Monday, July 1, 2013

TWIN PEAKS: Its Influence on 20 Years of Film, TV, and Music!

...with 5 Music Players!

Update: TWIN PEAKS will return
with new episodes in 2017!

"The music from Twin Peaks is dark, cloying, and obsessive -- and one of the best scores ever written for television." -Brian Mansfield, All Music Guide

"The sometimes overtly and sometimes subliminally creepy music Badalamenti created contributed immeasurably to the deeply unsettling textures of the series." -Stephen Eddins, All Music Guide

Celebrating TWIN PEAKS' unending influence, here are five music players with songs from the show, the music that inspired it, and the music that it inspired!

Chapter Index:

The Facts:
A-TWIN PEAKS and the triumph of quality
B-TWIN PEAKS: Its influence on Film, TV, Games, and Comics

Music Players:
1-TWIN PEAKS: The Soundtracks
2-TWIN PEAKS: Songs that inspired its sound
3-FIRE WALK WITH ME: Songs that inspired its sound
4-TWIN PEAKS: Songs that it inspired
5-TWIN PEAKS: Songs in the spirit of Twin Peaks


(Note: this article will not spoil anything for people who haven't seen it yet.)

David Lynch

TWIN PEAKS and the Triumph of Quality

TWIN PEAKS completely changed television for the better. Along the way it had a massive influence on movies, music, video games, and coffee sales.

TWIN PEAKS debuted on April 8, 1990, created by auteur film director David Lynch. It was a summer replacement series, with a two hour pilot and seven episodes. It was so successful that a second season followed for a total of 30 episodes. Perceiving that the audience was dwindling, ABC cancelled it in 1991. Lynch responded with a theatrical prequel, TWIN PEAKS-FIRE WALK WITH ME (FWWM), in 1992.

TWIN PEAKS brought a sophistication to television that it wasn't ready for, but which time has borne out in the best shows since. It coerced TV away from overly glossy cartoons into a more edgy, more surreal, more manic, and more honest maturity. Detracted by dunces, with time its quality has made it a legend and an unassailable classic.

TWIN PEAKS -"Opening Credits" (1990)

This essay will first cover the direct impact of TWIN PEAKS on many areas of pop culture, and then give you five music players of TWIN PEAKS' musical influence.

"G*dd@mn, these people are confusing." -Carl, FIRE WALK WITH ME

F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan)

If it was so great, why didn't it last?

TWIN PEAKS was a massive success in its first season. The summer series -from shocking pilot to season cliffhanger- riveted America with its adult tone, its cinematic panache, and kinky fun. The phrase "Who Killed Laura Palmer?" haunted every magazine, ad, and water cooler. Everyone couldn't wait till the Fall season to find out who killed the prom queen.

TWIN PEAKS' first season played like a murder mystery with soap sidelines and a balance of edge and burlesque. The FBI agent had a really surreal dream once, but nothing to indicate how much more that would mean. In truth, that exception was the heart of everything important to come, and what would drive the mainstream running back to standard pablum.

Rote shows like "Murder She Wrote" solved every crime in 45 minutes with snack breaks built in. This coloring book formula worked for a shocking twelve seasons and implied evil was a person, an action, and a quick penalty. It's no wonder this baby food didn't prepare anyone for how to digest Episode 9 of TWIN PEAKS. The first ten minutes of this second season premiere were so surreal and ambiguous the show lost almost all of the viewing audience in one single swoop.

Which was foolish...because that's exactly when everything got deep and incredibly interesting. While many fawn for the light purity of the first season, it's actually #9 through #17 where all the greatness hits its shattering peak. Ya snoozed, ya losed, I said it, take the bruise.

In the blurt culture of now, every action you make has been snark-attacked on web forums before you've even thought of doing it. So when people casually blurt to you who the killer is...please know that they are actually wrong. That's the surface, and there is far more to it than one person and one act.

TWIN PEAKS does what robo-cop shows can't; it asks the real question, the hard question, of 'What is Evil, and where does it come from?' And it dares to actually sketch out an ambitious answer. This subtext is what most mainstream viewers missed entirely, and why their cheap blurt is actually as clueless as it is tonedeaf.

The Man From Another Place (Michael Anderson)

TWIN PEAKS also replaced the pantomime ciphers of normal shows with actual characters with tics, obsessions, contradictions, and mistakes. This got written off by media hacks with the timeworn term 'quirky'. When some flack uses 'quirky' or 'eccentric' or 'weird' (shudder) to describe interesting characters, kick them really hard with twenty years worth of spring action.

There's a great writer for Entertainment Weekly I really like but his opinion of TWIN PEAKS is lopsided, and the one endlessly parroted by others; 'TWIN PEAKS peaked early and fell apart as it went.' Untrue. It peaked in the middle, wandered a little, then peaked again with the most shocking ending ever televised. So act like you know and let's go already.

Another sad saw is 'the failure of TWIN PEAKS', which argues the ratings went down as a valid response to an implied quality decline. The show had some interior flaws to work out in its latter days, but the actual failure is in the general audience to pay attention, and in the media uholding that reflexive impatience.

TWIN PEAKS parted the curtain to bring maturity, ambiguity, surrealism, absurdism, and the subjective to the mass television audience. Much of that has been explored in network and cable shows ever since.

In that sense, where it matters, TWIN PEAKS is one of the most successful shows of all time.

"That Gum You Like Is Coming Back In Style…" -The Man From Another Place

"Who do you think this is there?"

TWIN PEAKS had roots in myriad soils: soaps like "Peyton Place"; indie nihilism like "Rivers Edge"; the empathic FBI agents of Harris' "Red Dragon" and "Silence Of The Lambs"; and a hell of a lot of late 50's and early 60's pop culture. It added up to a timeless and unique vision unlike anything ever seen. Created by filmmaker David Lynch with writer Mark Frost, it blended many of their obsessions into a new world that felt comfortingly right and dangerously wrong. Like a combination of ice cream parlor and funeral parlor.

While it flamed brief, it became a wildfire igniting other media to this day.


"Wiseguy"; "Northern Exposure"; "The X-Files", "The Wire"

-Actually TWIN PEAKS was being homaged before it even debuted! The series "Wiseguy" (1987-90) had a bizarre storyline in a small Washington state log town. The writers were also working on the impending first season of PEAKS so the events in 'Lynchboro' (s.3/ep.60-64) took on a strangely esper edge. Weeks later Lynch and Frost's pilot debuted.

-TWIN PEAKS was fun and scary. If you cut it in half you got "Northern Exposure" (1990) and "The X-Files" (1993). Which the networks did. "NE" was even filmed 15 minutes away from Snoqualmie, Washington, where PEAKS was filmed, and they winked at this deeply on "Russian Flu" (s.1/ep.5). And "X-F" took David Duchovny himself and the paranormal FBI slant straight from the show. (And so did "Fringe" and "Warehouse 13", by extension.)

-Variedly successful attempts to expand on its innovations were "Eerie, Indiana" (1991), "Picket Fences" (1992), "American Gothic" (1995), and the miniseries "Wild Palms"(1993) produced by Oliver Stone.

ON THE AIR (excerpt, 1992)

-Lynch tried again with ABC in his comedy series "On the Air" (1992). This show about a 50's live TV program going consistently awry took the more slapstick side of PEAKs to amazing extremes. ABC only televised three of the seven episodes before canceling it. A criminal shame, as the glorious unshown finale plays like a jawdropping collision of Salvador Dali and Busby Berkeley!

-It's a matter of record that Lynch's film acumen and unflinching realism opened the door for a wave of major film directors to advance television*. George Lucas' "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" (1992) made some of the most potent anti-war statements ever televised with episodes like "Verdun"; ABC, during the conservative wave of the Gulf War, then moved it all over the schedule and finally canceled it, the same strategy they had used on PEAKS. Barry Levinson midwived the stark unflinching drama "Homicide" (1993) which elevated the maturity and depth of all cop shows, and led to its supreme progression "The Wire" (2002). Stephen King created the original mini-series "Golden Years" for TV in this fertile climate. PEAKS was known for its particularly erotic soap edge and was reflected in filmmaker Zalman King's HBO series "Red Shoe Diaries" (1992), which featured David Duchovny and secret passions unleashed in the wake of tragedy.

*(I could have footnotes and quotes, but this is long enough as it is!)

-ABC recast their premature ejection of PEAKS with the spin that it was a noble failure. This attitude hampered development and support of sophisticated shows from the major networks in the decade following. Progressive creatives solved this finally by going to cable networks. By 2000 a renaissance of adult shows with cinematic production, complex stories, gritty edge, absurdist humor, actual character, unusual settings, and strong writing emerged. The promise of TWIN PEAKS was fulfilled by shows like "The Sopranos", "24", "Alias", "The Shield", "Firefly", "LOST", "ReGenesis", "Life On Mars" (UK), "Californication", "Queer As Folk", "Breaking Bad", "The L Word", "Sons Of Anarchy", "Misfits" (UK), "Boardwalk Empire", "Sherlock" (UK), and "Madmen". They also solved the 'wobble' in PEAKS' latter season by doing shorter 13 episode seasons with fully-planned story arcs, one of the best advancements in TV quality ever made.

-Lynch himself broke the ice with ABC by doing a new pilot for a series in 1998. They reached an impasse that killed it before it could start, and David eventually brainstormed the footage into the comeback film "Mulholland Drive" (2001). (The scene of the executive meeting where the Suit guy (Angelo Badalamenti) can't drink the weakest thing without throwing it up is open to interpretation.)

-PEAKS' impact is especially obvious on the dark HBO series "Carnivale" (2003), featuring PEAKS vet Michael Anderson.

-"The Simpsons" poked fun at TWIN PEAKS in a Red Room sequence with Chief Wiggum and Lisa Simpson (s.6,ep.21; 1995). And again when Homer watches TWIN PEAKS and says, "Brilliant! I have absolutely no idea what's going on." (s.9,ep.3; 1997).

-Flip quips by entertainment writers about the series are one thing, but more considered voices have plenty more to say in PEAKS' defense. An entire magazine dedicated to the series called WRAPPED IN PLASTIC published 75 issues from 1992 to 2005, with voluminous essays on its meaning and interviews with the unsung writers and directors who crafted it. Deeper still is an academic book of essays called "Full of Secrets: Critical Approaches to Twin Peaks" by David Lavery, which grew out of the issue of 'Literature/ Film Quarterly' examining FIRE WALK WITH ME.


-TWIN PEAKS spun-off two excellent tie-in books that expanded the backstory: the astounding "The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer" by Jennifer Lynch (which has just been reissued.); and "The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes" by Scott Frost. Jennifer Lynch became a misunderstood and maligned director in her own right. Her "Boxing Helena" (1993) was universally lambasted in a concurrent backlash against her father, David; her "Surveillance" (2008) was criminally overlooked; she retreated to doing a Hindi exploitation movie, "Hisss, (a.k.a., Nagin: The Snake Woman)" (2010) which veers weirdly between better-than-expected and brilliant; and the harrowing trials of making this film were captured in a documentary called "Despite the Gods" (2012).

-The Lynch perspective laces through many of the adult Vertigo Comics of the early 90's, but particularly in "Enigma", with its rustic setting, strange characters, and hallucinatory aspects. Another Vertigo series, "Shadows Fall", deals with inner demons in an expressionist cinema style Lynch would appreciate. Alan Moore's acclaimed graphic epic "Promethea" (1999), about how reality is constructed from creative dreaming, featured The Man From Another Place on its "Sgt. Pepper" tribute cover (#10). And the graphic novel "Nobody" (2009) by Jeff Lemire has been oft compared as 'the Invisible Man goes to Twin Peaks'.

-The graphic novel "Black Hole" (2005) by Charles Burns comes from the same dark wilderness as PEAKS, literally: a layered and nonlinear story of fevered dreams, teen love trysts, and murder in the black Washington woods. It was hailed by Time magazine as "the best graphic novel of the year", and "a masterpiece" by the New York Times.

-Films by Christopher Nolan like "Memento", "Insomnia", and "Inception" owe a huge nod to Lynch and his dream factory, as do Tim Burton, David Fincher, the Coen Brothers, Quentin Tarantino, Terry Gilliam, Darren Aronofsky, Todd Holland, Bryan Fuller, Francis Lawrence, and Jennifer Lynch. For a similar taste in Lynchian expressionism, the Jeunet and Caro films "Delicatessen" (1991) and "City Of Lost Children" (1995). For raiding Lynch actors and themes, "Red Rock West" (1993). For Lynch not by Lynch, the Coen Brothers' "Barton Fink" (1991). For vibe and scope, the "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" trilogy of books and films. TWIN PEAKS' spiritual wilderness is especially acute in "The Blair Witch Project" (1999), Eli Roth's "Cabin Fever" (2002), and the American version of "The Ring" (2002); its two-faced town in Oliver Stone's "U-Turn" (1997); and its edge and mystery in "Donnie Darko" (2001), Christopher Nolan's remake of "Insomnia" (2002), Greg Marcks' "11:14" (2003), "Spider Forest" (Korea, 2004), "The X-Files 2: I Want to Believe" (2008), and Jennifer Lynch's underappreciated "Boxing Helena" (1993) and "Surveillance" (2008).

WONDERFALLS -"Lick The Light Switch" (2004)

-After David Lynch, the best directors on TWIN PEAKS were Todd Holland and Lesli Linka Glatter. A master of surrealistic farce ("Malcolm In The Middle"), Holland then directed much of the excellent and deeply underrated series "Wonderfalls" (2004). This show does as much to capture the twisted humor and odd surprises of PEAKS as any nameable. FOX only showed 4 of the 13 episodes, and out of order, before cancelling it. (Luckily the entire series is now on DVD.) Co-creator Bryan Fuller then did two seasons of "Pushing Daisies" (2007), about a pie-loving diner and the paranormal which crossed that askew humor of PEAKS with the romantic fable style of "Amelie". ABC cancelled it, too. (DC Comics promises a 'third season' comic series to wrap it up properly.) Fuller is now channeling TWIN PEAKS through his current thriller series, "Hannibal". And Glatter directs suit guys with slick hair again on "Mad Men".

-Many TV shows have the fun or the edge of PEAKS very directly in their DNA. The creepy hospital in "The Kingdom" (UK, 1993); "The Prisoner"-meets-Lynch vein of "Nowhere Man" (1996); the funereal tone of "Millennium" (1996); the early 60's style and spooky undercurrent of "Dark Skies" (1996); the hip whimsy and loopy town of "Gilmore Girls" (2000); the rainy town mystery of "The Dead Zone" (2002); the 'X-orcist Files' of "Miracles" (2003); the oddly deductive FBI agent of "Touching Evil" (UK or US, 2004); the funky characters and bent farce of "Deadwood" (2004); the black humor of "Six Feet Under" (2001), "Dead Like Me" (2003), and "Dexter" (2006); the schizoid smalltown of early "Smallville" (2001), as well as "Invasion" (2005), "Supernatural" (2005), "Eureka" (2006), "True Blood" (2008), and now "Haven" (2010); the non-sequitur zen farce of "John From Cincinnati" (2007); the interwoven guilt and brutal grit of the "Red Riding Trilogy" (UK, 2009); and the modernist fetishism and corroded undertone of "Mad Men" (2007).

"Silent Hill"; "Deadly Premonition";
"Alan Wake"

-"Silent Hill", the video game (1999) and film (2006), are a deliberate homage with easter eggs everywhere. "The Legend Of Zelda: Link's Awakening" (1993) was admitted by its creators as being heavily influenced by the "suspicious types" approach to its characters. And the new video games "Deadly Premonition" (2010) and "Alan Wake" (2010) are deeply influenced in their entire story set-ups.

-The 70's ambient synth work of David Bowie and Brian Eno had much impact on TWIN PEAKS' soundtrack. Eno did some music for Lynch's "Dune". Bowie himself has a brief role in FIRE WALK WITH ME. Soon afterward he made a concept album with Eno called "Outside" (1995); a future-noir mystery about the ritual death of the young woman Baby Grace Blue, the diary of the odd agent pursuing the case, and the edgy suspects. This was intended as a trilogy counting down to the millennium, but the project was abandoned with the mystery still unsolved.

MELISSA AUF dER MAUR -"Out Of Our Minds" (2010)


-In other music, Stars Of The Lid did the pieces "Music For Twin Peaks Episode #30, parts 1 and 2", which imagined a score for the deeply longed-for and yet unmade wrap-up episode. (This was before the recent renumbering, which now includes the Pilot for a total of 30 episodes instead of 29.) Atmospheric bands with cinematic sense like Tortoise, Deerhunter, and Mt. Eerie have a similar PEAKS vibe through all their work.

-Amanda Palmer (The Dresden Dolls) had a solo album cheekily called, "Who Killed Amanda Palmer?" Across two decades, several dozen artists used song titles gleaned from the show, in electronica, doom metal, bliphop, indie, ambient, and hiphop styles: there are two dozen unique uses of "Fire Walk With Me" alone, along with many for Laura Palmer, Agent Cooper, the Black and White Lodges, and even famous lines like "That chewing gum you like is coming back in style,", "These things that I tell you", "Wrapped in plastic", "Garmonbozia", and "The owls are not what they seem". (see Music Player 4.)

-Often musicians channel TWIN PEAKS through their videos. Anthrax's Lynch-ian video for their ode "The Black Lodge"> was followed by another starring series actor Frank ('Bob') Silva himself. The Melissa Auf der Maur video for "Out Of Our Minds"> (2010) careens crazy through Lynch's woods. Jenny Gabrielsson Mare transmits directly from The Red Room itself with "The Black Lodge"> (2013), as do Silencio with their "Slow Sin Jazz"> (2012).

-Some artists do entire albums from TWIN PEAKS country. Mt. Eerie live up to their name with the atmospheric albums "Clear Moon" and "Wind's Poem", which sound like Sonic Youth doing the Badalamenti score. Silencio says it outright with their "Music Inspired By the Works of David Lynch & Angelo Badalamenti", which sounds like an unreleased PEAKS score. And Bookhouse's "Ghostwood" rewrites the actual soundtracks with midnight jazz readings that sound like alternate mixes.

-The "C.S.I." clone shows (2000, ad infinitum) are just the robot cops of "Dragnet" co-opting the tone of "The Silence Of The Lambs". Go look at those autopsy scenes from the PEAKS series and film again to reappreciate where their swipe devolved from.

-"Push, Nevada" (2002), created by Ben Affleck, was almost outrageously outright in its similarities. ABC killed it after 7 episodes.

-"LOST" (2004) is the successful revenge of TWIN PEAKS, without ABC knowing it. It hooked its huge audience with careful character while phasing in the odd in paced doses for six seasons. Still controversial, still a winner forever. Quality wins!

-"Fringe" (2008), based on the idea of an FBI squad investigating paranormal cases, wouldn't exist without FWWM. On TWIN PEAKS' 20th birthday in 2010 they did the episode "Northwest Passage" {the first working title of PEAKS; (Fringe s.02/ep.21)}, with references to Snoqualmie and the show galore. This episode presaged the show's grand break into its 'Two Worlds' duality arc. Ultimately, "Fringe" bracketed this storyline with another PEAKS-esque episode, "Marionette" (s.3,ep.9), featuring a blond teenage girl who died in April, a weeping Mom with mantlepiece photos, and Peggy's malt shop (the diner owner on PEAKS was played by Peggy Lipton.). And still more direct references again on "The Firefly" (s.03/e.10).

-Also on April's 20th anniversary, "Happy Town" (2010) debuted, bringing a young woman "from Snoqualmie" into a wooded town's murderous secrets. What could have been a PEAKS also-ran instead had plenty going for itself. So naturally ABC killed it after eight episodes. Yes, the suits who run things will always run good things into the ditch.

"Wonderfalls"; "Push, Nevada"; "Fringe"/"Fringe"; "Happy Town"

-Most ambitious of all is the light paranormal show "Psych" (2006) doing a grand reunion of seven PEAKS actors in a lavish homage called "Dual Spires" (s.5/ep.12) to celebrate the 20th anniversary of TWIN PEAKS.

"Twin Peaks", 1990; "Psych", 2010

-In 2009 the Danish series "Forbrydelsen" ('The Crime') followed the murder of a young teen, the toll on her family, and an intuitive detective. The 2011 American remake "The Killing" infused clear amounts of PEAKS into the mix: a murder in the Seattle woods, a female body by the river, a distraught family, a moody synth-wash score, and a brazen ad campaign asking "Who killed Rosie Larsen?" Even the response was the same: critics and viewers loved it until two seasons to find the killer taxed their patience, the network cancelled it too abruptly, and a pile-on narrative of failure was echo-chorused by the hacks.
But they were wrong again.
The show had course-corrected flaws in the original, with more depth and an alternate ending; the quality had maintained while the audience failed it with impatience. As if no one had learned a damn thing in 20 years. Unlike PEAKS, the show fought its way back to life for a third season (featuring the actor who played Laura Palmer's mom, no less). Thanks to the cable model, the good guys won.

"Forbrydelsen"; "The Killing"

There has been a serious upsurge of series in 2013 that wear their debt to TWIN PEAKS proudly.

-"Hemlock Grove", the werewolf series set in a small woodlands town, described by director Eli Roth ("Hostel") as "TWIN PEAKS with a monstrous edge".

-The series "Bates Motel" (a prequel to "Psycho"), about which co-creator Carlton Cruse ("LOST") admitted, ""We pretty much ripped off TWIN PEAKS... If you wanted to get that confession, the answer is yes. I loved that show. They only did 30 episodes. Kerry [Ehrin] and I thought we'd do the 70 that are missing."

-"Hannibal", with its unique lead detective and his cryptic dreams. The source book "Red Dragon" (1981) inspired all modern empathic detectives, including Dale Cooper, and this prequel series brings it full circle with its cinematic style, harsh and surreal cases, and dream states. Showrunner Bryan Fuller ("Wonderfalls", "Pushing Daisies") said, ""When I sat down to the script, I was very consciously saying, 'What would David Lynch do with a Hannibal Lecter character?'"

-"Top of the Lake", a mystery mini-series by Jane Campion ("The Piano"), with rustic locations, a missing girl, an edgy father, and an intuitive detective (Elizabeth Moss). Like "The Killing" set in New Zealand.

-The astounding "Rectify", by actor/director Ray McKinnon. A murdered girl, a small town, secret layers, and a mysterious zen lead.

"Bates Motel"; "Top of the Lake"; "Hannibal"; "Rectify"

-In 2014, the "Fargo" mini-series debuted. The Coen brothers share many hallmarks with Lynch, and this 13-episode series by Noah Hawley based on their 1996 film channeled both: a diner, intuitive cops, small-town cheer, surreal humor, bizarre turnarounds, secret backstories, and evil edginess.

-There are still more TWIN PEAKS-inspired series from major film directors coming in the future. Guillermo Del Toro ("Pans Labyrinth", "Pacific Rim") is producing a mystery series for HBO, based on "Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death" by Corinne May Botz. And M. Night Shyamalan ("The Sixth Sense", "Unbreakable") is producing "Wayward Pines" for Fox, based on the book "Pines" by Blake Crouch. An upcoming TV version of Archie comics as a gritty series called "Riverdale" is deliberately based off of TWIN PEAKS.

-UPDATE: The real TWIN PEAKS will return with new episodes on Showtime in 2016, by creators Mark Frost and David Lynch!

And Agent Cooper's bold love for coffee seemed charmingly retro at the time. But soon Starbucks owned all of your storefronts and wallets quick enough, based from the area the show was filmed, no less.

Sherilyn Fenn, Kyle MacLachlan

But what about the music, you're saying?...

"Certain it is, the place still continues under the sway of some witching power, that holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them to walk in a continual reverie. They are given to all kinds of marvelous beliefs, are subject to trances and visions, and frequently see strange sights, and hear music and voices in the air."

-Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (1820)


Identical cousins (Sheryl Lee, Sheryl Lee)

"She's filled with secrets."
1. The Soundtracks Of TWIN PEAKS And FIRE WALK WITH ME,
By Angelo Badalamenti

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TWIN PEAKS is as powerful as it is thanks to the inestimable soundtrack by Lynch's collaborator, Angelo Badalamenti. Much as Lynch and Frost synthesized ingredients from all over the place for their concoction, Angelo simmered it to perfection with his varied score. As much as the show's startling visuals and style, people remember and revere its sound.

TWIN PEAKS soundtrack;
Season Two soundtrack;
FIRE WALK WITH ME soundtrack

His Series recital is a zig-zag dream of Girl Group sighs, cold synth German Prog tones, Duane Eddy vibrato, snapping Lounge Jazz, galloping Rockabilly, sleazy Sax-strumentals, a pinch of piano Boogie, soda suds and Prom Pop, and the ethereal siren called Julee Cruise. (#1-11 on the player.)

His Film score is a swerving nightmare of addict Cool Jazz, rough Link Wray chords, paranoid Tom Waits rants, chiming Penderecki chorales, and the androgyne vocals of Little Jimmy Scott. (#12-23 on the player.)

Angelo Badalamenti

Along with her essential songs for the series and film, Julee Cruise made two albums scored and produced by Lynch and Badalamenti, which are included here (#24-44). They are parallel extensions of the PEAKS soundscape.

Later, Lynch produced similar albums for Jocelyn Montgomery, Chrysta Bell, and himself that transmit from a PEAKS-ian night world. They are included here as well.

In 2011, David Lynch's website was relaunched as a music portal. 'The TWIN PEAKS Archive' allows you to stream 150 unreleased music cues from the series, or to buy them in download bundles. (Hit the 'Explore' button on the site page.)

"Where We're From The Birds Sing A Pretty Song…"
2. The Songs That Inspired The Sound Of The TWIN PEAKS Series

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But where does it all come from?

In every way, TWIN PEAKS is a temporal nexus, in style, tone, fashion, culture references, and narrative. That blending of the past with the present reflects in the music. Here’s an alternate jukebox for the town, with songs that inspired its favorite tunes.

-The echo twang guitar comes from Duane Eddy, who brought it from Honky Tonk to Rock'n'Roll instrumentals.

-The dark tonal synths come out of electronics pioneers and 'Krautrock' expirementers from the 70’s (Faust, Neu!), as well as tonal composers like Phillip Glass. Brian Eno expanded this with Davids Bowie and Byrne, and coined the term “ambient” music. (see also, Vengelis' BLADE RUNNER score)

-Jazz got its currency in films and TV with Henry Mancini’s crucial score for the 1958 detective series, “Peter Gunn”; his hipster lounge cool is what grooves Audrey’s and The Man From Another Place’s shoes.

-Early R’n’B was fueled by raunchy sax solos, like in the standard “Harlem Nocturne”, bringing torrid jazz licks to pop kids.

-The dream pop of the Everlys, Roy Orbison, and The Shangri-La’s possess Julee Cruise.

-Ricky Nelson pouts that rockabilly style and stance later seen in Chet, Dale, and James.

-In the early 50’s, visionary couple Les Paul & Mary Ford invented the echo guitar and angel pop most of this was built on.

-Lush and dark scores for classic Noir films like “LAURA” and “VERTIGO” (about Ferguson’s obsessive love for a twin named Madeleine) haunt a new Laura.

-Later in the 60's and 70's, Ennio Morricone channeled unsettling arias through his muse, the eerie soprano Edda Dell’Orso; he also used dissonate strings, seductive jazz, angelic chorales, and reverb guitar to stunning effect.

The song playlist is structured to mirror the arc of the series; from the intro, to finding the body, to the characters and the impact on them, where they go and what they find, and on to a culmination at the train car and within the Lodges, with a prayer for a redemptive end.


"It is happening again. It is happening again." -The Giant

If TWIN PEAKS felt like a gay party with an undertaste of alcoholism, then TWIN PEAKS-FIRE WALK WITH ME felt like a heroin binge on the wrong side of complete ruin.

The first shot in the film is of a television being smashed to pieces by a sledgehammer. That says it all, for better and worse.

Bitter with ABC and unrestrained by anything, David Lynch channeled his fury through this obtuse and brutal film. While the edge was magnified, the fun side of the series was lost in transition. And fans dying for a resolution for certain outstanding storypoints were frustrated with a prequel that played as an odd parallel to "The Secret Diary Of Laura Palmer", the excellent flashback companion book written by Jennifer Lynch. Adding to this was trying to compress five hours worth of film into half that time, leading to a dense cut that was difficult to parse without multiple viewings. But the film has earned its own hardcore following over the years on the merits of those perceived faults, making it a cult classic, and an essential piece in understanding the total picture of TWIN PEAKS.

"Through the darkness of future past..."

*****The prequel is meant to be seen LAST. Please feel free to savor that last word like warm cherry pie.

The film knows you've seen the series, and then upends or reinvents events based on that experience. Literalists who try to watch it first are only defeating the proper intended perspective.

"And There's Always Music In the Air…"
3. The Songs That Inspired The Sounds of FIRE WALK WITH ME

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-The harsh abrasive clang guitar, heard in "The Pink Room" and "Blue Frank", comes from Link Wray.

-The uptown underground snapped their fingers to the bleary, worldly Cool Jazz of Miles Davis, Kenny Burrell, and Chet Baker with moody meditations on the midnight of the spirit; this soul-searching style, between revelation and destitution, moans through FWWM.

-The confessional falsettos and eerie dream music of The Flamingos and The Platters (with a member named David Lynch!) likewise animated Jimmy Scott's ”Sycamore Trees”.

-The Thought Gang’s songs ("A Real Indication", "Black Dog Runs At Night"), were a contemplation of Tom Waits, whose heady mix of evil blues, seedy cabaret, and corrupt jazz scorches the timid.

-The moody dream pop of Julee Cruise was also in the spirit of concurrent bands lumped into the 'shoegazing' movement like Cocteau Twins, Jesus And Mary Chain, and My Bloody Valentine.

-Classical piano and string quartet swells ripple through Angelo’s synth keys.

-The chiming angelic chorales recall similar work by Krzysztof Penderecki and Ennio Morricone.

-As always, the twang bar guitar sound is straight out of Duane Eddy.

The song playlist is structured like the arc of the film: the world of Laura, her wild restlessness, the dangers that encroach, and the finale of terror and transcendent grace.


"Let's rock!"
4. The Songs Inspired By TWIN PEAKS And FIRE WALK WITH ME

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TWIN PEAKS was a musical sensation, selling boatloads of the first soundtrack and Julee Cruise albums. Its rich smorgasbord of sounds appealed to every hip angle, so it's not surprising that so many artists from so many genres have homaged it every year since it came out.

This music player includes dance, hip hop, goth metal, trip hop, doom metal, retro lounge, indie rock, ambient, and postpunk. And artists as divergent as Moby, Anthrax, The Wedding Present, Marilyn Manson, Superdrag, DJ Shadow, Fantomas, Unkle, Camper Van Beethoven, Sinead O'Connor, and Interpol.

-Listen for Stars Of the Lid doing "Music For Twin Peaks Episode #30", and Mt. Eerie homaging "Falling".

These are all songs written directly about or featuring audio samples from TWIN PEAKS, in order from 1991 to today.

"When this kind of fire starts, it is very hard to put out."
-The Log Lady, FWWM.
5. Songs In The Spirit Of TWIN PEAKS, 1950-2015.

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What music would waft through Twin Peak's radio or Audrey Horne's iPod?

TWIN PEAKS pulled together many classic sounds of the past, while reflecting growing movements of the time, and setting the trend for many revivals that followed.

This music player is about songs before, during, and after the series that parallel the sounds in the show and film.

TWIN PEAKS was meant to be in the middle of nowhere, but the Seattle area where it was filmed was turning into the big bang of the musical decade. The series was thematically prophetic of its time, on the faultline between smooth skin and roaring heart. It swayed in an early 60's soda shop dream indoors. But outside, the harsh wilderness, gloomy pall, and enveloping nights clawed on the sanity. Seattle soon upended the music industry with a raw rebuke of the previous decade's gloss with Grunge and the Riot Grrrl movements. An early signal of it was the character Rusty (Ted Raimi) in the latter half of the series.

But as a tonic, music fans began exploring the smooth cool of vintage Lounge jazz, Free Jazz, and “acid jazz”, dark ambient electronica, chill out moodscapes, 60’s Italian film scores, swing music, and retro rock like surf, rockabilly, and orchestral pop. Since the 90's, bands have made songs that paralleled the series' sounds in using these different pallettes.

-From the 50's we have the dreamy pop of The Everly Brothers, raw Rock'n'roll of Screaming Jay Hawkins, otherworldly instrumentals of Santo And Johnny, and angelic tones of The Flamingos.

-From the 60's come the twang guitar of Duane Eddy, cocktail jazz of Les Baxter and Esquivel, girl gods The Caravelles, cool jazz of Miles Davis, heroin rock of Velvet Underground, jolting abrasion of Captain Beefheart, and fluxus delirium of Ennio Morricone.

-From the 70's strides the synth-abilly of Suicide, ambient waves of Kraftwerk and Brian Eno, and rockabilly redux of Robert Gordon.

-From the 80's slides in angled jazz with The Lounge Lizards, dream pop of Cocteau Twins and Kate Bush and The Dream Academy, and guitar edge of Jesus And Mary Chain and Pixies.

Julee Cruise

-From the 90's come bands lumped as 'shoegazing', like My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Miranda Sex Garden, and Slowdive, whose lush darkness and often ethereal vocals oddly paralleled Julee Cruise's work. As well as the noize rock of Tom Waits (think "Pink Room"), the Elvis/Orbison of Chris Isaak, moody dreams of Mazzy Star and Morphine and Jeff Buckley, and the cinematic nightscapes of 'trip hop' bands like Portishead, Tricky, Hooverphonic, Violet Indiana, Morcheeba, and Massive Attack. Angelo Badalamenti also scored Marianne Faithfull's "A Secret Life" album, and recorded with James' frontman Tim Booth as Booth And The Bad Angel.

-From the 00's we round up unusual suspects like Fantomas, the biker fuzz of The Raveonettes, and border crossings of Calexico. There's the glimmer of ethereal songbirds in the spirit of Julee Cruise with Kyra Lynn Cain, To Kill A Pretty Bourgeoisie, 8mm, Amber Asylum, Martina Topley-Bird, Cranes, and His Name Is Alive. And finally songs by David Lynch himself!

Julee Cruise
Julee Cruise
Jocelyn Montgomery
Ariana Delawari
Chrysta Bell
Related music produced by David Lynch.

The TWIN PEAKS Experience

So you can't wait to watch TWIN PEAKS now, right?

The new box set "Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery" contains everything: the complete series, the prequel film (which is meant to be seen last), and 90 minutes of never-before-seen scenes cut from both.

TWIN PEAKS can also be streamed from NetFlix and Hulu.

The Full TWIN PEAKS Experience

But if you want the real full experience, I'll hip you to the best of all possible ways to enjoy the true depth of it all. Trust me.

As the show progressed, cool supplementals were released to enhance the backstory: an audiotape of Agent Cooper's trademark dictations, plus a book each about Laura and Cooper. "The Secret Diary Of Laura Palmer" by Jennifer Lynch is especially brilliant, and has a cult following all its own! Listening to and reading these at certain times between watching the episodes magnifies the intensity of the TWIN PEAKS experience.

Can you just watch the show and movie and be okay? Sure. But I'm telling you now...

(Laura's Diary has been reissued. The Cooper tape and book are out-of-print, but worth tracking down from online sales.)

Season 1

-Episode 1: The Pilot*
-Episodes 2 through 8

*(An alternative ending was added to make the pilot a feature film overseas. Skip that 'International Version' option on DVD and watch the original.)

-listen to "Diane: The Twin Peaks Tapes Of Agent Cooper"
-read "The Secret Diary Of Laura Palmer" by Jennifer Lynch

Season 2

-Episodes 9 through 17
(These may have been renumbered as #1-9 for Season 2's sake.)

-read "The Autobiography Of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes" by Scott Frost

-Episodes 18 through 30
(These may have been renumbered as #10-22 for Season 2's sake.)

TWIN PEAKS: Fire Walk With Me

-watch TWIN PEAKS-


-read the bootleg script of FWWM, with all the extra scripted scenes which were cut out

This will give you a more enriched and surprising enjoyment of the series as a whole.

One chance out


Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery

-TWIN PEAKS returns in 2016!

-The TWIN PEAKS Music Archive: hit the Explore button to hear unreleased music!

-Dugpa, TWIN PEAKS resource site

-"Wrapped In Plastic" magazine

-TWIN PEAKS Facebook

-"Welcome To TWIN PEAKS" site and Facebook


-Annual Festival!


-The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer

"Through the darkness of future past
The magician longs to see
One chants out between two worlds
Fire walk with me."

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