Soundtrack from ‘Twin Peaks’ Week – Day 3: The Wonderful World of Angelo Badalamenti

To celebrate the recent release of our 33 1/3 on Angelo Badalamenti’s Soundtrack from Twin Peaks, we’re pleased to bring you the 3rd installment of Soundtrack from Twin Peaks Week by author Clare Nina Norelli!

When I made the decision to pitch a book for the 33 1/3 series I knew that it had to be about Angelo Badalamenti’s Twin Peaks soundtrack. Badalamenti is an incredibly innovative and versatile composer whose work has not been explored a great deal in print. From his origins as a songwriter and musical theatre composer in New York to his career as a world-renowned film composer, Badalamenti has developed a signature sound that infuses whatever musical project he takes on with a beautiful bittersweetness. His music for Twin Peaks is a perfect distillation of this sound. Badalamenti is primarily known for this soundtrack and his other collaborations with David Lynch, but what about the other film scores and projects he has worked on? Here are five you might not have known about.


 Composing under the name “Andy Badale,” Badalamenti and his songwriting partner Frank Stanton had a hit with this empowering soul number performed by Nancy Wilson in the late 1960s. The song appears on her 1968 album Easy and reached 29th position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart during July of 1967.




 For the third film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series, Badalamenti composed an original score that quotes fragments of the franchise’s original theme by Charles Bernstein and sits alongside music by heavy metal band Dokken. It’s more ambient than melodic, featuring an abundance of sustained synth-string dissonance and electronically-driven stingers, but that’s necessary in supporting the film’s menacing atmosphere.




In 1995 Badalamenti collaborated with Marianne Faithful on both the song “Who Will Take My Dreams Away,” for the Jean-Pierre Jeunet film La cité des enfants perdus (The City of Lost Children), which he also scored, and her album A Secret. Badalamenti’s signature bittersweet synth harmonies and haunting harmonic suspensions permeate the lush orchestrations, complimenting Faithfull’s pained vocals and the album’s rich lyrical imagery.




In 1996 Badalamenti released an album with Tim Booth of the band James under the name “Booth and the Bad Angel.” Engineered by renowned Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and featuring Bernard Butler of the band Suede, its Britpop with a bittersweet Badalamenti bent.




In 1994, James Lipton, who was to be host of a new television show, Inside the Actors Studio, approached Badalamenti to compose music for the series. His lush theme music, a slow, stirring orchestral piece full of his drawn-out suspensions, proved incredibly popular with the show’s audience. Years later, Badalamenti was rehired to revamp the show’s music and he arranged many variations of the show’s themes to create a bank of music that could cover the vast spectrum of emotion presented in the show. It was a technique he had also used in composing for Twin Peaks. The show’s music was also arranged as a nine-minute orchestral suite and can be heard on his album Angelo Badalamenti: Music For Film and Television (2010).


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2 Thoughts to “Soundtrack from ‘Twin Peaks’ Week – Day 3: The Wonderful World of Angelo Badalamenti”

  1. Lovely list! Angelo Badalamenti has a great body of work, besides his collaboration with David Lynch. If I may indulge in a personal note, I did a mix last year celebrating his career: This mixcloud page as a whole is dedicated to David Lynch and music.

  2. […] DAY ONE      Now It’s Dark: A Little Night Music DAY TWO     Industrial Symphony No.1: the dream of the brokenhearted DAY THREE   The Wonderful World of Angelo Badalamenti […]

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