Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...

updated 08/16/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/16/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

>Chris Isaak

A MEASURED PACE

THE TITLE OF CHRIS ISAAK'S NEW ALBUM comes from a typical Isaak song, a mournful reverie about lost love, but it could also be a description of the artist's daily routine when he's recording an album. He bikes from his San Francisco home to the studio, where he meets his producer, Erik Jacobsen. (Jacobsen, who masterminded hits for the Lovin' Spoonful and other '60s bands, came out of semiretirement to launch Isaak's career in the mid-'80s.) Isaak, 37, a never-married teetotaler who lives alone, may have trouble keeping this low-key lifestyle later this year, after his star turn in director Bernardo Bertolucci's Little Buddha. But for now, he's most interested in talking about making music with his producer of nine years.

"I've been told, 'You should meet other producers,' but I get the feeling they just want someone to make a hit in two weeks and then they'll head for a vacation in Bermuda," says Isaak. "I got a lot of advice along those lines just before 'Wicked Game' became a big hit. But I'd rather make a great-sounding record that isn't a hit right away."

Isaak is touring this summer as Tina Turner's opening act ("They call me for the tough jobs"), and his new stage outfits are the wildest yet (in the past, he has sported floral-pattern emsembles). "One suit is covered with hundreds of tiny mirrors, and it's as heavy as armor," Isaak says. "Another is made of a reflective material—it's like a great white light flashing. I like it when people say, I can't believe he wore that.' We're in show business. The whole idea is to sleep late and wear cool clothes."

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