First let me be frank - I didn't get my copy of The Family Man from some "inside source". Danny Elfman didn't call me up and say "Hey Ryan - I'm FEDEXing a copy of The Family Man up to you 'cause you're cool". The truth of the matter is that Danny Elfman said I was "so nice". Actually that's not true - Danny Elfman didn't - hasn't ever - called me on the phone. I picked up The Family Man the good old fashioned way - overspending on eBay. Thanks to a couple of generous fellows (you know who you are) I "won" (is it really considered winning when you buy a CD the seller probably picked up for $5 is a used CD shop?) a copy of Universal Pictures' "For Your Consideration" Academy Awards disc.
The CD run time is just around 47 minutes - Elfman's score taking up 42 minutes and 34 seconds. SEAL's forgettable song gets top billing on the CD label, but it's Elfman's score that is causing this disc to go for upwards of $460 U.S. in auctions on eBay. Thankfully I didn't spend that much - but it got me thinking - just how much is this disc worth?
The Family Man can best be described as more Good Will Hunting than Edward Scissorhands. It shares a lot of Elfman's toned down technique in A Civil Action, the Christmas vibe of Scrooged (several times throughout the album you'll hear Elfman qoute Christmas tunes), and of course the all-out choir from Scissorhands. If you have the regular The Family Man soundtrack that is filled out with songs - you don't have all the good stuff. Sure there's the sprite "Main Titles" and the beautiful "Promise" - but there's so much more. Which makes the fact that at the time I'm writing this, The Family Man hasn't been released commercially (and judging by the film's tepid box office receipts may not - ever) a damn shame.
The Family Man is a very emotional score - it has it's lighter moments, but it closes out ("Grand Finale/End Titles") in such a way that you feel totally weepy. A review of the album isn't of much use - but sound clips should prove to be worth your time. Instead of rambling on I'll just point out the clips to the right. Listen to them. Enjoy them! (Note: below is artwork I made for the disc back in 2000. The track titles are actually titles from previous Elfman scores that I cobbled together as a joke).
Though never released on CD, Universal's DVD for The Family Man features an isolated score and commentary by Danny Elfman. Strange, but true, there is a glitch with the Elfman commentary audio. It appears as if Elfman was recording the track in Walt Disney's It's A Small World, as his voice is up in pitch, chipmunk-like!
The Family Man (2000)
Music Composed by and Produced by Danny Elfman
Orchestrations by Steve Bartek, Edgardo Simone and Marc Mann
Conducted by Pete Anthony
Recorded and Mixed by Dennis Sands
Label (Catalogue): N/A
Availability: Limited promotional release
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