Now that we can breathe a sigh of relief that all is well in Twin Peaks, I thought I would take a moment to talk about the music. What Angelo Badalamenti did with the score of Twin Peaks has never been accomplished before or since. From the heights of dancing in the diner or dancing in the Red Room to the lows of James and Donna singing, the music was always worth discussing. I really hope we get new tracks as well as use of the old ones in Season 3. I have listed my favorite 15 tracks from both seasons and the movie.
1. Theme from Twin Peaks – Fire Walk With Me (Saxaphone) – FWWM I have always thought the theme to FWWM was amazing, but this version might be a bit better. Once the deleted scene of Big Ed and Norma was released on the box set, it really became my favorite track. The fact that the characters comment on the song during the scene makes it even sweeter. This is my all time favorite TP song.
2. Hook Rug Dance – Season 2 Even though this is called Hook Rug Dance, it is the Annie, Cooper, Gordon, Shelly, Log Lady scene that this song reminds me of. I call it the Happy Scene. There is so much fun in this scene and this song. I think this is the perfect ringtone. Makes you just want to go to Twin Peaks. I never get sick of this track.
3. Annie and Cooper – Season 2 When Cooper and Annie dance the night before the Miss Twin Peaks Contest, you feel all the love and longing that Cooper has had for many years. You can make the argument that this romance happened too quickly but in the long run, it makes more sense for Cooper to find love with an adult and not a high school girl. The use of the saxophone, as used in other Cooper themes, is a great idea to connect the character. Not with the use of Jazz but Love.
4. Josie and Truman – Season 2 The mood that is created of Harry’s hangover as he remembers his time with Josie is captured perfectly with this song. It isn’t like we ever really invest in this relationship but we know that Harry did so we feel his pain. This song captures the doomed love that was their relationship. With a subtitle of Love is Hell, this is another home run for Angelo.
5. Great Northern Annie – Season 2 There are 4 piano tunes that were released from the Great Northern. What I like about these solo piano tracks is the fact that you can hear parts of many different themes. This is the kind of track that proves there is always music in the air. As a piano player, I really wish these tracks would have come out in sheet music. I picked the one entitled Great Northern Annie because my iTunes says this is the one I listen to the most.
6. Dance of the Dream Man (Original) – Season 1 As you can see, I usually listen to some of the lesser known tracks. Not many of my picks are the famous tunes. Probably because I had the Season 1 CD since the day it came out in late summer of 1990. But you can never get sick of this track. It was our first glimpse of the Red Room and so crazy to see Michael Anderson dance to that bass. It is a classic for a reason and a major theme for many other songs.
7. The Voice Of Love – FWWM For most of our lives this was the last song we heard in the TP story. How perfect that it was the voice of love. On this list I only picked instrumentals, but the vocal track by Julee Cruise is also moving. I love that the happy ending we get is Laura’s death and this song has the sadness and the hope of Laura’s journey. Will someone please play this at my funeral. In fact, put it on repeat and drop it in my casket, Leland Palmer style.
8. Audrey’s Prayer – Season 2 This has all the same chords and feel as Questions In A World Of Blue and is basically the theme for Season 2. I like to think of it as the love theme to Cooper and Audrey that never comes to fruition. This song scores one of Audrey’s best scenes. You can see she is trying to be brave as she balances her fear. Keep that fear away, BOB is near!
9. The Bookhouse Boys – Season 1 Another track from the first CD. This mix is never exactly in an episode but it pulls together a couple of the running themes from the first year. You get a bit of Bobby, Catherine, Ben, Cooper and all kinds of themes in this one track. It was way high on my iTunes play count and I can see why. This was a track that started me down the life long path of being an Angelo fan.
10.Packards’ Vibration – Season 2 This is such a mood setting song. The constant hit of that synth chord makes you just know that trouble is on the way. I always equate this song with the reassurance of quality at the end of Season 2. Those last few episodes let you know that trouble is brewing and you just feel trouble on the way.
11. Birds In Hell – FWWM If you missed the time when David Lynch released all these tracks for purchase I feel bad for you. It was a great time to be a lover of the music of the show. I now have over 240 tracks of music. This one really surprised me. It is such a beautiful piece of music and has such a classical feel to it. Angelo had the task of writing a song that represents Laura’s last day of Earth. Also what about the title, Birds in Hell. Hope in the middle of Hell. Man, I love Twin Peaks.
12. RR Swing – FWWM This short track has all the swing and movement of true Twin Peaks. Every time I hear it, I can see Shelley and Laura preparing the meals on wheels at the RR Diner. The proof that Angel is the best are these “throw away moments” that he scores with music that is totally different than the rest of TP catalog. Think of the Pine Weasel, The Norwegians or Dick Tremayne’s Theme. All different. All Perfect.
13. Dark Mood Woods – Season 2 There is many a discussion about the second season of Twin Peaks but there is no denying that the music is superior in Season 2. Dark Mood Woods is the heart of the season and the soul of the woods. When this track starts up you feel the unease of the Douglas Firs; you know that something is in the air and you watch on the edge of your seat. I may not have many darker picks on this list, but this one is one of my favorite Dark Themes.
14. Laura Palmer’s Theme – Season 1 It is OK for you to be mad at me for having this so low and Falling not even making the list. It probably has a lot to do with having heard them so much over the last 25 years. There are so many great releases. But you can’t hear this without thinking of Laura. It is the theme of all themes and had to make the list. This is a fun one to play on the piano, always scares the kids.
15. Half Heart (Solo) – FWWM The pervious track is what Laura is known for. Can you imagine the writing task Angelo had in FWWM when he had to come up with another love theme for Laura? Half Heart does it. If The Laura Palmer theme is the deceased Laura’s Theme then this song of sadness and love is the living Laura Palmer. This doesn’t score much of the movie and plays in a small scene but once you hear the full track you have to be moved with the brilliance of it.
Of course I could pick more themes because there are so many but those are my top 15 according to my iTunes play lists, my ranking and my heart. As I have said many times for me the music is my favorite part of the series. I look forward to hearing some new ones in only a year or so. Special thanks to Ross Dudle for the use of his great MP3 Covers.
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