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San Francisco Days

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Audio CD, April 13, 1993
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Vinyl, Import, 1993
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Chris Isaak’s longstanding desire to musically salute his inspirations was fast-tracked when he read a 2000 interview with the great Sun Records producer Sam Phillips that appeared in the Oxford American. Near the end of the Q&A, Phillips was asked if any contemporary recording artists grabbed his attention. His response blew Chris away. “I don't keep up with the business ... Read more in Amazon's Chris Isaak Store

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San Francisco Days + Forever Blue + Heart Shaped World
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 13, 1993)
  • Original Release Date: April 13, 1993
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002MH7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,016 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. San Francisco Days
2. Beautiful Homes
3. Round 'N' Round
4. Two Hearts
5. Can't Do A Thing (To Stop Me)
6. Except The New Girl
7. Waiting
8. Move Along
9. I Want Your Love
10. 5:15
11. Lonely With A Broken Heart
12. Solitary Man

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Chris Isaak's first album in four years, "San Francisco Days," marks no great departures from his previous three. Recorded once again with his same Silvertone band and producer Erik Jacobsen, this is another Isaak collection of brooding songs about unslaked lust and half-completed break-ups; his restrained but lush voice is still out in front of the heavily echoed popabilly guitars. Nonetheless there are subtle differences in this project that make it more varied, more open, more aggressive and better overall than its predecessors. For example, "Lonely with a Broken Heart" sounds like the ultimate Isaak title, but the song is delivered at a brisk swing tempo, pushed by the soulful B-3 organ of the Robert Cray Band's Jimmy Pugh, and Isaak's carefree vocal makes it clear that the song is meant as a sarcastic taunt to a lover who expects him to come crawling back. A similar twist informs "Except the New Girl," which is lit up by lovely steel guitar lines from Tom Brumley (ex-Buck Owens); Isaak confesses to a woman that "there's never been anyone else...," but then adds the kicker, "except the new girl." "Round & Round" features some dirty guitar and a chugging beat, while the album closes with the best song Neil Diamond ever wrote, "Solitary Man," which sounds more lonely and desperate in this minimalist arrangement than it ever did before. Isaak's trump card, as always, is his singing. Like his heroes Roy Orbison and Don Everly, Isaak sings as if it were always 3 a.m., when every other gambit has failed and there are no options left but complete honesty. He pulls so tightly on the reins to his voice that he usually sings in a husky whisper, which is no less lush for being held back. And when he loosens the reins and allows his handsome tenor to rise in power, as it does on the incandescent falsetto chorus to the first single, "Can't Do a Thing (To Stop Me)," the effect is thrilling. --Jeffrey Himes

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 39 customer reviews
I have listened to it nearly every day since I bought it.
"Can't Do a Thing (to Stop Me)" is a dreamy tale of romantic obsession, while "Solitary Man" is a great interpretation of the Neil Diamond original.
The Groove
Wonderful choice of tunes...Isaak has crafted such a unique sound.
J. McAndrew

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 18, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Four years after "Heart Shaped World", Chris Isaak returns with a brilliant collection of songs that overall has a more "upbeat" mood than his previous records.
From rousing rockers to heartfelt ballads and even a couple of jazz-flavoured tracks, this is easily Mr. Isaak's best album. His natural sense for melody is even more evident on this record than the previous ones. Among the best cuts are "Can't Do A Thing (To Stop Me)" and "Two Hearts", which has an irresistibly catchy melody, and a vocal delivery that pays tribute to Roy Orbison, complete with flawless high notes. The jazzy "5:15" has a great smoky vocal and bass line. "Lonely With A Broken Heart " sounds uncannily like Elvis Presley, and "Solitary Man", the only cover song on the album, sounds better than the Neil Diamond version.This is one of those albums where every song is nothing short of excellent.
"San Fransico Days" is a brilliant album and a as much a classic as "Rumours" or "Band On The Run".
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tim Brough TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 7, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Chris Isaak took a four year workup between his breakthrough "Heart Shaped World" and "San Francisco Days," and used that time to hone a very cool collection of songs. He also allows a few new elements to seep into the songs. A strong example is the rhythm machine that accents the rock-a-billy guitars of "Round And Round." He also gained new confidence as a singer, pouring even stronger vocals than before into songs like "Two Hearts," which evoked Roy Orbison as flawlessly as ever. "San Francisco Days" also finds Isaak in a more flirtatous mode. Instead of all the angst and heartbreak, there is some playful teasing in "Except The New Girl" and "Lonely With A Broken Heart."

For those that got hooked on Isaak via the success of "Wicked Game," there is "Can't Do A Thing To Stop Me." While certainly not as dark as "Wicked Game," Isaak still sends his shimmering falsetto heartbreakingly over a hypnotic mid-tempo melody and a mysterious sounding organ base. Just as effective in the high lonesome mode is, oddly enough, the CD's lone cover. Isaak outdoes Neil Diamond on "Solitary Man," completely understanding the song's unhappy retreat into reclusion.

"San Francisco Days" was a slight step back from the intensity of "Heart Shaped World," but follows Isaak's musical game plan pretty effectively. It's Isaak's most "California" sounding disc (followed closely by "Baja Sessions"), and a unique disc from a unique artist.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Frank Garon on June 21, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I bought all of his Cds in one fell swoop last year. Listened to most of them once and got so hooked on Baja Sessions that I didn't spend much time on any of the others.

Well, I went back and relistened to the rest and am very glad I did.

This album rocks, and it's definetly one of my favorites.

San Franciso Days, Beautiful Homes, Two Hearts,

Except The New Girl, Waiting, and I Want Your Love are all classics.

This one is in heavy rotation here in my home office, and it truly does get better with each listen. Kudos to the musicians that back Chris up - I'm getting closer and closer to taking up guitar thanks to wanting to play along while I listen!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By P Magnum HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD
After the belated surprise success of Heart Shaped World, Chris Isaak let four years go by before following that album up. The wait was worth it as San Francisco Days is a magnificent collection of retro-rockers from the king of brood. The title track opens the album with a country flavor, while "Beautiful Homes" explores envy and heartache. "Two Hearts" is a pretty little number and "Can't Do A Thing (To Stop Me)" has a languid, dreamy sound with Mr. Isaak finding the higher end of the vocal scale. "Except The New Girl" has a nice steel guitar passage and "Waiting" is a mournful moaner. "5:15" chugs along with a pulsating guitar and Neil Diamond didn't write "Solitary Man" for Mr. Isaak, but no one has covered a song that was more appropriate for them than this. "Solitary Man" is classic Isaak and he sings it with the verve and it closes this great album on a perfect note.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Olav Helle on August 24, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Chris Isaak. This CD moves you With a big moooooove. So groovy that it hurts your`e soul. The opening track San Francisco Days, it`s an uptempo smooth soul rocker, with plenty of passion. The voice of Chris Isaak is like a "cool off" when you feel too much chills and trills in your body. Just pure magic. Track 2 Beautiful Homes, is also an uptempo rock and roller. This is more ordinary in the musical departement, but his voice brings the power to the whole adventure. Track 3 Round "N" Round

has a touch of "woodoo hoodoo" feel over it`s, but it` spinns into not too clever directions as a whole,but certainly moody enough. Track 4 Two hearts is a heartful song With enough passion to bring you down,down on youre knee begging for more. The etnic latino touch helps a lot. Track 5 Can`t do a thing( To stop me) is more average at Isaak standard, but the feel, the grove, oh yees. Everything is solid craftmanship. Track 6 Except The new girl is more like an uptempo "country rocker" that shines

on every "blue note". Track 7 Waiting is a minor let down. More slow and sometimes gives you a more insignificant feel over the whole musical experience. Track 8 Move along brings you deep,deep down, and yeees you can feeel it. Eargaasm !. Track 9 I wan`t your love is an uptempo rock&roller that knows it roots,. It has the right touch of "rockabilly feel" and greatness certainly shines on this one. Track 105:15 is way deep down with a "blue Cold "atmosphere sparkles all over. Track 11 Lonley with a broken heart, is a rock and roller with the right creative touches on the right places. Track 11 Solitary man is a simple and ok song,. Quite god. Anyway Chris Isaak is the Candyking for earsmoothies so full of passion, so full of soul.
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