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Mars Attacks!
Album Cover Art
1997 Atlantic
2009 La-La Land
Album 2 Cover Art
2011 Warner
Album 3 Cover Art
Composed and Co-Produced by:

Co-Orchestrated by:
Mark McKenzie
Edgardo Simone

Conducted by:
Artie Kane

Co-Orchestrated and Co-Produced by:
Steve Bartek

Co-Produced by:
Ellen Segal
Labels Icon
Atlantic Recording Co.
(March 4th, 1997)

La-La Land Records
(May 19th, 2009)

Warner Brothers Records
(April 12th, 2011)
Availability Icon
The 1997 Atlantic album was a regular U.S. release, but out of print and selling for about $20 in the 2000's. The 2009 expanded La-La Land product is limited to 3,000 copies and initially available at soundtrack specialty outlets for $20. It did not sell out in its first two years of release. The 2011 Warner set is a limited edition of 2,000 copies, sold for $500 primarily through the official site of the album. Consult with the separate review of that set for more details about its availability.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you are a hardcore collector of Danny Elfman's most zany and frenetic symphonic works and are not deterred by headache-inducing parodies of already quirky genre staples.

Avoid it... either if theremines give you nightmares or if you recognize that good parody music has to take itself seriously in order to truly function, a quality completely thrown out the window by this intentionally ridiculous score.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 3/14/97, REVISED 6/2/11
Mars Attacks!: (Danny Elfman) It's difficult to definitively determine if Tim Burton was trying to make a film better or worse than what Mars Attacks! turned out to be, but in any case, the picture might have better if it had swung in either direction. Never receiving a glowing response from critics and blown off in the end by viewers already satisfied in the genre by Independence Day earlier in 1996, Burton's tribute to the ridiculous, low-budget, B-minus films of Ed Wood and others in the 1950's science fiction genre (inspired as well by a series of old Topps bubble gum cards) tried just a little too hard to actually be good, or to be above its own material. Therein lies the main reason for the film's downfall: the combination of a spectacular cast, magnificent special effects, overdone gore, and a refusal by Burton to allow the film to take flight with its parody lines causes Mars Attacks! to be little more than a bizarre spectacle. It simply isn't funny in most of its parts, too, and while it never ceases to intrigue in the way it tickles the perverse senses of those inclined to find mutilation and mass death entertaining, its defocused and lacking character development doesn't give you any reason to care about its premise. Perhaps one of the more important and overlooked aspects of Mars Attacks! is the fact that the project re-united the quirky director with composer Danny Elfman. The two men had experienced a passionate disagreement a few years earlier, spawned by the awkwardly deep involvement by Elfman in The Nightmare Before Christmas, and his services were therefore not utilized by Burton for Ed Wood in 1994. Many other Burton and Elfman collaborators had reinforced the plain and simple fact that the composer was inevitably the perfect fit for Mars Attacks!, though. When a mutual contact called Elfman and asked if he could fly to the film's shooting location in Kansas, he enthusiastically (and with a sense of relief) traveled there immediately. He and Burton sat down at a restaurant and reconciled without any drama, agreeing to move on and ignore their stormy episode, and that was not only a good thing for the long-term triumphs they would go on to experience, but also in the immediate time frame, because it's difficult to imagine Mars Attacks! absent its incredibly wacky Elfman score.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.2 Stars
***** 188 5 Stars
**** 191 4 Stars
*** 197 3 Stars
** 166 2 Stars
* 112 1 Stars
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Read All Start New Thread Search Comments
Awwww - I Love This Score!
Will - April 9, 2010, at 5:44 a.m.
1 comment  (1309 views)
Brass Section (Hollywood Studio & Skywalker Symphony Orchestra)
Kino - June 17, 2009, at 5:57 a.m.
1 comment  (2627 views)
Why Did Burton and Elfman Split   Expand >>
Steven Sommerset - March 17, 2006, at 3:28 a.m.
2 comments  (4943 views)
Newest: March 17, 2006, at 4:52 a.m. by
Danny French
N.R.Q. - March 10, 2006, at 6:40 a.m.
1 comment  (2576 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1997 Atlantic Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 46:52
• 1. Introduction (1:40)
• 2. Main Titles (2:22)
• 3. First Sighting (1:26)
• 4. The Landing (6:01)
• 5. Ungodly Experiments (0:53)
• 6. State Address (3:06)
• 7. Martian Madame (3:02)
• 8. Martian Lounge (2:54)
• 9. Return Message (2:17)
• 10. Destructo X (1:17)
• 11. Loving Heads (1:20)
• 12. Pursuit (2:55)
• 13. The War Room (1:31)
• 14. Airfield Dilemma (2:05)
• 15. New World (1:45)
• 16. Ritchie's Speech (3:09)
• 17. End Credits (3:53)
• 18. Indian Love Call - performed by Slim Whitman (3:08)
• 19. It's Not Unusual - performed by Tom Jones (2:00)
2009 La-La Land Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 74:48
2011 Warner Set Tracks   ▼Total Time: 74:11

Notes Icon
The insert of the 1997 Altantic album includes no extra information about the score or film. The one for the 2009 La-La Land album contains extensive notation about both. The 2011 Warner set features some notes from Elfman about his choices of music for inclusion on the product.
Copyright © 1997-2020, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the 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 Mars Attacks! are Copyright © 1997, 2009, 2011, Atlantic Recording Co., La-La Land Records, Warner Brothers Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 3/14/97 and last updated 6/2/11.
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