Danny Elfman's second volume of film and TV music picks up where the original Music for a Darkened Theatre stopped, covering material released from 1990 to 1996. This time around several movies are represented by more than one track and as a result, the music is spread over two CDs and even better value for money. In keeping with the style of the original, the accompanying booklet also contains notes by the composer which are brief but give some insight into the composer's thoughts. And also following the same pattern, we have several TV odds 'n Ends, including "The Flash", and two instances where Elfman revisits territory first encountered on the big screen with "Pee Wee's Playhouse" and the animated TV version of "Beetlejuice".
In pride of place we have both Edward Scissorhands and Batman Returns, two fantastical yet different collaborations with director Tim Burton. There are several tracks from each including the hair/hedge cutting scenes, the birth of the Penguin and the Catwoman theme. We also have the "Mission Impossible" movie which includes the dream sequence and quotations from the incidental music TV theme by Lalo Schifrin and the emotionally very deep music from Dolores Claiborne. There are some true walks on the wild side with "To Die For" and "Dead Presidents". Last but not least there are some orchestral tracks from Elfman's magnum opus "The Nightmare before Christmas" and the icing on the cake is the original demo version of "This is Halloween" from that animated story. Elfman put this together using synthesizers and his own voice in various pitches, and is very apologetic about it in his notes. But it's amozing how good this sounds and it's a remarkably good way to round off this double album. These links take you straight into the page featuring this product on the shopping sites: Amazon.co.uk in the UK, or Amazon.com in the US.