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The Danny Elfman & Tim Burton 25th Anniversary Music Box
Album Cover Art
CD 14: Oddities and Ends
CD 15: Curios and Curiouser
Album 2 Cover Art
CD 16: Notes and Notions
Album 3 Cover Art
CD 17: Collector's Edition Bonus Disc
Album 4 Cover Art
All Selections Composed and Co-Produced by:

Co-Produced by:
Tim Burton
Laura Engel
Richard Kraft
Wendy Griffiths
Xavier Ramos
Labels Icon
LABELS & RELEASE DATES
Warner Brothers Records
(Collector's Edition)
(April 12th, 2011)

Warner Brothers Records
(Regular Edition)
(May 24th, 2011)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Limited edition of 2,000 copies, the first 1,000 of which consisting of numbered "Collector's Edition" copies offered in October, 2010 and selling out a couple of months later. Originally set to debut in December, 2010, the "Collector's Edition" copies were delayed by manufacturing problems until April, 2011. The second batch of 1,000 copies, offered for purchase late in 2010 after the previous edition sold out, shipped in May, 2011.

Both editions were primarily available on the burtonelfman.com website (which linked to the online Warner Brothers and Reprise Records store), though the latter edition was also sold via third party vendors at commercial online outlets. Both editions fetched an initial price of $500, but the retail outlets were given an MSRP over $600 from which to advertise $500 as a discounted price.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you have ample expendable income and are a forgiving soul, for no set of music from thirteen film scores (plus odds and ends) is worth the price tag demanded by the excessive accessories on this product.

Avoid it... despite your love of Danny Elfman's music if you have no interest in a crushing, wallet-busting disappointment that was released disastrously by Warner Brothers and fails to offer music of a quantity and quality to justify its price.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,333
WRITTEN 5/25/11
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Elfman
Elfman
The Danny Elfman and Tim Burton 25th Anniversary Music Box: (Danny Elfman) Few composer/director collaborations during the 1990's and 2000's have fascinated movie-goers and film music collectors more than that which consists of Tim Burton and Danny Elfman. While the two men share many of the same fascinations with fantasy, science-fiction, and anything deviously morbid, their routes to Hollywood stardom took significantly different routes. Burton was involved with the industry going all the way back to his teenage years, when his illustrated creations for Disney animated features tested the boundaries of what the studio could accept. He always had a goal of exploring his unique vision on screen, and he has enjoyed the kind of freedom of expression in his works that few are able to achieve in an industry dominated by controlling studio executives. Elfman, on the hand, lived a youth that literally took him around the world, his life path meandering wildly until his 30's. His involvement in the performance and composition of music started relatively late in life, prodded to participate in unorthodox bands by friends and his older brother before eventually solidifying his efforts with Oingo Boingo in the 1980's. His involvement with film music started when a number of Oingo Boingo songs were licensed for popular pop-culture soundtracks, and Burton was well aware of Elfman's troup before being encouraged to use his talents on Pee-wee's Big Adventure for his feature debut in 1985. Elfman was terrified of the prospect of working with an orchestra for that assignment (Warner Brothers had floated Elmer Bernstein and others as more appropriate composers for the task), but he had written some material for up to eight lines as part of Oingo Boingo and he called upon band mate Steve Bartek to assist (along with Clint Eastwood composer Lennie Niehaus) with orchestrations. The success of that score, along with a variety of other quirky scoring assignments meant for him or Oingo Boingo at the time, led to an acceptance of Elfman that ultimately allowed the collaboration with Burton to include Beetlejuice and Batman later in the decade. And after the monumentally applauded response to the latter, Elfman's career in film scores was made. He continued to dabble with Oingo Boingo for years into that career, actually turning down notable scoring offers to attempt to keep the band going, but eventually his name recognition on the big screen, with the help of high-profile Burton successes, defined his path.

Despite his success, never left behind is the awkward geek in Elfman, however, and his personal quirkiness has led to an affectionate fanbase that adores his distinctive style of writing, as well as his passion for wife Bridget Fonda and his actively organized campaign against former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. The style of his scores has evolved wildly through the years, his early, melodramatic orchestral sound yielding to smaller-scale electronically-defined efforts. The trio of Batman, Edward Scissorhands, and The Nightmare Before Christmas represent the composer's most famous early works, and listeners longing for that emotionally touching side of his music rejoiced in Elfman's return to that technique for Alice in Wonderland in 2010. Even within the Elfman/Burton collaboration, though, evidence of the composer's venture into the realm of the electronic bass and less fluid orchestral movements exists. Two CD compilations of the 1990's, entitled "Music for a Darkened Theatre," best conveyed these two sides of Elfman's methodology, and they have long remained highly desirable items for his fans. Those collectors have often wondered if and when a third compilation along those lines would be released, but no follow-up has ever materialized. In 2010, it was revealed that Elfman's agent, Richard Kraft, was coordinating a box set of all of the scores in the Elfman/Burton collaboration for release by Warner Brothers. By all accounts, Kraft did this out of his love of Elfman and the music rather than for any motive of gain, and the agent, along with a few others, did the bulk of the work in assembling many of the musical treasures eventually heard on the set (Elfman himself does not tend to keep a library of his own music, especially in demo or worktape form). While Burton and Elfman both contributed to the creation of the massive product, the latter really went out of his way to oblige Kraft and his fans in supplying notation and even new arrangements for the set. A variety of demos, orchestra-only recordings for the musicals, alternate takes, and other odds and ends are joined by Elfman's own music box compilations of themes from his scores, all of which included over sixteen CDs and a USB stick as part of this presentation. Most importantly, however, fans salivated at the prospect of hearing expanded editions of all thirteen of the scores in the collaboration. Despite the fact that La-La Land Records had recently released expanded editions of Elfman's two Batman scores, there remained other scores that were desperately in need of expanded treatment.

Unfortunately, the creators of Warner's box set for the Elfman/Burton collaboration went terribly wrong in the conceptual phase of the packaging, yielding one of the most disastrous releases ever to exist in the history of soundtracks. You can't really fault the enthusiasm behind the ideas that eventually became a reality, but the execution of the product, as well as the resulting price point, was so ridiculous that it has been a deserved target of criticism from disappointed fans. There are really two parts to this immense failure, one in the unnecessarily elaborate design of the packaging and the other in Warner's handling of the ordering process and delivery. Because the creators of the set decided to include a variety of "extra features," including a large zoetrope with numerous "slides," a massive book, a DVD with interviews, and a USB stick with extra music on it, the cost for fans settled at a stunning $500 (not including an extra $25 or more for shipping). There is no doubt that the informative and humorous book included with the set, written well as usual by film music journalist Jeff Bond, is fascinating and beautifully produced; it would make an outstanding stand-alone product. But the other non-CD aspects of the set are superfluous and likely caused much of that $500 price tag. For listeners interested in the music only (a constituency that likely includes a vast majority of those who actually bought it), these additional items are largely useless. Many will have no experience or interest in operating a zoetrope, the DVD contains the kind of contents that could have been streamed online, and the USB stick is a disaster all to itself. That stick comes in a skeleton design that will appeal to enthusiasts of Day of the Dead festivities, but everything about its contents is a hassle. Extracting the files themselves from the program that doles out the music on the stick is a pain, and far worse is the fact that the stick is only 2GB in size. That means that all of the music on the stick had to be MP3's encoded at 192 kbps in order to make it fit. Thus, in the case of the extra music contained only on the stick (and not on any of the CDs in the box), listeners are stuck with a crappy, very lossy-sounding presentation. Anybody paying $500 for this product should certainly expect more. The presentation of music on the CDs could lead to some consumer dissatisfaction as well. Well-tuned ears have noticed differences in the mastering and editing of some of the recordings, sometimes not necessarily for the better. More importantly for the masses, however, is the arrangement of most of the CDs so that the original soundtrack album presentation of a given score appears first and then the additional material thereafter (rather than a chronological presentation that is the standard nowadays for expanded film score albums).

Charging fans $500 for 13 expanded scores (and a variety of small extras from affiliated projects that totaled 16 CDs) is alone reason to roll one's eyes at this set and move on. If anything, it simply encourages people suffering from the worst global recession in their lifetimes to share the music illegally online upon its release. But the other extremely dissatisfying aspect of the set is how Warner handled its availability, production quantity, ordering process, and updates about its eventual tardiness. The website "burtonelfman.com," along with a corresponding Facebook account, was established in late summer, 2010 to promote the set. At that point, the box was advertised as a numbered, limited edition of only 1,000 copies. Orders began to flow in during October, 2010, with the promise of delivery in time for Christmas. An unbelievable quantity of delays plagued the production of the set, however, mostly due to the complexity of the zoetrope's components that were, of course, unnecessary in the first place. A series of communications from Warner to those who pre-ordered the box apologized for delays that eventually lasted until April, 2011. During that time, the credit and debit cards of anybody who had ordered the set in 2010 experienced the $525 or greater charges several times before summary reversal. That meant that anybody with debit cards had to keep that quantity sitting idle in their bank account for the periodic checks by Warner to make sure the funds were still there. Otherwise (as was also the case with cards that were stolen or expired in the six months during this process), the orders were immediately cancelled if the temporary charge did not succeed. For those for whom the limited, numbered aspect of the product was important, receiving a terse cancellation notice five months after the order had gone into limbo was not exactly representative of good customer service. After the first 1,000, numbered copies were sold out in November, 2010, Warner then revealed that there would be a nearly identical second pressing of another 1,000 copies for the same price (but minus the little numbered certificate of no practical use), eventually due in May, 2011. Those duped into purchasing a numbered copy out of a sense of urgency were understandably disgruntled, though such selling techniques by record labels are hardly new. Warner did make some attempts to placate unhappy buyers, however. For those who ordered the initial 1,000 copies, the label advertised that it had created a 17th CD of music, autographed by Elfman himself, that would be delivered by Christmas-time instead. Even with this they managed to underwhelm, however, because the CD was mailed out the week after Christmas and it ended up containing absolutely no music that wouldn't eventually be included on the set.

Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
224 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.63 Stars
***** 51 5 Stars
**** 25 4 Stars
*** 20 3 Stars
** 48 2 Stars
* 80 1 Stars
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Epic!
Richard Kleiner - June 24, 2011, at 11:29 a.m.
1 comment  (1027 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
CD 14: Oddities and Ends Tracks   ▼Total Time: 72:08
Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Jar:
• 1. The Jar 1* (1:25)
• 2. The Jar 2* (1:43)
• 3. The Jar 3* (2:22)
• 4. The Jar 4 (2:42)
• 5. The Jar 5 (0:29)
• 6. The Jar 6* (1:07)
• 7. The Jar (Worktape)* (1:54)

Amazing Stories: Family Dog:
• 8. Amazing Stories: Family Dog - Main Title (0:53)
• 9. Amazing Stories: Family Dog - Amazing Stories (1:29)
• 10. Family Dog (TV Series) - Main Title* (1:02)
• 11. Family Dog (TV Series) - End Credits* (0:31)

The World of Stainboy:
• 12. Stainboy Suite* (2:19)

The Museum of Modern Art: The Art of Tim Burton:
• 13. MoMA - Christmas 1* (1:11)
• 14. MoMA - Sneaky* (1:12)
• 15. MoMA - Creepy Clowns* (2:07)
• 16. MoMA - Too Sweet* (2:17)
• 17. MoMA - Sad* (1:28)
• 18. MoMA - Eerie Circus* (1:08)
• 19. MoMA - Trailer* (0:33)
• 20. MoMA - Bells* (2:19)
• 21. MoMA - Spies* (1:03)
• 22. MoMA - Organ* (1:05)
• 23. MoMA - Calliope* (1:46)
• 24. MoMA - Alien Calliope* (1:31)
• 25. MoMA - Christmas 2* (1:29)

Edward Scissorhands Ballet: (Unused Score Demos)
• 26. Edward And His Creator* (3:42)
• 27. Edward Alone* (1:04)
• 28. Funeral/Holligans* (7:43)
• 29. Edward's Theme* (1:33)
• 30. Suburbia* (3:18)
• 31. Kim's Room* (6:39)

9:
• 32. Theme 1 (Demo)* (1:25)
• 33. Theme 2 (Demo)* (0:59)
• 34. Theme 3 (Demo)* (2:04)
• 35. Theme 4 (Demo)* (1:01)
• 36. Theme 5 (Demo)* (1:39)
• 37. Theme 6 (Demo)* (1:34)

Alice in Wonderland:
• 38. Fudderwacken 1 (Demo)* (0:31)
• 39. Fudderwacken 2 (Demo)* (0:31)
• 40. Fudderwacken 3 (Demo)* (0:30)
• 41. Fudderwacken 4 (Demo)* (0:34)
• 42. Fudderwacken (Final Film Version)* (0:37)
* previously unreleased
CD 15: Curios and Curiouser Tracks   ▼Total Time: 78:41
CD 16: Notes and Notions Tracks   ▼Total Time: 73:08
CD 17: Collector's Ed. Bonus Disc Tracks   ▼Total Time: 50:12

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The set's packaging is a primary selling point, despite the many inconveniences it causes. Consult with the review for more information about its various features. In terms of documentation, the set's book, "Danse Macabre" by Jeff Bond, does not contain a significant amount of information about the entirety of the set. Instead, Elfman's own notes about each score and his decisions about the inclusion of material exist in the inserts of each of the individual CDs, as well as a three-page note provided loosely within the box that covers the composer's description of the whole product and the bonus tracks only heard on the USB stick. Nowhere in the set is there actually analysis of the music itself; the book covers the back stories of each production while Elfman's notes concentrate mostly on the worktape and demo bonus tracks for each score. When ordering directly from Warner, no receipt for the product is provided in the package. Many initial recipients of the set have complained about damage to the set's exterior during shipping; Filmtracks' copy was also damaged during delivery.
Copyright © 2011-2015, 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 The Danny Elfman & Tim Burton 25th Anniversary Music Box are Copyright © 2011, Warner Brothers Records (Collector's Edition), Warner Brothers Records (Regular Edition) and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 5/25/11 (and not updated significantly since).
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