With today (8 April) marking 30 years since Twin Peaks was first broadcast in the US, 909originals thought it only fitting to reappraise what we feel is one of the best soundtrack albums of all time… and certainly one of the most eccentric.
Music From Twin Peaks, featuring songs written and composed by Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch, is a 48-minute ethereal music odyssey, combining jazz and ambient soundscapes with the dream pop of Julee Cruise… particularly on The Nightingale, in all its haunting majesty.
It’s worth noting that according to Discogs, several editions of the album exist that feature a myriad of pops and crackles on the flip side, so I guess the old adage of ‘buyer beware’ rings true. Unless of course they were put there by Badalamenti and Lynch on purpose… 🙂
Anyway, back to the music. At the album’s opening, the manner in which the soaring Twin Peaks Theme segues into the brooding, yet optimistic Laura Palmer’s Theme is a juxtaposition worthy of any classical symphony.
Elsewhere, Lynch’s ability to surprise is evident on tracks such as Audrey’s Dance (“it’s so… dreamy”), which is permeated with alarming horn stabs, giving an otherworldly sense to an otherwise jazzy groove.
Ditto the orchestral crescendo in the middle of Into The Night (did we really hear that, or imagine it?) and the frantic drumming in the background of The Bookhouse Boys. Unsettling, yet masterful.
The highlight of the album’s B-side is undoubtedly Dance of The Dream Man, with its epic saxophone solo – if ever there was a track that made you want to learn how to speak backwards and shuffle around the room in a red suit, this is it.
Or, to put it more succinctly, “Where we’re from, the birds sing a pretty song… and there’s always music in the air.”
Discussing the composition of Laura Palmer’s Theme –now immortalised in Moby’s Go – to The Guardian a couple of years back, Badalamenti discussed how he managed (like few before or since) to get inside Lynch’s head and provide a suitable accompaniment.
“I could see David was so happy,” he explained. “He had his eyes closed. He was seeing pictures in his head. That music, Laura Palmer’s Theme, set the tone for everything that followed.
“The whole mood of the show is in there. I never changed a single note.”
Rolling Stone once described Music From Twin Peaks the “most influential soundtrack in TV history”. Thirty years on, I would argue that it’s perhaps even more important than that.