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Film Composers: Danny Elfman


Today’s film composer pick is one of my all time favourites, it’s Danny Elfman.


Unlike some composers, Danny Elfman’s style is so recognisable that you can often tell he’s composed the music before the opening credits have revealed it.


Elfman has frequently worked with directors Tim Burton and Sam Raimi, and some of his most notable works include: Batman (1989), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Men in Black (1997), Spider-Man (2002) and Mission Impossible (1996).


Elfman first worked with Tim Burton after Burton, a fan of his new wave band Oingo Boingo invited him to write the score for his first feature film, Pe-wee’s Big Adventure (1985). This led to a hugely successful collaboration between the two with Elfman scoring (to date) 16 of Burton’s films.


In 1993 Elfman composed the music to The Nightmare Before Christmas, a stop motion animated movie produced by Tim Burton that’s based on a poem he wrote in 1982. As well as composing the music and writing the songs for the film, Elfman provided the singing voice for the lead character Jack Skellington. He also composed the iconic theme tune to the Simpsons.


Click below to hear the epic Batman (1989) theme.




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