In 1985, Lynch’s obsession with This Mortal Coil’s “Song to the Siren” was at a fever pitch. Wanting to feature the song in Blue Velvet, the rights to the Tim Buckley cover proved problematic and prohibitively expensive. Lynch had famously just began working with Angelo Badalamenti, who had been suggested by producer Fred Caruso to coach Isabella Rossellini with singing “Blue Velvet” for the film. Faced with the “Song to the Siren” dilemma, Caruso again suggested his friend Badalamenti as a possible solution, encouraging Lynch himself to pen lyrics in order to come up with an original alternative for the film. “David reluctantly agreed to write a lyric, but he thought writing a new song was absolutely preposterous because ‘Song to the Siren’ was his favorite song of all time,” Badalamenti says. The result – “Mysteries of Love,” sung by Cruise – ended up forging a rich blueprint for not just one song, but two full-length albums.
Two years after Blue Velvet was released, the notion of a full album of material took shape and three crucial demos were recorded to gain the confidence and financial support of a label. Early versions of “Floating,” “Falling,” and “The World Spins” were all roughed out in economic elegance, rendering distinctive snapshots of what could be if the formula of “Mysteries of Love” was spun into a larger body of work. They’re fascinating glimpses into the genesis of what became Floating Into the Night and the minimal key ingredients that made the material alchemize. An early version of the album opener “Floating” originally began with a stunning spoken-word intro later dropped entirely from the album version. A revelation in its overarching simplicity, the three-song collection is devoid of the lp’s additional arrangement flourishes, and yet still manages to present the same emotional depth charge with only voice, synthesizer, and lyric.