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Music for a Darkened Theatre, Volume 1
Album Cover Art
Selections Composed by:

Orchestrated by:
Steve Bartek

Produced by:
Richard Kraft
Bob Badami
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
MCA Records
(October 15th, 1990)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
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AWARDS
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you consider yourself any collector of Danny Elfman's music, for this compilation contains fascinating material from early in his career.

Avoid it... if you have only either a casual interest in the composer's works or no tolerance for Elfman's wackier, comedic side.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #696
WRITTEN 12/6/96, REVISED 8/22/08
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Elfman
Elfman
Music for a Darkened Theatre: Volume 1: (Danny Elfman) Most fans of rocker-turned-composer Danny Elfman fell in love with his music in the late 1980's, entranced by his ability to both entertain with wacky orchestral idea and melt hearts with his extraordinary sense for the melodramatic. Even the most devoted fans of the composer will admit that the he has produced some (lovably) strange music in his career. The "Music for a Darkened Theatre: Volume 1" compilation of early Elfman film and television music, covering 1985 to 1990, serves up a healthy dose of vintage material, much of which remains difficult or impossible to find in other commercial form. A second volume of "Music for a Darkened Theatre" released six years later would feature samplings of Elfman's scores from 1991 to 1996 (primarily) on two CDs. Now decades after the fact, you cannot say that Elfman's music has followed a distinct pattern as he has matured in the role of a film music composer. But in 1991, all one would have to do is listen to Edward Scissorhands and "Music for a Darkened Theatre: Volume 1" to indeed notice an early pattern. From the rock sounds of Oingo Boingo, Elfman was on a course in 1990 to vault himself into the stars of orchestral soundtrack legends, with Batman albums flying off of music store shelves in record numbers. But, as Elfman would have it, his career would proceed like a whirlwind of stylistic experimentation and ventures into the unknown, punctuated by a series of efforts in the late 1990's that barely resembled his early, most popular works. His knack for being consistently unpredictable continued well into the 2000's. On "Music for a Darkened Theatre: Volume 1," though, you hear an excellent cross-section of this talent across the entire range which brought Elfman into the forefront in the first place. Suites from Batman, Nightbreed, and Darkman provide the bulk of the serious, orchestral material, and are all well assembled. Every time you see another performing group kill one of these scores in a poor arrangement (and Batman especially) you have to wonder why they just don't take a cue from Elfman's own choices for suites here. He does a remarkable job of choosing the most interesting and superior cues for inclusion in the suites, with only a little evidence of editing noticeable to the most ardent fans of the original, fuller albums.



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VIEWER RATINGS
454 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.39 Stars
***** 168 5 Stars
**** 79 4 Stars
*** 57 3 Stars
** 65 2 Stars
* 85 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
2 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Summer School
orion_mk3 - March 28, 2006, at 2:02 p.m.
1 comment  (2124 views)
Volume 3, When???
Bisse Börjesson - January 5, 2004, at 4:00 a.m.
1 comment  (2518 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 73:19
Pee Wee's Big Adventure - 1985
• 1. Overture/Breakfast Machine/Clown Dream/Drive-In (6:59)

Batman - 1989
• 2. Main Titles/Up the Cathedral/Descent Into Mystery (8:23)

Dick Tracy - 1990
• 3. Main Titles (3:01)

Beetlejuice - 1988
• 4. Main Titles/End Titles (3:41)

Nightbreed - 1990
• 5. Main Titles/Meat for the Beast/End Titles (7:01)

Darkman - 1990
• 6. Main Titles/Woe The Darkman, Woe (6:52)

Back to School - 1986
• 7. Study Montage (1:28)

Midnight Run - 1988
• 8. Walsh Gets the Duke/Main Titles/Diner Blues (4:41)

Wisdom - 1986
• 9. Change of Life/Close Call in Albuquerque (4:37)

Hot to Trot - 1988
• 10. Main Titles/Wandering Don (2:20)

Big Top Pee Wee - 1988
• 11. Main Titles/Rise'n Shine/Pee Wee's Love Theme (5:23)

The Simpsons - 1989
• 12. Theme (1:29)

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Jar - 1986
• 13. Suite (3:19)

Tales from the Crypt - 1989
• 14. Theme (1:27)

Face like a Frog - 1987
• 15. Suite (2:07)

Forbidden Zone - 1980
• 16. Love Theme (1:14)

Scrooged - 1988
• 17. Main Titles/Show Time at IBC/Elliot Gives Blood/Waiter Ablaze/Asylum/Crematorium (8:42)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes Elfman's personal feelings about each selection, and he also offers some explanation for those tracks that most listeners have likely never heard of.
Copyright © 1996-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Music for a Darkened Theatre, Volume 1 are Copyright © 1990, MCA Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 12/6/96 and last updated 8/22/08.
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