Badalamenti is most well-known for his work composing the score for the cult-classic TV show Twin Peaks where he worked in close collaboration with director David Lynch. Badalamenti’s score is part of what made the show so memorable, with a variety of music that touches on every emotion from grief, to hope and love. His music is entrancing from the opening credits of Twin Peaks, giving every character a distinct sonic identity every time they appear on the screen.
Badalamenti also worked closely with Lynch on his other films, including Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Lost Highway, The Straight Story, Mullholland Drive and Rabbits. Both artists’ collaborations worked perfectly in sync with one another, with their penchant for both classic Hollywood and the weird coming together in perfect harmony.
Outside of his work with Lynch, Badalamenti had his own brushes with the heavy metal world. For their song ‘Black Lodge’ inspired by Twin Peaks, thrash legends Anthrax enlisted Badalamenti for help writing the track. His presence on the song is unmistakable, his ethereal and otherworld instrumentation helping to underscore the rest of the band’s music. It’s one of the strangest tracks in their discography, and in great part is due to Badalamenti.
Elsewhere in music Badalamenti also wrote music with David Bowie on their ‘A Foggy Day In London Town’ cover. Both perfectly play off the other’s strengths and make us wish a full album was in the cards for their work together.
Heavy metal features numerous references to Twin Peaks, and it’s hard to not see how his music was a part of it. The show’s music was even covered in its entirety by experimental act Xiu Xiu, who transform his work into even stranger creations.
He will be missed. Watch a classic video below where he speaks about writing Laura Palmer’s theme.