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Danny Elfman

May 29, 1953 -
born in Amarillo, TX, composed during the Contemporary period
Danny Elfman is easily the most successful of those rock musicians who have made the jump to serious film composition. Born Daniel Robert Elfman on May 29, 1953 in Amarillo, Texas and raised in Los Angeles, his mother, Blossom Elfman, was a novelist and later a screenwriter. Elfman was always musically inclined, and while living in France with his brother Richard in the early 1970s, he joined a theatrical company, where he first began learning how to orchestrate. He also spent some time living in Africa, until a bout with malaria forced him to return to the United States in the late 1970s. In 1980, he was asked to write the music for the low-budget horror-fantasy spoof Forbidden Zone, which was directed and co-produced by his brother Richard. This marked more the beginning of a career in rock music for Elfman than in film music -- Forbidden Zone, which didn't see wide release until 1983, never acquired more than a tiny cult audience, but the ensemble that had been assembled by Richard Elfman for the film, The Mystic Knights of Oingo Boingo, remained together and achieved a following as a New Wave band under the name Oingo Boingo. Danny Elfman continued with the group as a guitarist, singer, and songwriter for the next few years, establishing himself as a rock musician. Then, in 1985, he was approached by director Tim Burton to score his first full-length feature, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. Elfman's first chance to work on a film with a substantial budget, for a major studio, opened a new chapter in his career, as both the film and the music succeeded beyond anyone's expectations. His music, orchestrated by his fellow Oingo Boingo member Steve Bartek, was a mix of the comical, offbeat, and serious, and seemed to capture every nuance the Burton was looking for in a movie that was, essentially, a cartoon brought to life. Thus began Elfman's career in movie music, which at first had him confined to more of Tim Burton's fantasy films, including Beetlejuice, and offbeat comedies like Jonathan Demme's Something Wild -- the closest he got to mainstream, frontline movies were the comedies Back To School and Summer School. Over the those next few years, he honed his own skills as a composer, and when Burton approached him with the movie Batman, he was ready. It was with Batman that Elfman showed what he could really do as a composer, establishing his ability to justice to a major film -- his music, almost all of it dark hued in keeping with the subject, yet laced with warmth and humanity, was vital in fixing the dramatic tone of the film and keeping its human dimension, despite the larger-than-life characters and ominous look to the movie. The film became one of the top-grossing movies of all time and in the wake of its success (which earned him a Grammy Award), Elfman found himself in demand for a vast range of movies and subjects, from the mega-budgeted Dick Tracy in 1990 to period dramas such as Sommersby in 1993. His knack for scoring offbeat movies wasn't lost, however, as evidenced by his Academy Award nominations for comedy spoof Men In Black and for the drama Good Will Hunting, both from 1997, the same year he scored the gimmick comedy Flubber. Elfman has also occasionally returned to musical idioms somewhat closer to his original roots in rock music, as with his songwriting and singing in his score for Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Music For A Darkened Theatre, Vol. 2: Film & Television Music

Disc 1
Title: Edward Scissorhands, Film Score
Title: Dolores Claiborne, Film Score
Title: To Die For, Film Score
Title: Black Beauty, Film Score
Title: Batman Returns, Film Score
Disc 2
Title: Mission: Impossible, Film Score
Title: Sommersby, Film Score
Title: Dead Presidents, Film Score
Title: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Film Score
Title: Freeway, Film Score
Title: Shrunken Heads, Film Score Main Titles
Title: Amazing Stories: Family Dog, Television Episode Score
Title: Amazing Stories: Mummy, Daddy, Television Episode Score
Title: Barkley Superhero, Nike Commercial Music
Title: The Flash, Television Series Theme
Title: Pee Wee's Playhouse, Television Score
Title: Beethlejuice, Animated Television Series Theme
Title: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Film Score
x

Track List: Oz The Great And Powerful (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Title: Oz The Great And Powerful (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Comments

grablin
I love Mars attack
jack2072
Say iPhone 5 times
Pick a color
Post this 5 other songs
Look on your pillow
ken.hall136
Danny Elfman is my top-favorite composer. I also really like Chip Davis, but he writes music for a band, not movies. My favorite works by Danny Elfman are, Edward Scissorhands , The Nightmare before Christmas, and The Corpse Bride. :)
Pandora is being stupid
Ho ho ho merry Christmas
Coolllllllll eat my Gus
Loser not coolly batman
Is coolllll in gom.....so bye
When you listen to this, you wonder why your dreams aren't as magical as the music.
Why is the NBC soundtrack a picture of a weird toy in a box...and it only shows when a song is playing and not under Danny Elfman's listed albums?
slvdrnarmygi r l _ 0 1
He is spectauler
No, this is patrick. (Reply to marisabel ↓)
THIS IS HALLOWEEN
No words to describe how beautiful it is.
Beautiful ❤❤❤❤
Im Your Worst Nightmare.
There is no way humanly possible to describe how irrevocably in love with this film score I am! I listened to it on YouTube 36 times in a row...yes I counted!
I LOVE THIS SONG!!!! AND I LOVE IT BECAUSE I AM A 'musical geek'. You're probably like, "how can you possibly a geek?" Okay you weren't like that. But I was.
scoshewolf7
brilliant
The music is so beautiful it takes you back when you had your fantasy felt real.
skyskyawesom e s a u c e
I <3 this song
XD so cool!!!
I love Danny Elfman, he has such passion for music, so intense, and also spine tingling, best composer ever love it . i love it!!
Danny Elfman is one of THE Greatest composers in our world I love the music he produced with Burton and Depp especially Corpse Bride I died with the music and my curse was lifted with an 'I do' and I loved the music in Alice in Wonderland
I'm sleeping with a knife now...
1573492829
I love Danny Elfman especially the move of nightmare before Christmas and Edward scissorhands
I love this song and DANNY ELFMAN and TIM BURTON AND JOHNNY DEPP. I'm their biggest #1 Fan! >_<
I like this song but scares my younger brother and sister :-\
I love all of his work, he is so amazing.
I just watched Edward Scissorhands and fell in love with the movie and song! One of Danny Elfman's amazing works!
foxemma
YAY DANNY ELFMAN
This song is hauntingly disturbing.. .
So I love it!!!
Say iPod 5 times and post this on 2 videos then look under your pillow
1458091023
follow 4 a follow plz
1458091023
this song makes so calm
Pandora is the only place I can find this song..... :c
Great movie
toni_hill198 0
LOVE THE MOVIE AND THIS SONG SO AMAZING
Hi baby
Love it all ^-^
candylover02 4 3
This guy did a great job
I loved the old Spider-Mans but I'm afraid that The Amazing Spider-Man is really where it is at. The soundtrack is just as cool too
Alice in Wonderland <3
OMFG DA F**KING BEST
Spider man is the best marvel movie that has action
^^^ OBSESSED TIM BURTON & DANNY ELFMAN FAN.
Danny elfman!!! I like his song on just dance.....:- )
Omg I love the composer and the music. I love this movie so awsome and I love Big Fish both awsome movies:))))) ) ) ) )
Movie was okay...
Sooo magical and good
Oh my gosh! I would give anything to play with this orchestra! THEY'RE AMAZING!!!
whisper.rayn e
@ghost The Nightmare Before Christmas read the song name stupid
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