"My (musical) world is a little bit dark. . . a little bit off-center. I think of it as tragically beautiful. That is how I would describe what I love best: tragically beautiful." Angelo Badalamenti Today's working hypothesis is no composer was ever more important to the success of a television show than Angelo Badalamenti was for his work on the David Lynch televison cult hit "Twin Peaks" (1990-91). The criteria here is not just coming up with a memorable instrumental theme song (in which case we just pick Lalo Schifrin for "Mission Impossible"), but the scoring of various episodes over the course of several seasons. By that standard what is the competition? Jan Hammer's work on "Miami Vice" got a lot of publicity, but when you think of the soundtrack for that show you are just as likely to think of Glenn Frey's "Smuggler's Blues" and Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" as you are the show's theme song or other incidental music. For me the close second would be w.g. snuffy walden's work on "thirtysomething," but that superb work (especially "second look") never received the publicity that Badalamenti did with "Twin Peaks" (Population 51,201). Besides the memorable main theme you have the haunting "Laura Palmer's Theme" and the quirky little "Dance of the Dream Man." The former was used in different variations to different effects throughout the series, eloquently underscoring the twists and turns in the search for her killer. Even when David Lynch writes some lyrics for Julee Cruise to sing, the mood produced by the music never changed. It is amazing to me how you could always be aware of what Badalamenti was doing while watching "Twin Peaks," yet the music never becomes intrusive or overwhelming. Instead it is a perfect compliment to the story and pictures. And remember: That gum you like, it's coming back in style...
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