Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Mazulo, Mark. “Remembering Pop: David Lynch and the Sound of the ‘60s.” American Music 23 (Winter 2005): 493-513.

David Lynch uses compilation scores comprising American popular songs to establish individual sound signatures in his films. He is especially attracted to pop songs released during his adolescence that make use of distinctive vocals or mixing, which create a certain peculiarity with the naiveté of a song’s message, sincerity, and compositional elements. Lynch capitalizes on the dualistic nature of these songs by deploying them as historically unproblematic and desired objects of nostalgia, in some instances using them in violent, psychologically deviant, horrifying, and self-consciously staged scenes as passageways to strangeness and the uncanny. Such a use allows audiences to reimagine the history of these songs and the culture that created and consumed them and represents a new employment of the compilation score consistent with his aesthetic of the “ridiculous sublime.” In Mulholland Drive, the pop song I’ve Told Every Little Star represents the film’s theme of duality. In Lost Highway, the use of Lou Reed’s cover of This Magic Moment rather than the well-known pop versions matches the soundscape of the film and is metacommentary on the reception of American popular song. In Twin Peaks, a newly-composed pop song disrupts the security of reality, and in Blue Velvet, pop music complicates multiple layers of diegesis, performance, and reality.

Works: David Lynch (director): soundtrack to Lost Highway (494, 502-3), soundtrack to Eraserhead (494, 499), soundtrack to Blue Velvet (507-9); David Lynch (director) and Angelo Badalamenti (composer): soundtrack to Mulholland Drive (494, 494-501), soundtrack to Twin Peaks (494, 503-6).

Sources: Bill Post and Doree Post: Sixteen Reasons (Why I Love You) (500); Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern: I’ve Told Ev’ry Little Star (500-501); Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman (songwriters) and The Drifters (performers): This Magic Moment (500-502); Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman (songwriters) and Lou Reed (performer): This Magic Moment (502-3); Bobby Vinton: Blue Velvet (507-8); Roy Orbison: In Dreams (508-9).

Index Classifications: 1900s, 2000s, Film

Contributed by: Kate Altizer

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