Twin Peaks series 3: Man behind the 'dark, cloying and obsessive' original soundtrack returns to work with David Lynch

Angelo Badalamenti, who says he and Lynch are "like brothers", is to score the rebooted cult TV drama 

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

The chilling synthesizer music that ratcheted up the menace in Twin Peaks has been hailed as one of the most influential television soundtracks of all time.

Fans were rejoicing this week after it emerged the mastermind behind the haunting score, Angelo Badalamenti, will return to write new music for the third series, which will air a quarter of a century after the last one.

News of the 78-year-old composer’s involvement was revealed by two of the cast members who are also returning, Sherilyn Fenn and Sheryl Lee.

Read more:

Badalamenti is a long-term collaborator with Twin Peaks creator and film director David Lynch, who said: “He has a gift of pulling on the heartstrings. It’s a deep and powerful beauty. It speaks to people on an emotional level that is undeniable. It takes over.” 

The eerie theme tune for Twin Peaks won Badalamenti a Golden Globe, and the soundtrack went gold in 25 countries.

It would go on to be huge inspiration for TV composers and musicians including Lana del Rey, Bastille, Sky Ferreira and Moby. There is a band named Twin Peaks and another called Audrey Horne after Fenn’s character.

The music was described as “dark, cloying and obsessive – and one of the best scores ever written for television,” by Brian Mansfield on the Allmusic website. Rolling Stone called it the “most influential soundtrack in TV history”.

“The soundtrack’s music, which spans ominous synth-pop, cool-cat jazz and Julee Cruise’s soaring, airy odes on nightingales, is an ever growing legacy,” the magazine added.

Last month David Lynch said he was leaving the project because of the lack of money involved

Mr Badalamenti has written a string of film and television scores and worked with recording artists including David Bowie, Paul McCartney, the Pet Shop Boys and Nina Simone.

Yet the Brooklyn-born musician is predominantly known for his work with acclaimed director David Lynch. He has said the two are “like brothers; when we work there’s so little to say”.

The collaboration with Lynch started when the young director hired him to be Isabella Rossellini’s vocal coach for the film Blue Velvet, released in 1986.

He went on to score the film and wrote the feature song Mysteries of Love with Lynch. The pair collaborated on Wild at Heart in 1990, Lost Highway in 1997, and The Straight Story two years later.

He has won a string of awards, including Composer of the Year in 2005, and nominations for a Golden Globe, three Emmies and a Cesar Awards. He also wrote the opening torch theme for the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992.

Twin Peaks was seen as one of the most ground-breaking television series of its time, following the fall out in a small US town after the murder of student Laura Palmer. It influenced shows including The X-Files, The Sopranos to Lost and Broadchurch.

After some negotiations, and fears the project would fall apart over a budget dispute, Lynch confirmed this month he is on board to write and produce the new episodes alongside co-creator Mark Frost, as well as direct them.  

The new series will be set in the present day, 25 years after the events of the second series, and may provide answers to some of the mysteries that have haunted fans for decades.

While the producers had initially announced the series would run to nine episodes it has subsequently been announced there will be 18. 

Angelo Badalamenti's iconic works


Blue Velvet

Badalamenti was brought in as a voice coach for Isabella Rossellini but ended up working on the score and writing signature track Mysteries of Love.

The Olympic flame is lit in Athens

The Flaming Arrow

The composer was called on by the organisers of the Olympic Games to come up with a theme for the lighting of the torch.


Badalamenti worked with the heavy metal band on their tribute to Twin Peaks Black Lodge, arranging the strings for the piece.

A Foggy Day (In London Town)

He collaborated with David Bowie on the recording on George and Ira Gershwin’s tune

The Straight Story

A departure for Lynch telling a sweet story of an old man driving across America on a tractor, with Badalamenti adapting his work accordingly.

Naomi Watts (left) alongside Laura Harring in 'Mulholland Drive' in 2001

Mulholland Drive

One of the best collaborations between Lynch and Badalamenti.