May 1, 1995 in Features

Hit Single Might Carry Chris Isaak’s ‘Forever Blue’ Album

Craig Rosen Billboard

“Chris Isaak is the best salesman of Chris Isaak,” says Reprise Records president Howie Klein. “If Chris paid a visit to every home in America, he would be the biggest star in America.”

Unfortunately for Reprise and those who haven’t discovered Isaak’s retro-rockabilly and Orbison-esque balladry, such a marketing plan isn’t feasible. So the label will attempt to spread the word about Isaak’s “Forever Blue,” due May 23, the usual way.

The album’s first single, the jangly, winsome “Somebody’s Cryin’,” will go to album alternative, modern rock and adult contemporary radio on Tuesday. A week later, it will be delivered to album rock and top 40.

Klein is confident that the track can become a hit at top 40. “Top 40 caters to young women,” says Klein. “And what young woman would not like a song like ‘Somebody’s Cryin’?”

A videoclip for “Somebody’s Cryin’ ” is in the works, and plans are for Isaak to hit the road and play “loads and loads of shows,” Klein says.

For Isaak, it’s business as usual. In 1990, Isaak’s “Wicked Game” became a belated top 10 hit following its inclusion in the David Lynch movie “Wild At Heart.” As a result, Isaak’s 1989 album, “Heart Shaped World,” ultimately was certified platinum for sales of more than 1 million units.

Although Isaak’s gold-certified “San Francisco Days” failed to match the sales of “Heart Shaped World,” Isaak says he’s still happy about the “Wicked Game” experience.

“Success is always good,” Isaak says. “I didn’t have any kind of down side. I didn’t go through some kind of rehab. I don’t think I went off the deep end. We kind of did the same thing we’ve always been doing. We just kept playing. Maybe there were bigger halls and some more TV shows, but it was basically the same thing. And when we got done, we came back to the same houses.”

Isaak calls “Forever Blue” more focused than his previous efforts. “It’s not necessarily a better thing, but it’s a different thing. The other albums have been a series of shots of different things. This album is a series of shots about one thing,” he says. “It’s all about one relationship.”

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