Floating into the Night
|Floating into the Night|
|Studio album by|
|Released||September 12, 1989|
|Studio||Excalibur Sound in New York City, New York, United States|
|Julee Cruise chronology|
|Singles from Floating into the Night|
Floating into the Night is the debut studio album by the American singer Julee Cruise. It was released on September 12, 1989 on Warner Bros. Records, and features compositions and production by Angelo Badalamenti and film director David Lynch. Songs from the album were featured in Lynch's projects Blue Velvet (1986), Industrial Symphony No. 1 (1990), and Twin Peaks (1990-91).
Filmmaker David Lynch and composer Angelo Badalamenti's collaboration with Cruise first came about during the scoring for Lynch's 1986 film Blue Velvet, in which a key scene was intended to feature This Mortal Coil's version of "Song to the Siren" by Tim Buckley. With the rights to the song proving prohibitively expensive, it was suggested that Badalamenti compose a pop song in the same style and recruit a vocalist with a haunting, ethereal voice. Badalamenti recommended Cruise, who had sung in a New York theater workshop Badalamenti had produced. The result was the track "Mysteries of Love." Lynch and Badalamenti were impressed with the results, and elected to record subsequent tracks with Cruise.
Floating into the Night was produced and written by Badalamenti and Lynch; Badalamenti composed the music and Lynch wrote the lyrics. Cruise initially regarded herself as "a Broadway belter" and had a reputation for letting "angry and aggressive emotions power her work," but Lynch "felt that Cruise had a 'soft, sad side'" and encouraged her to sing in a softer tone and in a higher register; Cruise's vocal style on Floating into the Night has been often regarded as "ethereal" and drawn comparisons to Elizabeth Fraser on the earlier releases by the Cocteau Twins. Cruise's vocals on Floating into the Night feature heavy use of digital reverb. Early recording sessions were difficult until Cruise heard her vocals treated with effects, upon which she recognized that Badalamenti was creating "mood pieces," and also took to Lynch's lyrics. Nonetheless, she expressed concern about the album's sound, stating that:
I wasn't quite sure how the hell we were going to pull it off. One night I played some demos for my husband's friend and his wife, and she said, "white wine Muzak." Aaaahh! I took it home for Christmas — and everyone in my family hated it. They were like, "What are you singing about?" One of my lawyers at the time said, "This is a novelty." I said, "Like Tiny Tim?"
According to Lynch, 40 songs were written for the album in total, with the final track listing including 10 tracks. Badalamenti noted that "when [the album] came out, radio stations said they had no slots for it. Is it pop? Not really. Is it R&B? Certainly not. What is it? Even the more avant-garde stations found it unusual, so it was difficult getting airplay." Floating into the Night has been characterized as a dream pop album, with heavy elements of jazz and traditional jazz instrumentation; Rolling Stone considered Floating into the Night as a definitive development of the dream pop sound, describing how the album "added depth to [the genre]" and "gave the genre its synthy sheen", particularly on the track "Mysteries of Love".
Floating into the Night was released on September 12, 1989 on Warner Bros. Records, although the album was originally set for release in late April. It was originally issued on CD, LP and cassette, and it has since been reissued on several occasions. The album received a CD reissue in Europe in October 1998, a 180-gram LP repressing by Plain Recordings in the United States in October 2014 and a separate 180-gram LP repressing by Music on Vinyl in Europe in February 2015.
Two singles were released from the album: "Falling" and "Rockin' Back Inside My Heart", both of which are featured in the television series Twin Peaks. In addition to the album's two singles, a number of other tracks from Floating into the Night appeared in Twin Peaks, including "Into the Night", "The Nightingale" and "The World Spins". "Mysteries of Love" had been previously featured in David Lynch's 1986 film Blue Velvet; "Rockin' Back Inside My Heart", "Into the Night", "I Float Alone" and "The World Spins" were performed in the 1990 Lynch production Industrial Symphony No. 1; and "The World Spins" is featured on the soundtrack to the 2003 film The Company.
Lynch's lyrics on Floating into the Night have been the subject of analysis, especially from fans and academic studies of Twin Peaks—a television series he co-created and in which several songs from the album are featured. Academic The Cinema of David Lynch: American Dreams, Nightmare Visions Richardson said that Cruise's considerable use of reverb sound as if she sings "from a distance that clearly parallels the distance between the other world that [Twin Peaks character] Laura Palmer has fallen into and the primary diegetic world of the other characters"; he considered the lyrics to "Falling"—an instrumental version of which was used as the theme song to the series—as "reinforc[ing] this impression since they can easily be understood as representing Laura's point of view". Cruise, however, considers Lynch's lyrics to have been written about his then-partner, Italian actress and model Isabella Rossellini.
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|The Village Voice||B−|
Upon its release Floating into the Night received widespread critical acclaim. However, the album garnered a mixed review from The Village Voice editor Robert Christgau, who said that "when admirers claim [Cruise] sounds best in a dark room at three in the morning, I wonder whether she puts them to sleep too." A short feature article in Spin was more positive, referring to the album as being "like a dark movie with no film footage, just a haunting voice, bizarre dialogue and vivid atmospherics" and describing Cruise's vocals as "scary" and "beautiful". Q included Floating into the Night in its year-end list of the "50 Best Albums of 1990", receiving a four-out-of-five-star rating, however, in the 1992 Rolling Stone Album Guide the album was received less favorably and awarded a two-out-of-five-star rating.
Writing a retrospective review for AllMusic, Ned Raggett referred to Floating into the Night as "more or less [the] unofficial soundtrack [to] Twin Peaks" and added that "the combination of Cruise's sweet, light tones, Lynch's surprisingly affecting lyrics … and Angelo Badalamenti's combination of retro styles and modern ambience, is a winner throughout. The feeling is one of a 50s jukebox suddenly plunged into a time warp, dressed with extra sparkle and with a just-sleepy-enough, narcotic feeling." In 2010 Pitchfork included "Falling" at number 146 on its staff list of "The Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s"; Tom Ewing said that "[the song] catches you with its dreamy, echo-drenched gentility—like Les Paul and Mary Ford inventing shoegaze in 1961—and inside is one of the decade's simplest and warmest love songs." In 2013 Fact included the album at number 25 on its list of "The 100 Best Albums of the 1980s".
Floating into the Night peaked at number 74 on U.S. Billboard 200 on June 30, 1990, nine months after its release. In 1991 the album placed in several international album charts, peaking at number 21 on the Australian Albums Chart number 11 on the New Zealand Albums Chart and number 36 on the Swedish Albums Chart.
Despite not placing in the United Kingdom's albums chart, Floating into the Night's lead single "Falling" reached the Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 7 and spending 12 weeks in total on the chart; "Falling" was also a moderate commercial success in several international territories, peaking in the Top 10 singles charts in Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Australia. In February 2012 Floating into the Night was certified Silver in the UK, with 60,000 units shipped.
|4.||"Rockin' Back Inside My Heart"||5:45|
|5.||"Mysteries of Love"||4:27|
|6.||"Into the Night"||4:42|
|7.||"I Float Alone"||4:33|
|10.||"The World Spins"||6:38|
All personnel credits adapted from Floating into the Night's album notes.
|United States (Billboard 200)||74|
|New Zealand (RIANZ)||11|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||60,000^|
|^ shipment figures based on certification alone|
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