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Angelo Badalamenti Has Died, Aged 85
Christian Eede , December 12th, 2022 23:03

The legendary composer enjoyed a fruitful partnership with David Lynch, and worked with the likes of David Bowie, Paul McCartney and more, across a decades-long career

Angelo Badalamenti, the Brooklyn-born composer who provided the soundtrack to key David Lynch works such as Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive, has died, aged 85.

Initial reports of Badalamenti's passing emerged late today (December 12) following the sharing of an Instagram post by his great nephew. His family later released a statement confirming that he passed away from natural causes "surrounded by his family" on December 11.

Born in Brooklyn, New York in March 1937, Badalamenti developed a love for music at an early age, learning to play piano and french horn. He went to music school on a full scholarship, and earned a bachelor's degree from Manhattan School of Music in 1958, before receiving his master's degree a year later.

Badalamenti landed a job as at a music publisher in the 1960s, and wrote songs for the likes of Nina Simone and Shirley Bassey under the pen name Andy Badale. Early forays into film work saw him produce the score for 1973 action film Gordon's War and 1974 comedy-drama Law And Disorder. His work came to wider attention, however, when he produced the soundtrack for David Lynch's 1986 film Blue Velvet, which marked the start of an enduring partnership with Lynch.

Badalamenti had initially been brought into the fold on Blue Velvet as a voice coach for star Isabella Rossellini, and was also asked to write one song for the soundtrack, which became became the Julee Cruise-performed track 'Mysteries Of Love'. He ultimately took up the role of music supervisor, produced the full score, and appeared in the film itself as a pianist in a jazz bar.

He produced the score for a number of films in the years that followed, and reunited with Lynch in 1990 to work on the soundtrack for the series Twin Peaks, as well as 1992's prequel Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. He won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance in 1991, for the composition 'Twin Peaks Theme'.

Other link-ups with Lynch saw Badalamenti score Wild At Heart, Lost Highway, The Straight Story, Mulholland Drive (in which he also played the role of gangster Luigi Castigliane) and 2017's Twin Peaks: The Return, the third series of the show. The pair also teamed up under the collective alias Thought Gang to release a self-titled album through Sacred Bones in 2018 – the music featured was originally recorded in the early 1990s. Two albums were made by the pair together with Julee Cruise too: 1989's Floating Into The Night and 1993's The Voice Of Love.

Outside of film and television soundtracks, and his work with Lynch, Badalamenti collaborated with the likes of David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Pet Shop Boys, Roberta Flack, Marianne Faithfull and Orbital across a decades-long career.