  23. ^ "Ultratop.be – Parra For Cuva feat. Anna Naklab – Wicked Games" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  24. ^ "Ultratop.be – Parra For Cuva feat. Anna Naklab – Wicked Games" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  25. ^ "Lescharts.com – Parra For Cuva feat. Anna Naklab – Wicked Games" (in French). Les classement single.
  26. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Parra For Cuva feat. Anna Naklab search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  27. ^ "Gemma Hayes wicked game Galway". YouTube. 5 February 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  28. ^ "PLL Wicked Game - Gemma Hayes". YouTube. 
  29. ^ "iTunes - Music - Wicked Game - Single by Gemma Hayes". iTunes. 
  30. ^ http://www.music-chart.info/song/914027/Wicked-Game
  31. ^ "iTunes - Music - Wicked Game - Single by Gemma Hayes". Itunes.apple.com. 2012-03-10. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
  32. ^ "Wicked Game - Katie Kim by KATIE KIM on SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 

External links[edit]