Chris Isaak’s Silvertone celebrates 30th anniversary

Chris Isaak’s Silvertone celebrates 30th anniversary

isaakBorn in the midland farmlands of Stockton, California, Chris Isaak, the son of two working class parents, was student body president in high school and holds a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of the Pacific. He quickly became an American icon with his smooth, deep vocals and melodic song pieces, all the while romancing woman around the world. He has appeared in nine full length movies such as Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992), Married To the Mob (1988), and That Thing You Do (1996), along with twenty-two television shows, including his own series, The Chris Isaak Show, that aired on Showtime from 2001-2004.

Signing to Warner Bros. Records in 1984, Isaak released his debut album, Silvertone,on January 10, 1985. Poduced by Erik Jacobsen ( The Lovin’ Spoonful, The Charlatans), backing him on the album was James Calvin Wilsey on guitar/lap steel guitar, Prairie Prince on drums, Chris Solberg on bass, Pee Wee Ellis on the sax, Pat Craig on the organ, and Jim Keltner on drums for “Livin’ For Your Lover.” Although the track “Gone Ridin'” was featured on the soundtrack for the 1985 film American Flyers, it was not until David Lynch used the song and “Livin’ For Your Lover” in his neo-noir hit Blue Velvet in 1986 that the album became a success and the first of many Isaak/Lynch collaborations. The following year, the song was used in the Jon Cryer 1987 comedy Morgan Stewart’s Coming Home and in the teen drama Beverly Hills 90210 for the season two episode “Pass, Not Pass,” along with the track “Dancin'” that appeared in the season three episode “Castles In the Sand.” “Dancin'” was also used in the 1986 film Modern Girls, although it did not end up on the soundtrack. Named after his three piece band at the time, Silvertone set the bar for what would be thirty years of unforgettable music. Fan favorites include “Voodoo,” “Livin’ For Your Lover,” “Dancin’,” and “Funeral In the Rain,” all of which can still be heard on Classic Rock stations today. Like any debut album for an artist, Silvertone laid the ground work for Isaak’s music career. Interestingly he revisited a few of the album tracks over a decade later for his beach atmosphere acoustic release Baja Sessions in 1996, giving a new twist on the aforementioned “Dancin,” “Back On Your Side,” as well as an unforgettable version of “Pretty Girls Don’t Cry.” Silvertone also predates Isaak’s collaboration with long-time bandmates Kenney Dale Johnson (drums) and Rowland Salley (bass), who would become fixtures for years following Isaak’s 1986 self-titled sophomore follow-up.

Going on to make thirteen albums with his band, including Live In Australia (2008) and Live At The Fillmore (2010), and selling out shows around the world, Isaak has been a fan favorite since Silvertone and a big influence on other musicians in the industry. In fact, in 1989 he released the iconic Heart Shaped World album with the now famous and most played song in the United States, “Wicked Game.” It has also become an often played cover song, helping some bands launch their careers. In 2012, Ville Valo from the Finnish Rock band HIM was quoted in an interview, saying, “’Wicked Game’ is one of the best love songs ever written, so I’m happy and blessed to be able to sing that one. And hopefully I’ll get the opportunity of meeting Chris Isaak one day and tell him, ‘Hey, you made us’.”

It has been almost five years since Isaak has released a new album, although he does continue to tour, playing his beloved classics to fans, including tunes off Silvertone. Being the thirtieth anniversary of Silvertone in 2015, the nostalgia value alone on this album makes one want to pop in their cassette tapes or well worn CDs, sit back and enjoy the sweet tunes that flow from the speakers. Isaak takes the listener back to a softer time of romance with his beautiful baritone voice. Silvertone, along with his many other album, will never grow tired of being heard.

silverstone cover
Warner Bros. Records


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Dawn Marie
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Managing a family and love for music Dawn Marie has been actively working amongst bands for sometime. As a manger of up and coming rock bands she holds a Degree in writing and music while working as a freelance writer.

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