Cinesphere: The Lost Highway Soundtrack

A fantastic soundtrack from an almost forgotten film. Songs from David Lynch’s 1997, LOST HIGHWAY. When the film came out it was largely dismissed by critics and audiences alike. Not just dismissed. They despised it. Everyone found it confusing and talked about how it made no sense. Roger Ebert called it “an empty stylistic facade” and the general audience was even more judgmental and harsh. Sadly, such reactions seem to be common when people encounter difficult or highly-innovative works, whether we’re talking Jackson Pollock or JG Ballard. But that’s the topic of a different post for some other time when I have the energy to feel more indignant and self-righteous. This post is a celebration of a fact that almost everyone can agree on. The soundtrack to LOST HIGHWAY is fucking amazing.

It was produced by none other than Trent Reznor, of Nine Inch Nails fame, who also contributed two original songs to the project. There was also an original song for the film by Smashing Pumpkins, “Eye.” Arguably, their last good song. Add a smattering of other fine tunes from the likes of David Bowie, Lou Reed, Rammstein, and a super-creepy cover by Marilyn Manson, and you have something pretty spectacular.

The soundtrack was a far bigger hit than the movie, rising all the way to #7 on the Billboard charts. It even went “gold.” And many of those same people who crucified Lynch for LOST HIGHWAY would be back to applaud him with MULHOLLAND DRIVE in 2001. Apparently, more accepting, at that point, of less conventional story structures.

Regardless, if you haven’t ever seen LOST HIGHWAY you need to fix that. And if you saw it when it came out and dismissed it, well, you need to go back and fix that too. In the meantime, dig up your CD of the soundtrack, or stream it, or whatever, and let yourself take a journey into the “psychogenic fugue” (Lynch’s words, not mine), of LOST HIGHWAY. It’s a journey that will shake you up and leave you happy to be where you are, even though you have no idea how you ever got there.

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