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SoundTRAX: "Wild at Heart"

The "Wild at Heart" soundtrack cover has the title and a photo of Laura Dern and Nicolas Cage in character.
Propaganda Films

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10.

33 years ago this month, David Lynch released his, well, very Lynch-ian film, Wild at Heart, starring Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern as a young couple on the run from Dern's mother (played by her real-life mom, Diane Ladd) and the hitmen she hired to kill Cage.

Sounds almost pedestrian, doesn't it? Well, maybe in the hands of any other director. But for better or worse, this is David Lynch, so you know it's gonna be super-weird or super-violent. Or in this case, both.

Lynch is an acquired taste for sure, but you can't say he's boring.

And the man can build a good cast, with a villain played by The Villain's Villain, Willem Dafoe, Kentucky's favorite character actor, Harry Dean Stanton, and Isabella Rossellini. Extra points for hiring "The Queen of the Blues," Koko Taylor, as a nightclub singer.

Which brings me to the soundtrack.

In addition to David Lynch's frequent collaborator, composer Angelo Badalamenti, the music also veers in the direction of thrash metal courtesy of the band Powermad, rockabilly from Gene Vincent, blues-rock from Van Morrison and Them, and... Nicolas Cage.

Okay, you can skip his two Elvis Presley covers.

But today's SoundTRAX selection is from a California crooner who scored two tunes on the compilation, the most notable of which was first released in 1989 with zero results. But once it was featured in the film— and later immortalized in a video with a scantily-clad supermodel— it became a sultry classic.

From Wild at Heart, it's Chris Isaak with "Wicked Game."

Oh, alright, here's the version you'd rather watch...

Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.

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