Why I love the Twin Peaks soundtrack so much
Rob da Bank thinks the Twin Peaks soundtrack is one of the best ever written…do you agree?
I am on a jam-packed commuter train sitting between sweaty suited businessmen who are swigging warm lager and shouting into mobile phones. I close my eyes as Julee Cruise sings Into The Night into my ears, and it’s such a relief to float away again.
25 years ago, at the tender age of 17, I was sitting on a stripy Habitat sofa between my parents (who barely let me watch TV). There we all were, witnessing this new programme everyone was talking about. I was crimson faced, desperately trying to take my eyes off Sherilyn Fenn’s cleavage and awesome face and failing miserably. More importantly, I was hearing the ethereal timeless beauty and despair of Angelo Badalamenti’s (and David Lynch’s) score for the first time.
Go and listen to Into The Night now if you can. Bathe in the perfectly pitched melodies and Cruise’s dubbed out chanting - until suddenly at 3.26 seconds here comes an insane panicking crescendo that nearly stops your heart with its stabbing urgency. I’m not sure why they did that - but wow, it works.
Now skip to the Grammy award winning Falling, an adaptation of Badalamenti’s Twin Peaks Theme with lyrics written by Lynch himself and sung again by Cruise. Falling is probably the best-known track from the TV series and one of my favourite pieces of music ever written. It sold over 500,000 copies Stateside - that is an insane amount for a TV soundtrack.
Surely there can’t be three perfect themes on here, but hold on, what’s this? The simple but ghostly chords of Laura Palmers Theme casts its icy chill over you before suddenly flowers seem to melt through the snow as the piano line comes in and something so nostalgic grabs you by the heart and it’s such a relief before it then goes all minor and moody again and a deathly sorrow fills your ears again.
Hearing Angelo Badalamenti talk about how he created that piece with Lynch sat on the piano stool next to him directing him on his Fender Rhodes as he evoked the images in his head is televisual genius. And when Moby sampled the first four notes of it on his techno anthem Go, it was a great excuse to play Twin Peaks in a nightclub too…at ear splitting volume.
The kitsch hip-swinging lounge retro of Audrey’s Dance is better than any Mad Men soundtrack and... well, I could go on, but it’s all just soundtrack perfection. So many musicians spend their whole recording careers trying to make such a perfect set of melodies and themes that Badalamenti and his piano sharing chum David Lynch seem to have knocked out in a few days.
Since I got asked to contribute to this programme about Twin Peaks I've spoken to many DJs and musicians who confess to being lifelong fans of the soundtrack. DJ Yoda’s thoughts sum it up perfectly:
"Although it might not seem the most obvious influence for a Hip-Hop DJ, I'm inspired by the things that moved me as a 14-year-old boy, and nothing meant more to me than Twin Peaks. I'm obsessed by the music from the show, to the point where I have every available version of every track - I listen to it weekly!"
Right - I'm off for my daily dose. Weekly just isn't often enough!