Chris Isaak on New Album: "We Did It Like the '50s, No Overdubbing, That's Cheating"
"When we recorded it, we did it like they did it in the '50s," Isaak recalls. "We cut it all at one time, everybody in the room, listening to each other. No overdubbing, because that's cheating. "Everybody got excited, and that made a big difference. I told the guys, 'This is the way it's going to be: If I'm singing good, you better be playing good, because if that's my best vocal take, guess which one we're gonna use?'"
Then again, Isaak needn't have worried. Over the course of 15 critically acclaimed albums, his smooth croon and unassuming attitude have positioned him halfway between Roy Orbison's brooding melancholia and Rick Nelson's squeaky-clean sincerity. Indeed, it's his everyman image that makes Isaak so accessible.
And along with his biggest hits ("Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing," "Wicked Game," "Somebody's Crying"), the man's cool good looks have also fostered a budding acting career, beginning with cameos in such films as Married to the Mob, Wild at Heart, The Silence of the Lambs, and A Dirty Shame before leading to the title role in his own Showtime sitcom and an interview show on the Biography Channel. While he hints that acting is still a possibility, Isaak insists that music is his main focus now.
"This album was the definition of a labor of love," he says. "When my manager asked how many songs we cut, I informed her we were up to 38! And she sighed and asked, 'Do you know how much it's going to cost to mix that many?'"
Chris Isaak. Friday, September 14. Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $39.50 to $69.50 plus fees via livenation.com. Call 305-673-7300 or visit fillmoremb.com.
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