Angelo Badalamenti: Twin Peaks Soundtrack (1990)

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Those of you who have watched Twin Peaks know how integral the score is. The show itself is a surreal smorgasbord of dark satire and bizarre occurrences so composing the score must not have been an easy feat. This soundtrack is the quintessential combination of two of the greatest modern artists melding together to create something as powerful and as special as the first season of the show itself. The “first season” being the operative coupling of words here.

Contemptuous thoughts of the show aside, this album is a must-have for even the most fleeting fans of the series as the way it is displayed in this package is more of a testament to Badalamenti’s skills as a jazz composer than anything else. This is a collection of songs that can be listened to by anyone, not just fans of the television series. It plays out wonderfully on it’s own.

The few vocal tracks on here are performed by Julee Cruise, another frequent collaborator of Lynch and Badalamenti’s and her wispy, delicate voice compliments the music perfectly. Vinnie Bell and Eddie Dixon’s electric guitars hum along with an almost Spanish Rockabilly sound with an airy overdrive humbucker sound fitting for a ’50s rock album.

David Lynch’s work is guaranteed to have great music and the man usually behind the compositions is Badalamenti. From Blue Velvet down the Lost Highway to Mulholland Drive there isn’t a reason to skip any of this pairing’s material. Lynch writes and records quality music on his own so the fact that he relies so heavily on these other artists for his more memorable films should say it all.

This Twin Peaks soundtrack has been re-released in many different shapes and formats but I still find the audio fidelity and sequencing of this 1990 version to be the best. It is perfect for any season but definitely wears autumn the best. For those wanting a little taste, Into The Dark is a good place to start but listening to the entire work as a whole from start to finish is recommended. One minor complaint is the jarring way the tracks cut out. This is a stylized production choice across all of these soundtrack albums of Lynch’s featuring Badalamenti that some might have a tough time adjusting to. Nit-pics aside, there is no mystery that this album is a must-have.