Julee A. Cruise (born December 1, 1956, Creston, Iowa) is an American singer, songwriter, actress and musician. She has recorded four albums, but is probably best known for "Falling", the theme song for the cult US television series Twin Peaks. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, she collaborated with composer Angelo Badalamenti and film director David Lynch, who produced and wrote the lyrics for many of her released songs, and returned in the 2017 return of Twin Peaks. Cruise is also a songwriter in her own right. She is married to Edward Grinnan, Editor-in-Chief of Guideposts magazine and best-selling author of The Promise of Hope and Always By My Side.
Early life and career
Born in Creston, Iowa, her father was the town dentist.
Julee Cruise studied French horn at Drake University and performed as a singer and actress in Minneapolis with the famed Children's Theater Company (notably in the role of Jinjur in stage adaptations of L. Frank Baum's Oz books). She moved to New York and played Janis Joplin in a revue called Beehive, while also working with Badalamenti.
Collaborations with Badalamenti and Lynch
In 1985, Badalamenti was composing the score for David Lynch's Blue Velvet, as well as serving as the vocal coach for the film's star, Isabella Rossellini. A key scene in Blue Velvet was intended to feature This Mortal Coil's version of "Song to the Siren" by Tim Buckley, but when the rights to the song proved prohibitively expensive, it was suggested that Badalamenti compose a pop song in the same style, with lyrics written by Lynch. Because the song required a vocalist with a haunting, ethereal voice, Badalamenti recommended Cruise, who had sung in a New York theater workshop Badalamenti had produced. The result of their initial collaboration was "Mysteries of Love", which figures prominently in Blue Velvet's closing scenes and gained a cult following.
Badalamenti and Lynch went on to write and produce additional songs for Cruise, most of which were featured in her debut album, Floating into the Night (1989). The album was released on 12 September 1989 by Warner Bros. Records, and charted on Billboard the following year. It also provided musical material for Lynch's Industrial Symphony No. 1, in which Cruise performed while "floating" from a harness dozens of feet above a stage at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
The second, more significant project was the soundtrack to Lynch's Twin Peaks, for which Badalamenti composed the original score. The song "Falling", which became the orchestral theme for the television series, caused a minor sensation, winning a Grammy at the 33rd Grammy Awards for Best Pop Instrumental. The Twin Peaks soundtrack, featuring Cruise on the songs "Into the Night" and "The Nightingale" as well as on the vocal version of "Falling", eventually going gold (500,000+ copies) in the US, a rare feat for a television soundtrack. Cruise made a number of appearances on Twin Peaks as a singer at a local bar, and was prominently featured in both the show's landmark pilot episode and the episode where Laura Palmer's murderer is revealed, as well as in 1992's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. "Rockin' Back Inside My Heart", the second single from Floating into the Night, was released in 1990 and was also featured in an episode of Twin Peaks along with "The World Spins"; in the episode, several of the main female characters are shown lip-synching to "Rockin' Back Inside My Heart."
Cruise reinterpreted and sang the theme song for an episode of the USA Network show Psych. The episode, "Dual Spires" (s05/ep12 12/01/2010), was about a secluded town full of secrets and skeletons while they investigate the murder of a girl. It aired 20 years to the day after Laura Palmer's murderer was revealed.
Cruise appeared on Saturday Night Live on May 12, 1990, filling in along with Spanic Boys on short notice when scheduled performer Sinéad O'Connor refused to appear on the same show as guest host Andrew Dice Clay. Cruise performed "Falling."
The following year, Cruise recorded a Lynch- and Badalamenti-produced cover of the Elvis Presley song "Summer Kisses, Winter Tears" for the soundtrack of Wim Wenders's Until the End of the World. Afterward, Cruise maintained a relatively low profile until her second album, The Voice of Love, was released in 1993. An instrumental version of "She Would Die for Love" was used as the main theme for the movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.
"She Would Die for Love" was also covered by alternative metal band Fantômas on their The Director's Cut album as "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me".
Cruise's early collaborations with Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch were closely related to Lynch's film work, and their lyrics often reflect this. For example, "Into the Night" begins with the whispered words "Now it's dark", a line which was repeatedly spoken by Frank Booth, Dennis Hopper's character, in Blue Velvet. Lynch also photographed Cruise for the liner notes of Floating Into the Night and The Voice of Love, and created the sculptures featured on the covers of both albums.
Post-Badalamenti and Lynch
Cruise's long-delayed third album, The Art of Being a Girl, was released in 2002. This was the first of her albums for which Badalamenti and Lynch did not produce or write any of the music, with music and lyrics for each of the songs being written by Cruise herself (with the exception of an updated version of her classic single "Falling") and guest produced by Rick Strom and Mocean Worker.
In 2011, Cruise released her fourth album My Secret Life. The album was a collaboration with DJ Dmitry (formerly of Deee-lite) and contained a cover of Donovan's "Season of the Witch" and a cover (technically) of Hybrid's "Fatal Beating" called "A Fatal Beating".
Cruise also acted and sang in the off-Broadway cast of Return to the Forbidden Planet, a spoof of William Shakespeare's The Tempest, and toured with The B-52's as Cindy Wilson's touring stand-in on and off from 1992 to 1999. She also performed regularly with Bobby McFerrin's improvisational vocal group Voicestra/CircleSong.
She appeared as Andy Warhol (among other characters, including Susan Sontag) in the 2004 Keith Haring bio-musical Radiant Baby at the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, directed by George C. Wolfe.
Cruise has also lent her vocals to works by a miscellaneous list of collaborators, mostly in electronic music.
She collaborated with Moby on his song "Drown Disco" which remains unreleased.
She provided vocals and lyrics to several of the songs on Wide Angle (1999), the debut album by Welsh electronic music group Hybrid, notably the nuskool breaks track "If I Survive". Also in 1999, she performs on two songs on Don't Panic! by DJ Silver, "Sweet Dreams" and "I'm Your Girl".
She appeared on the albums 1-900-Get-Khan (1999) and No Comprendo (2001) by dance artist Khan (Can Oral), and also performed live and toured numerous times with him. The lyrics for many of these songs, such as "Body Dump", reflect Cruise's own interest in true crime. Their most successful collaboration, the classic "Say Good-bye," was a hit in Europe and elsewhere.
She was featured in 2 songs on Supa DJ Dmitry's (formerly of Deee-Lite) album Scream of Consciousness (2000), "Don't Talk Me Down" (originally issued on TVT 7311-0 12") and a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity".
She appears on a number of tracks on both the 2003 album Dreams Top Rock and the 2007 album Monstrous Surplus by German post-rock act Pluramon, a pseudonym of the musician Marcus Schmickler.
More recently, Cruise has appeared as a guest vocalist on Sarcast While, the 2006 full-length album from the New York band, Time of Orchids, released on Tzadik Records. Her vocals also appear on five tracks on Kenneth Bager's 2006 album Fragments From A Space Cadet.
Cruise provides the vocals for Delerium's "Magic" song (on the Chimera album). Cruise also provided vocals alongside Pharrell on Handsome Boy Modeling School's song "Class System".
Cruise also contributed vocals on Ror-Shak's 2007 album Deep, on the song "Fate or Faith".
Cover versions, film soundtracks and adverts
Cruise has recorded several memorable covers over the years, including Sir Cliff Richard's "Wired for Sound" with B(if)tek, R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World (and I Feel Fine)" with Eric Kupper, Eurythmics's "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" with DJ Silver, Elvis Presley's "Summer Kisses, Winter Tears", and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" with Supa DJ Dmitry.
In 1996, Cruise with the Flow appeared on the Scream soundtrack with the song "Artificial World (Interdimensional Mix)".
In 2001, Cruise contributed two exclusive tracks to the Nutcracker: An American Nightmare soundtrack CD maxi-single, "In Your World Of Blue" and "Never Let You Go".
In 2003, Depeche Mode songwriter Martin Gore included a cover version of Cruise's song "In My Other World" (from her 1993 album The Voice of Love) on Counterfeit², the second in his series of cover albums dedicated to his own musical influences and atmospheric inspirations.
In 2003, Cruise's song "The World Spins" was featured in an extended ballet sequence in Robert Altman's The Company.
Cruise's song "Floating" was featured in TV advertisements and trailers for the show The Riches, which debuted on FX in March 2007. The next year her music was used in CSI: Miami and in episode 12 of season 5 of Psych, "Dual Spires", which was a spoof of Twin Peaks.
In 2012, her song "The World Spins" was used in an episode of the TV show House.
- Floating into the Night (1989)
- The Voice of Love (1993)
- The Art of Being a Girl (2002)
- My Secret Life (2011)
|1990||"Falling"||11||7||1||Floating into the Night|
|1991||"Rockin' Back Inside My Heart"||—||66||107|
|"Summer Kisses, Winter Tears"||—||—||—||Until the End of the World OST|
|1992||"Questions in a World of Blue" (promo only)||—||—||—||The Voice of Love|
|1993||"Movin' In on You" (promo only)||—||—||—|
|1999||"If I Survive" (by Hybrid)||—||52||—||Wide Angle|
- Can "Khan" Oral (single "Say Goodbye", tracks "Body Dump" and "Noewhere", and EP album San Jose)
- Hybrid (tracks "If I Survive", "I Know", "Dreaming Your Dreams", "High Life", and "Fatal Beating")
- Angelo Badalamenti (Music from Twin Peaks)
- DJ Dmitry (track "Don't Talk Me Down" on album Screams of Consciousness and producer of Cruise's album My Secret Life)
- The Flow ("Artificial World" on Scream soundtrack)
- Moby (track "Drown Disco")
- The B-52's (tour member during the 1990s)
- Mocean Worker (track "Falling in Love")
- David Lynch (Music from Twin Peaks and Industrial Symphony No. 1)
- B(if)tek (track "Wired for Sound" - AUS #82)
- Bobby McFerrin (performed in McFerrin's improv group)
- Kenneth Bager ("Fragment Two", "Fragment Seven", "Fragment Ten", and "Fragment Eleven" on album Fragments from a Space Cadet)
- DJ Silver (tracks "Sweet Dreams", "I'm Your Girl", and "Si Chiama Amore")
- Ror Shak (track "Fate or Faith")
- Delerium (track "Magic" on album Chimera)
- Handsome Boy Modeling School (Prince Paul & Dan the Automator) (song "Class System" duet with Pharrell on album White People)
- Marcus Schmickler alias Pluramon on albums Dreams Top Rock and The Monstrous Surplus
- Moodswings (track "Into the Blue" on album Horizontal)
- Time of Orchids (track "A Man to Hide" on album Sarcast While)
- Atmo. Brtschitsch (track "Everyday" on album Change Your Life)
- Top 50 peaks:
- Top 100 peaks:
- "Rockin' Back Inside My Heart":