People used to approach me about my Eraserhead T-shirt in the nineties; I suppose that was part of the reason for owning an Eraserhead T-shirt. A staggering percentage of them were men in record stores who wanted to tell me about drug experiences they’d had with the Eraserhead soundtrack in college (short version: “It was like AAAAAAHHHH!!!”), drug experiences they’d induced in a tripping roommate with the album’s aid, or some variation on this theme. No one had a word to say about whooshing, hissing, or gushing, much less about Fats Waller, Peter Ivers, or Alan R. Splet. I came to understand that, if there were others like me who listened to the record for pleasure, they were not the gregarious sort of people who strike up conversations with strangers in record stores.
Around the millennium, Lynch and sound engineer John Neff worked on a number of projects together, one of which was their band BlueBOB (whose “Thank You, Judge” was an example of high-quality streaming video at the time). Another was a “restored” CD of the Eraserhead soundtrack released on Lynch’s Absurda label in 2001. “Eraserhead Soundtrack cleaned with Waves Restoration-X Plugins for ProTools treated with the Aphex 204 Aural Exciter,” the liner notes explained.
Original Soundtrack Plus was so named because it dangled a bonus track: Lynch and Neff’s ten-minute, 16-second “Eraserhead Dance Mix.” It may not transport you to the exact same place as the original album, but it will take you to a nearby, very cold region of that territory.