Chris Isaak’s original song is very famous but perhaps you don’t know HIM and their famous Wicked Game cover rock. Let’s see how this romantic song was born and how HIM made it more rock.
Wicked Game by Chris Isaak
Chris Isaak is an American songwriter, originally from California. Her father is German and her mother is Italian. His genre is a mix of rock, folk and country. From 1985 to 2015 Isaak made 12 albums.
The success comes precisely with the song Wicked Game in 1989, included in his third album “Heart Shaped World”. The song also becomes the soundtrack for the film “Wild at Heart” by David Lynch.
The lyrics speaks of an obsessive and morbid love. Chris Isaak was inspired by an event that happened to him one evening. A girl called him on the phone and wanted to meet with him and have a fleeting relationship. He was attracted to that situation and that girl but at the same time he knew it was not a good thing.
The music video for the song is definitely hot, in black and white. The location is Hawaii, more precisely the Kamoamoa beach in the Volcanoes National Park. The dark color of the sand comes from the lava of the Kilauea volcano. Together with Isaak we see the beautiful Danish supermodel Helena Christensen. The director is the photographer Herb Ritts, who has also worked with other famous artists, such as Madonna, Bon Jovi, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Jennifer Lopez.
There is another video for this song, made for the VHS version of the film “Wild at Heart” and directed by David Lynch. Here we see scenes of Chris Isaak playing and images of the protagonists of the film Laura Dern (Lula) and Nicolas Cage (Sailor).
HIM and their famous Wicked Game cover rock
HIM is a gothic rock band from Helsinki (Filandia). The band was born in 1991 with the name of “His Infernal Majesty”, which then became H.I.M. They haven’t played together since 2017.
Their rock cover of Wicked Game is from 1996 and you can find it in the EP “666 Ways to Love: Prologue”, in the first album “Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666” and in the American and British versions of the second album “Razorblade Romance”.
You can listen to a remastered version on the compilation album “And Love Said No: The Greatest Hits 1997-2004”.
The video of the song shows HIM playing inside a gothic and winter setting, with snow, rain and wind.
There also appears a girl dressed as a black angel, with latex dress and wings, surrounded by other girls. The video seems to want to reproduce one of the main themes of HIM, namely the union between love and death.
There is also another video for this song, dating back to 1998, which you can find on YouTube as a “german version”. Among other things, this video is in the official channel of the band, unlike the previous one. I personally prefer the one made with the Gothic scenography and the black angel girl.
In this second video called “german version” the singer Ville Valo enters a night club, where he sees a completely naked dancer with exaggerated breast augmentation and untreated intimate bushes. For him things are not going well, his wallet disappears and he takes a punch in the face by the bouncer. This video is subject to age restrictions on YouTube, specifically for nude scenes.
On YouTube you will also find the very first version of 1996 contained in the EP “666 Ways to Love: Prologue”, where HIM seem to have come out of the 70s.