Friday, August 30, 2013

Cool cover song of the week...

Chris Isaak has one of the most distinctive voices around. His lower register is so rich and his higher register is so lush, and honestly, I don't understand why he's not a bigger star than he is. (Of course, he's done things his own way instead of pursuing more commercially viable options, so I'd imagine that's part of the issue.)

Arguably Isaak's best known song is Wicked Game, which was released as a single in 1989, but it didn't gain traction until it was featured in David Lynch's 1990 movie Wild At Heart. The song's exposure in the film led to its reaching #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in January 1991.

While Isaak's version, in my opinion, is the best, I think Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow's version comes the closest to Isaak's. I know some of McMorrow's music, but didn't hear his version of Wicked Game until it was used to accompany a dance on a recent episode of So You Think You Can Dance. Once again, the mood of this song was perfectly evocative, and McMorrow does a good job with the vocal range of the song.

So here's a live performance of McMorrow's version, recorded in 2011 at the Kilkenny Arts Festival in Ireland.

P!nk has also been performing a rendition of the song on her latest tour. Here's a performance from San Jose earlier this year:

And here's Isaak's version. (It's a pretty hot video, too.)

Check out my previous Cool Cover Songs of the Week:

Borderline by The Counting Crows

How Deep Is Your Love by The Bird and The Bee

Life in a Northern Town by Sugarland, Little Big Town, and Jake Owen

I Don't Want to Talk About It by The Indigo Girls

Only You by Joshua Radin

Pure Imagination by Maroon 5

I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by Blake Stratton

What a Fool Believes by Neri Per Caso

Poker Face by Daughtry

Back to Black by Ronnie Spector

I Will Survive by Cake

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by The Stereophonics

Rolling in the Deep by John Legend

Go Your Own Way by Lissie

Winner Takes it All by McFly

What a Wonderful World by Joey Ramone

Careless Whisper by Seether

I Walk the Line by Live

Dear Prudence by Siouxsie and The Banshees

Smooth Criminal by Alien Ant Farm

Who Wants to Live Forever by Breaking Benjamin

Redemption Song by Chris Cornell and Audioslave

Love Me Tender by Chris Isaak and Brandi Carlile

All You Need is Love by The Flaming Lips

Lovesong by Adele

I Love It by Robin Thicke

Billie Jean by The Civil Wars

Across the Universe by The Scorpions

Can't Hold Us by Pentatonix

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