Julee Cruise, RIP
I first heard her on Peter Schickele's radio program, Schickele Mix. I'll guess the year was about 1991. It was a wonderfully eclectic hour of music and talk about music and I sometimes recorded it to cassette.
One night he played this song. As far as I recall he didn't say anything by way of introduction beyond the singer's name. I had never heard of her. I had never seen Twin Peaks and knew little about David Lynch beyond the fact that he was the director of a movie called Blue Velvet which I had stopped watching part way through because I found it too disturbing. I can only describe my reaction to the song as some weird combination of mesmerized and electrified. And touched by a deep sadness. I kept the tape of that program for a long time, mainly for this song.
This was before the web, and I had no way of learning more about the artist or the music. Of course I had no idea that I would eventually become a big fan of Twin Peaks and some of Lynch's other work. I don't know how much time went by before I got the album, Floating Into the Night, but it was before I ever saw Twin Peaks. That had to wait for Netflix. I liked the album as much as I liked the one song.
Here's what I wrote about the album in the 52 Albums series. I don't see anything there that I would disagree with now, five years later.
Julee Cruise died within the past day or two. According to this obituary in The Guardian, she had lupus. And the comment from her husband--"she left this realm on her own terms"--makes it sound like she might have taken her own life rather than wait for the disease to take it. I would not judge harshly anyone who takes that step under those conditions, but I hope it's not true.
Here's the song which was the foundation of the Twin Peaks soundtrack. Of the Twin Peaks sound.
Very sorry to hear this.
I first heard of the album several years after Twin Peaks, when I happened to be listening to Hearts of Space one night and heard "The World Spins." I bought the CD not long after that, but didn't make the connection with T.P. until the second track, "Falling," started to play, and I had the big "Aha!" moment.
Funny, but just the other day I was listening to something that was very reminiscent of her music, both vocally and style-wise, but was a bit bigger and louder. Can't remember what it was right now, but I'm sure it was something I had flagged to go back to, so when I do I'll let you know.
Per Discogs it looks like her 2nd LP isn't too hard to get ahold of, but the later two are more difficult to find. Her last album came out in 2011 and it appears that she only did a couple singles after that.
Posted by: Rob G | 06/11/2022 at 09:41 AM
I have the 2nd, and not surprisingly it's not as good as Floating. I haven't really given it that much of a chance. It's probably better than I give it credit for, but Floating is a pretty hard one to follow. I haven't heard the others. Didn't know the last one existed, in fact.
Posted by: Mac | 06/11/2022 at 05:01 PM
An excellent commentary:
Posted by: Mac | 06/12/2022 at 05:18 PM
Yes, definitely a good piece. Going to have to listen to the trip-hop album.
Posted by: Rob G | 06/13/2022 at 12:03 PM