With cymbals crashing and string basses moaning, composer Angelo Badalamenti narrates a bawdy, bizarre and horrific story on “Woodcutters From Fiery Ships,” a track off his upcoming collaborative album with filmmaker David Lynch. The pair recorded the LP, Thought Gang, in spurts throughout the early Nineties, and though Lynch has used some of the tracks in his various films, it hasn’t gotten a proper release. It will now come out digitally and on LP and CD on November 2nd.
Badalamenti and Lynch first started working together in the mid-Eighties, when the composer signed onto Blue Velvet, where he helped Isabella Rossellini sing her parts and composed a track, “Mysteries of Love,” for singer Julee Cruise, that would become the film’s centerpiece. He went on to do the music for Wild at Heart, both the Twin Peaks TV series and movie Fire Walk With Me, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and other film works. They also worked together on the theatrical work, Industrial Symphony: No. 1: The Dream of the Broken Hearted, which eventually got a home video release. They worked on Thought Gang between Twin Peaks’ second season and the HBO miniseries Hotel Room.
When working on a track called “A Real Indication,” Badalamenti offered his services to do the vocals – a move Lynch thought would be a bad idea. “I’d heard Angelo sing before,” Lynch recalled in a statement. “He used to sing on demos and things. I knew what Angelo sounded like and I thought he was going to embarrass himself. I thought there’s no way this was gonna work.” He ended up laughing so much he gave himself a hernia.
Lynch used bits of Thought Gang in Hotel Room, Mullholland Drive, Inland Empire, deleted scens in Fire Walk With Me and in the last year’s Twin Peaks revival. “It’s sort of like jet-fueled jazz in a weird way…but it’s all based on stories,” says Lynch. “It’s ‘modern music.'”
The filmmaker intends to premiere a video piece based around Thought Gang at his upcoming Festival of Disruption in Los Angeles. It will take place on October 13th and 14th. “It is a short video featuring my friends the ants, along with cheese, etc. and one and a half tracks from the upcoming Thought Gang album,” he said.