October 04, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT

With lovesick laments like ”Wicked Game” and ”Somebody’s Crying,” Chris Isaak, 40, has cornered the market on the heartbroken ballad. It’s no wonder that the stylish rocker — whose new album, The Baja Sessions, is due in stores next week — finds Elvis Presley’s 1955 ode to lost love, ”I Forgot to Remember to Forget,” so unforgettable.

”I was 20 and didn’t know what I was going to do with myself. I was doing anything to keep from working. I went to a junk store and bought an old Elvis 45, which you never see — people don’t throw out their old Elvis records. It was the first time I heard something and went, ‘Wow. I want to do this as a job. I want to play music all the time.’ I loved the words — about somebody who’s lost somebody but can’t forget them. It had this great Scotty Moore guitar solo; it was electric and biting. And it had pretty sentiment and pretty singing. It was everything I wanted. I picked up an acoustic guitar and I could kind of sing it and it sounded like the record. And I went, ‘All right. I surrender. Where do I go to surrender?”’

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