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Drive: Not Directed By David Lynch, Not Scored By Angelo Badalamenti

If Drive is the best David Lynch film not actually made by David Lynch, then why was Angelo Badalamenti in its opening credits?
This post was published a while ago. Please keep its age in mind and if you find any errors, feel free to comment.

Have you seen Drive? Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and starring Ryan Gosling as the bad ass ’73 Chevy Malibu driver, the partial objects blog describes it as “the best David Lynch film not actually made by David Lynch“:

And Los Angeles plays a big part in this movie, but it is not the Los Angeles of Fast and Furious or of Michael Mann. Drive is set in David Lynch’s LA–in the spaces between the famous places. Drive is LA viewed obliquely, where the familiar becomes either transcendent or grotesque.

Obviously, nobody does David Lynch better than David Lynch, and Drive won’t apppeal to every Mulholland Drive or Lost Highway fan out there. But it’s definitely worth checking out this Point Blank meets Miami Vice art house film.

Coincidentally, there’s been some confusion over Angelo Badalamenti being listed in the opening credits of an unpolished screener floating around the Internet. A David Lynch influence after all? Not really. The story goes that Cliff Martinez, who actually scored the music to Drive, was brought on board rather late; i.e. about a month before the movie’s premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, and after the opening credits had already been embedded. The composer told the L.A. Times that Badalamenti was never tied to the project and that his credit was merely a place holder:

“I remember they had the credits and everything. It says, ‘Music by Angelo Badalamenti.’ There was an awkward moment, and then I said, ‘You spelled my name wrong,'” recalls Martinez, laughing. The music in the version he saw was a mix of Eno’s ambient work, “and a very minimalist temp score that was even starker than what I ended up doing — much starker. I said, ‘You came to the right place, because that’s my style.”

Angelo Badalamenti Drive Music Credits

Do not watch that half-baked Drive screener though. As mentioned above, it’s an unfinished version of the movie (without Angelo Badalamenti’s music) and should be ignored.

UPDATE (March 2012): Somebody on YouTube made that placeholder credit a reality and mashed up the Twin Peaks theme with the Drive intro.

So I noticed that both “Drive” and “Twin Peaks” use the same 80’s style, dream pop inspired, soundtrack. Little did I know the two would work together so well….

Founder and curator of Welcome to Twin Peaks since 2011. Bobsessed since March 1991.

What's your response to this?


  1. Having seen both versions, I have to admit Martinez did an extremely lazy job, absolutely not getting the full vibe of the movie. Refn’s placeholder choice is giving a much bigger impact. Sad.

  2. Sometimes my arms bend back says:

    I disagree that the screener copy should be ignored. If you can get hold of a copy it’s certainly interesting to compare it to the final Cliff Martinez score. The use of the Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross tracks from the Social Network Soundtrack blend suprisingly well with the atmosphere and visual tone of Drive, as do the occasional Brian Eno tracks that pop up unexpectedly.

    Not to take anything away from Cliff Martinez of course, who provides a wonderful final score.

    • Twin Pie says:

      Thanks for the feedback! You’re right. It is interesting, but not for a first watch IMHO.

  3. Mark says:

    The screener is way better, Martinezs’ tracks simply come off as poor copies of the tracks Refn originally used

  4. Farty says:

    TWIN PIE, have you ever seen a David Lynch film? I guess not. Because if you have, you wouldn’t have come up with something so retarded

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