Chris Isaak “Baja Sessions”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#369 in the Series) is Chris Isaak, Baja Sessions

OK, let’s cut straight to the chase here. This album was never going to be a ground-breaking, innovative classic. It was never going to change the face of modern music and it was never going to be sitting atop any “Greatest Album Of The Decade” polls. Heck , it’s probably not even Isaak’s best album.

It was never about that.

What it IS about though, undoubtedly, is a whole lot of laid-back, easy-going summertime fun ! Pure and simple. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that now is there ?

Sometime in the early 90’s, Chris Isaak and his band found themselves down in Baja having a great time , the weather was lovely, and the informal strumming was magical. the seed of an idea was planted. Upon his return to San Francisco he set about recapturing some of that vibe and the result was a little peach of an album that fully conjures up the feel of long, lazy days with nothing on your mind, no worries !

Combining some of his own older songs, some new ones and some reinterpretations of classic tunes from yesteryear, Baja Sessions is quite lovely. It hardly ever gets up any energy whatsoever, it’s mellow and soporific. You can almost feel yourself relaxing, chilling out as you listen, don’t even try to fight it.

There’s not really much to say about individual songs, they all get very similar arrangements. It’s a summer suite that begs to be played from start to finish in one sitting. Or stick it on random play, doesn’t matter, it’s that kind of album. Sounds like one of those Unplugged albums, but recorded outside in the sun!

Hand on heart,within 30 seconds of my pressing the “play” button yesterday morning, my wife popped her head ’round the door and said “Oooh, doesn’t that just make you wish you were on holiday ?”

It certainly does!

— Stephen Dalrymple, Glasgow, Scotland

Track Listing

All tracks composed by Chris Isaak, except where indicated :

Side One

  1. “Pretty Girls Don’t Cry” – 3:09
  2. “Back on Your Side” – 3:03
  3. “Only the Lonely” (Roy Orbison, Joe Melson) – 2:53
  4. “South of the Border (Down Mexico Way)” (Jimmy Kennedy, Michael Carr) – 3:10
  5. “I Wonder” – 2:55
  6. “Wrong to Love You” – 3:55

Side Two

  1. “Waiting for My Lucky Day” – 2:38
  2. “Yellow Bird” (Norman Luboff, Alan Bergman) – 2:29
  3. “Two Hearts” – 3:19
  4. “Return to Me” (Carmen Lombardo, Danny DiMinno) – 2:17
  5. “Dancin'” – 3:57
  6. “Sweet Leilani” (Harry Owens) – 2:16
  7. “Think of Tomorrow” – 2:57


  • Chris Isaak – vocals, guitar
  • Hershel Yatovitz – guitar
  • Rowland Salley – bass, vocals
  • Kenney Dale Johnson – drums

Additional musicians

  • Frank Martin
  • Jimmy Pugh
  • Mark Needham
  • Joni Haastrap
  • Produced by Erik Jacobson
  • Engineered by Mark Needham


Posted by Stephen Dalrymple
I was so much older then , i'm younger than that now.........

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