Released in 1989, Heart Shaped World initially sold more than Chris Isaak, yet it didn't manage to break big until late 1990, when the single "Wicked Game" was featured in David Lynch
's Wild at Heart. Soon, the single became a Top Ten hit; the album also made it into the Top Ten and sold over a million copies. Both 1993's San Francisco Days and 1995's Forever Blue mined essentially the same vein as Heart Shaped World, yet both went gold and spawned a handful of hits. In 1996, Isaak released The Baja Sessions; Speak of the Devil followed two years later.
Isaak's busy touring schedule and growing visibility as an actor kept him out of the recording studio until 2002, when he released Always Got Tonight, though in 2004 he did find time to cut his first seasonal album, Chris Isaak Christmas, which featured five new Yuletide tunes along with a batch of holiday favorites.
The musician once again flexed his TV muscles in 2009 with The Chris Isaak Hour, whose debut on the Biography Channel was promoted in part by Mr. Lucky, his first album of original material in seven years. A year later he released the concert album Live at the Fillmore. In 2011, Isaak paid tribute to the classic '50s rockabilly and country music produced by the legendary Sam Phillips at Memphis' Sun Records
with his album Beyond the Sun. Recorded at Sun Studios, Isaak delivered cuts originally recorded by such artists as Elvis Presley
, Johnny Cash
, Jerry Lee Lewis
, Carl Perkins
, and others.
In 2015, Isaak signed on as a judge on the seventh season of The X Factor Australia. Also that year, he returned with his 13th full-length album, First Comes the Night. Recorded in Nashville with longtime producer Mark Needham, the album also included production from Paul Worley (Dixie Chicks
, Lady Antebellum
) and Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell
). ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi