Angelo Badalamenti - Biography

Angelo Badalamenti is an American composer who’s often associated with David Lynch on account of his many recognizable movie scores for many of Lynch's works, including Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive. Badalamenti's also one of the most influential film scorers for the pop world, having been sampled by Moby, covered by Wedding Present and collaborated with various performers.


Angelo Badalamenti was born March 22nd, 1937 in Brooklyn, New York to an Italian family. His mother was an immigrant from Sicily and his father owned a fish market. The young Badalamenti spent much of his childhood listening to opera and went on to study at the Eastman School of Music and at Manhattan School of Music, where he earned a master's degree in music.  His music career began in 1966, when (as "Andy Badale") he co-wrote a song "Visa to the Stars" for Perrey and Kingsley's album, The In Sound from Way Out!  He also arranged and produced Perrey's two solo albums for Vanguard Records. In the 1970s wrote his first scores, for 1973's Gordon's World, 1974's Law and Disorder and a 1977 episode of NBC Special Treat entitled "It's a Brand New World."


In the 1986, Badalmenti began his long association with David Lynch when the composer was brought in to coach Isabella Rossellini's performance of the song "Blue Velvet" in the film of the same name. Badalamenti and Lynch then collaborated on the score, writing"Mysteries of Love" together for Badalamenti’s associate, Julee Cruise. Badalamenti also appeared in the film as a piano player. After scoring Blue Velvet, Badalamenti mostly scored comparatively commercial films for the remainder of the decade, including Nightmare on Elm Street 3 - Dream Warriors, Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987), Weeds (1987), Christmas Vacation (1989) and Wait Until Spring, Bandini (1989).


In 1987, Badalamenti made his first foray into the pop world when he arranged the orchestration for The Pet Shop Boys’ "It Couldn't Happen Here." In 1989, Badalamenti wrote the music and Lynch penned the lyrics for Julee Cruise's solo debut, Floating into the Night (1989-Warner Bros.). In 1990, The Pet Shop Boys once again tapped the composer for several tracks on their acclaimed Behaviour. That year, Badalamenti, Lynch and Cruise created the performance piece, Industrial Symphony No. 1: the Dream of the Brokenhearted (1990). The composer also scored Lynch’s Wild At Heart (1990). The same year, Badalamenti also composed the first of what would become several scores for Paul Schrader films with The Comfort of Strangers (1990).


Badalementi's most recognized work is undoubtedly his score for David Lynch's first TV series, Twin Peaks. The score for the filmic prequel, Twin Peaks - Fire Walk With Me (1992), included two songs by Thought Gang, a group made up of Badalamenti, Buster Will, Grady Tate, Vinnie Bell and Lynch. After Twin Peaks’ early demise, Badalamenti also scored Lynch's next TV effort, the under-appreciated sitcom, On the Air. Badalamenti also wrote Cerimònia d'inauguració jocs olímpics Barcelona '92 for that year’s Olympics. For Anthrax's Twin Peaks-inspired "Black Lodge," Badalamenti and the band collaborated. He subsequently scored Naked in New York (1993) and another Lynch TV series, Hotel Room. Badalamenti and Lynch again collaborated for Cruise's second album, The Voice of Love (1993-Warner Bros.). In 1995, Badalamenti composed, orchestrated and produced Marianne Faithfull's A Secret Life and scored La cité des enfants perdus. In 1996, Badalamenti teamed up with James's Tim Booth to release Booth and the Bad Angel (1996-Mercury). In 1996, he scored American adaptation of the British series, Cracker. In 1999, he scored Lynch’s The Straight Story, Holy Smoke, Fever Mine and Story of a Bad Boy


In 2000, Badalamenti worked with Orbital on the track, "Beached," for the Danny Boyle film, Beach. He also wrote the score for A Piece of Eden. In 2001, he scored David Lynch's Mulholland Dr., in which he also resumed his acting career, this time playing a gangster. The same year he scored Suspended Animation, Julie Johnson and Cet amour-là. In 2002, he scored Cabin Fever, Rabbits, Secretary, Darkened Room, L'adversaire — another Schrader film, Auto Focus, Lathe of Heaven and Mysteries of Love. In 2003 he scored Murder in Scottsdale, Resistance, Les liaisons dangereuses, Indoor Fireworks. In 2004, he collaborated on Evilenko's score with Dolores O'Riordan. He also composed the scored for Push, NaPoIA, Un long dimanche de fiançailles the same year. In 2005, he worked on his first video game score, Fahrenheit. Another Schrader collaboration follwed with the score of Dominion - Prequel to the Exorcist. That year he also scored Une année au front, les coulisses de 'Un long dimanche de fiancailles' and Dark Water. In 2006 he composed the score for the remake of Wicker Man. In 2008, he directed the score of The Edge of Love, on which Siouxsie Sioux and Beth Rowley provided vocals. That year, he also received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Soundtrack Awards. In 2009, he scored 44 Inch Chest. In 2010, he scored A Woman and Secrets of Love. His latest score was in 2012 for A Late Quartet.   

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