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Posted: 2014 07-03


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HIM performing Wicked Game live at Metro Theatre in Sydney on 25 February 2014 exclusively on Moshcam.

Set List:
1. Buried Alive By Love -
2. Rip Out The Wings Of A Butterfly -
3. Right Here In My Arms -
4. The Kiss Of Dawn -
5. All Lips Go Blue -
6. Join Me In Death -
7. Your Sweet 666 -
8. Passion's Killing Floor -
9. It's All Tears -
10. Soul On Fire -
11. Wicked Game -
12. Tears On Tape -
13. Poison Girl -
14. For You -
15. The Funeral Of Hearts -
16. When Love And Death Embrace -


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Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Wicked Game on Wikipedia
"Wicked Game"
Wicked Games by Chris Isaak US commercial cassette.jpgU.S. commercial cassette single
Single by Chris Isaak
from the album Heart Shaped World
B-side"Wicked Game" (Instrumental)
Released8 November 1990
  • CD single
  • CD maxi
  • 7" single
  • 12" maxi
  • rock
  • bluegrass
Writer(s)Chris Isaak
Producer(s)Erik Jacobsen
Chris Isaak singles chronology

"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 1990, 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 his career.


  • 1 Composition
  • 2 Music videos
  • 3 In popular culture
  • 4 Track listings
  • 5 Charts and certifications
    • 5.1 Weekly charts
    • 5.2 Year-end charts
    • 5.3 Certifications
  • 6 HIM cover version
    • 6.1 Track listings
  • 7 Parra for Cuva cover version
    • 7.1 Track listing
    • 7.2 Charts
    • 7.3 Certifications
    • 7.4 Release history
  • 8 Version by Il Divo
  • 9 Cover version by Gemma Hayes
  • 10 Other versions
  • 11 Personnel
  • 12 References
  • 13 External links


The song is written in the mode of B Dorian[1] and it is a ballad about unrequited love,[2][3] performed in what AllMusic describes as a "brooding, sorrowfully conflicted" tone.[4]

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.[5] James Calvin Wilsey played the distinctive lead guitar solo on the song.

Music videos

There are two different music videos for this song. "Wicked Game," 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 shirtless 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. It was ranked #13 on VH1's 100 Greatest Videos, #4 on VH1's 50 Sexiest Video Moments, #73 on Rolling Stone magazine's The 100 Top Music Videos, and #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.[6]

In popular culture

  • The song was used in the 1989 film The Preppie Murder directed by John Herzfeld
  • The song was used as a theme for supercouple Jack and Jennifer in the soap opera Days of Our Lives.
  • The song was used in the Brett Ratner film, The Family Man, the Ridley Scott film, Matchstick Men, and the David Lynch film, Wild at Heart; each starring Nicolas Cage.
  • The song was used in two episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210 "One Man and a Baby" from Season 1 and "Wildfire" from Season 2. It was also used in its spin-off 90210 in the season 3 episode "How Much Is That Liam in the Window".
  • The song was used in two episodes of Friends Season 2; "The One with the Prom Video" (2x14) and "The One Where Ross and Rachel...You Know" (2x15).
  • In Flight of the Conchords, the character Dave states that "Women like three things: Men in Kilts, Southern Comfort and Chris Isaak's Wicked Game."
  • The song was used in The Mentalist in the season 4 finale, "The Crimson Hat".
  • The song was used in the 1991 episode of Top Gear where Jeremy Clarkson tested the W140 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
  • The song was used in the 1992 film Leaving Normal directed by Edward Zwick.
  • The song has been used in the soap operas The Young and the Restless, One Life to Live and General Hospital.
  • The song was used in the UK commercial advertising the Jaguar X-type in 2001.
  • The master recording song was featured in Konami's rebooted version of their singing video game called Karaoke Revolution.
  • The song was covered by South African singer Nicholis Louw in 2005.[7]
  • The song was covered by the band HIM In 1997 on their album Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666, and they subsequently released the video in 1998.
  • Singer Rebecca Ferguson covered it on the seventh season of The X Factor.
  • The song was covered by Pink on her 2013 tour, The Truth About Love Tour.
  • The song was covered by Phillip Phillips and is available on the deluxe edition of his debut album, The World from the Side of the Moon.
  • John Pritchard auditioned with the song on series 2 of The Voice UK in 2013, and turned his chair to become his coach.
  • The song was covered by Emika and is available on her second album, Dva. Emika's cover was used in the fifth episode of The Blacklist, "The Courier".
  • A cover of the song by Coves was also used in 2013 in the trailers for the BBC TV series The White Queen.
  • The song was used on episode 9 of series 3 of Top Gear at the beginning of the Chrysler Crossfire review.
  • The Australian band Karnivool incorporated a portion of Wicked Game into an in-concert performance of their own song, "Lifelike", during the period 2005-2006.[8]
  • The song was used in the 2014 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire starring Gillian Anderson, Ben Foster, and Vanessa Kirby.
  • Singer Taylor John Williams covered it on the seventh season of The Voice.
  • The song was frequently used as bumper music on Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell.
  • The song was featured in the TV series Moone Boy.
  • The song was used in the TV series Made in Chelsea.
  • The song was covered by Lykke Li at the David Lynch benefit concert in April 2015
  • The song was covered in 2013 by Parra for Cuva and retitled "Wicked Games", sung by vocalist Anna Naklab.[9]
  • In 2014, the Chilean band La Ley released a Spanish-language version of the song, titled "Sin Ti" (Without You).
  • This song was covered by Three Days Grace on the deluxe version of their One-X album.
  • In 2015, the song was covered by David Cook on his album Digital Vein.
  • James Vincent McMorrow's version appeared in the trailer for the sixth season of Game of Thrones.
  • The song was covered by Canadian rock band Bike Thiefs on May 11, 2016
  • In 2016 a cover of this song appeared in the episode "The Crown v Atwood" in the TV series Guilt.

HIM cover version

"Wicked Game"
Wicked Game.jpeg
Single by HIM
from the album Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666
ReleasedSeptember 28, 1998
FormatCD Single
Writer(s)Chris Isaak
HIM singles chronology

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 Lovesongs 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

German release
  1. "Wicked Game" – 3:54
  2. "For You" – 4:00
  3. "Our Diabolical 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

"Wicked Games"
Single by Parra for Cuva featuring Anna Naklab
Released14 October 2013
FormatCD single, Digital download
GenreFolktronica, deep house
LabelSpinnin' Deep
Writer(s)Chris Isaak
Parra for Cuva singles chronology

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. It was first released on Beatport worldwide as a digital download in August 2013, then a mainstream release as a digital download in France in October 2013 and in Germany on 14 February 2014. The song has charted in Australia, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Track listing

  1. "Wicked Games" (radio edit) – 3:15
  2. "Wicked Games" (original mix) – 5:58

Version by Il Divo

"Wicked Game (Melanconia)"
Il divo --- wicked game.jpg
Single by Il Divo
Released4 November 2011
GenreClassical crossover
LabelSyco Music
Writer(s)Chris Isaak
Producer(s)Per Magnusson; David Kreuger
Il Divo singles chronology

Il Divo bought the copyright, and covered the song gender classical crossover with its lyrical voices, playing the song in Spanish, included in his 2011 album Wicked Game.[40]

Cover version by Gemma Hayes

"Wicked Game"
Single by Gemma Hayes
ReleasedMarch 10, 2012
March 12, 2012
RecordedJanuary 2012
LabelGH Records
Writer(s)Chris Isaak
Producer(s)Gemma Hayes

Singer songwriter 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.[41]

On 1 March 2012, 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.

In March 2015, a video musical session was recorded playing this song at St. Patrick's Chapel - Irish Cultural Center, Paris.[42]

Chart position

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.[43] The track was released on iTunes on 12 March 2012.[44] The song performed well in the charts peaking at #5 in Canada, #4 in Ireland, #3 in France and #1 in Sweden.[45]

Other versions

  • In 2016 Latvian singer-songwriter Johnny Osma recorded an acoustic guitar cover version of this song and it was released as a single on iTunes.[46]
  • An electronic cover of this song was recorded by The X Factor finalist Daniel Evans on his YouTube channel in 2013. He used scenes from the Terrence Malick film The Tree of Life feat. Jessica Chastain to create a video for this piano based/electronic version. There is also a slightly darker, alternative version with just Evans featuring dark flashbacks of emotion. This was subsequently released as the title track for his album of the same name.
  • In 2012 Irish singer-songwriter Gemma Hayes[47] was asked to record the track for US Teen drama series Pretty Little Liars. In 2014, a vocal house remix of this, alongside Betoko, appeared on Anjunabeats Volume 11.
  • The German dance/techno-outfit Novaspace recorded a version of the song for their 2004 album Cubes.
  • Heather Nova included a cover on her 2005 album Redbird.
  • The gregorian chant -inspired music group Gregorian made a cover of the song for their album Masters of Chant Chapter III.
  • R.E.M. included a cover of the song on their 1995 Fan Club Christmas Single.
  • Corey Taylor of Stone Sour and Slipknot performed this song acoustic in Stone Sour's tours of 2006 and 2007. A live acoustic version of the song is on the special edition version of the Stone Sour album Come What(ever) May.
  • Three Days Grace performed this song acoustic on the band's tour in 2007, and this version is available for download on the iTunes version of their album, One-X.
  • Bossasonic made a cover of Wicked Game that was released in 2008.
  • Tangerine Dream, in their 2010 album Under Cover - Chapter One.
  • Jordan Winter covered this song for the promo for Emmerdale's Cain Dingle Judgment Day
  • Swedish pop singer Linda Pritchard released the song as a single in September/October 2011.
  • Swiss All-Female band Les Reines prochaines released a cover of the song on their album Le Coeur en Beurre-Doublegras under the name "Opfer dieses Liedes" (performed by Pipilotti Rist)
  • Giant Drag covered the song on the album Hearts and Unicorns in 2005 as a UK bonus track, later available in the March 2006 US release as well.
  • James Vincent McMorrow covered the song on the EP We Don't Eat, and was featured in the trailer for the sixth season of Game of Thrones.
  • In 2011, the song was covered by Il Divo with the title "Melanconia".
  • Widowspeak covered the song on their EP "Gun Shy" released in 2011.
  • Phillip Phillips released his rendition of the song on his 2012 album, The World from the Side of the Moon
  • Emika has included a version on her album, Dva.
  • A cover of the song is included on Milk Inc. 2013 album, Undercover.
  • London Grammar performed the song as an encore during their 2013 UK tour, as well as recording a live version for the BBC
  • In 2013 song was sung by Anton Belyaev in Russian version "The Voice"
  • In 2013, Spanish singer Patricia Tapia covered the song with her band, KHY.
  • Emilie Simon, who had previously sung "Blue Hotel" as a duet with Isaak on French TV show Taratata, released a cover of this song on her sixth studio album Mue in 2014.
  • HIM covered the song on the album Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666 released in 1997.
  • Chilean band La Ley released a cover (in Spanish) of this song as a single in 2014, with the title "Sin tí".
  • In 2015, the song was covered by St.Jon.[48]
  • Russian musician Alexander Korshunov recorded his version of the song in November 2016
  • The debut trailer for open world racing video game Forza Horizon 3 shown at E3 2016[49] featured a cover of the song performed by Ursine Vulpine featuring Annaca.[50]
  • The song was covered by husband and wife duo, actors Nathan West (who performs under the name East of Eli) and Chyler Leigh, who released the song, under the name "Westleigh", to their production studio, Modern Machine's Soundcloud.[51][52]
  • Irish musician Katie Kim recorded a version of the song in 2004.[53]
  • Australian musician Edward Guglielmino plays it as a cover at his live performances.
  • American Rock band Daughtry perform a sample during Long Way on Leave This Town Tour in 2009 and 2010.
  • Siobhan Magnus performed this song in the first round of the semi-finals on the ninth season of American Idol.
  • Rebecca Ferguson performed it on the fourth live show of The X Factor series seven.
  • Pink performed the song live during her 2013 tour
  • In August, 2013, Pledge Karma covered this song live on ABC Radio (Bangladesh).
  • American musician David Cook performed the song as part of his setlist during many of his 2013 and 2014 shows.
  • British band Wolf Alice performed a cover of the song at Glastonbury Festival 2014 and several other sets during their 2014 tour.
  • Croatian Nina Kraljić, season 1 winner of The Voice – Najljepši glas Hrvatske, performed this song on the competition's first live show, aired on 21 March 2015.
  • The video was parodied in the Bloodhound Gang video Screwing You on the Beach at Night.
  • Trentemøller did a dub remix of this song. It was never released but is available for download.
  • Girls Aloud recorded the track but is currently unreleased.
  • The song was used in a contemporary routine choreographed by Travis Wall on the tenth season of So You Think You Can Dance, with Amy Yakima.


  • Chris Isaak – vocals, acoustic guitar
  • James Calvin Wilsey – electric guitar
  • Rowland Salley – bass guitar, vocals
  • Kenney Dale Johnson – percussion


  1. ^ "'Wicked Game' sheet music". Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Kim, Jae-Ha (21 April 1991). "Chris Isaak finally wins success in wicked game". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Goldstein, Patrick (17 February 1991). "Isaak's 'Wicked Game' a Surprise Smash". L.A. Times. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Huey, Steve. "Wicked Game - Chris Isaak". allmusic. Rovi Corp. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "Classic Tracks: Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game"". 2002-05-01. Retrieved 2011-05-22. 
  6. ^ Claire PITTARD. "US Screencaps - Wicked Game". Retrieved 2011-05-22. 
  7. ^ "Covers by Nicholis Louw". WhoSampled. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
  8. ^ "Karnivool - Lifelike & Wicked Game [Live] (Good Quality) (Whole Song)". Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  9. ^ Wicked Game#Parra for Cuva cover version
  10. ^
  11. ^ " – Chris Isaak – Wicked Game". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  12. ^ " – Chris Isaak – Wicked Game" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  13. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
  14. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  15. ^ " – Chris Isaak – Wicked Game" (in French). Les classement single.
  16. ^ " – Chris Isaak Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  17. ^ Irish Single Chart Archived 2009-06-03 at WebCite (Retrieved February 23, 2008)
  18. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Chris Isaak search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  19. ^ " – Chris Isaak – Wicked Game". Top 40 Singles.
  20. ^ " – Chris Isaak – Wicked Game". Singles Top 100.
  21. ^ UK Singles Chart (Retrieved August 9, 2008)
  22. ^ a b c Billboard (Retrieved August 9, 2008)
  23. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 122. 
  24. ^ "Single top 100 over 1991" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 13 April 2010. 
  25. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1991". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  26. ^ U.S. certifications (Retrieved August 9, 2008)
  27. ^ UK certifications Archived 2013-07-21 at WebCite (Retrieved May 16, 2015)
  28. ^ " – Parra For Cuva feat. Anna Naklab – Wicked Games". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  29. ^ " – Parra For Cuva feat. Anna Naklab – Wicked Games" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  30. ^ " – Parra For Cuva feat. Anna Naklab – Wicked Games" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  31. ^ " – Parra For Cuva feat. Anna Naklab – Wicked Games" (in French). Les classement single.
  32. ^ " – Parra For Cuva feat. Anna Naklab Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  33. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  34. ^ "Chart Track: Week 47, 2014". Irish Singles Chart.
  35. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Parra For Cuva feat. Anna Naklab search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  36. ^ "Archive Chart: 2014-11-08". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  37. ^ "Archive Chart: 2014-11-08" UK Dance Chart.
  38. ^ "Archive Chart: 2014-11-08" UK Singles Chart.
  39. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2015 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  40. ^ "New Il Divo Album Announced!". 
  41. ^ "Gemma Hayes wicked game Galway". YouTube. 5 February 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  42. ^ Gemma Hayes - Wicked Game
  43. ^ "PLL Wicked Game - Gemma Hayes". YouTube. 
  44. ^ "iTunes - Music - Wicked Game - Single by Gemma Hayes". iTunes. 
  45. ^
  46. ^ "Wicked Game - Single by Johnny Osma on Apple Music". 
  47. ^ "iTunes - Music - Wicked Game - Single by Gemma Hayes". 2012-03-10. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
  48. ^ St.Jon (2015-11-04), WICKED GAME - ST.JON (Chris Isaak Cover), retrieved 2016-02-14 
  49. ^ "Forza Horizon 3 Official E3 Trailer". YouTube. Microsoft Studios. 13 June 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2016. 
  50. ^ Hryb, Larry (13 June 2016). "Playlist: Music Heard During The Xbox E3 2016 Briefing". Retrieved 15 June 2016. 
  51. ^ "WESTLEIGH Wicked Game by Modern Machine". Soundcloud. 
  52. ^ East of Eli  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  53. ^ "Wicked Game - Katie Kim by KATIE KIM on SoundCloud - Hear the world's sounds". Retrieved 2014-08-05. 

External links

  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics

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