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Darkman (1990)
Music Composed by Danny Elfman
Conducted by Shirley Walker
Orchestrations by Steve Bartek
Recorded by Robert Fernandez, Mixed by Dennis Sands and Shawn Murphy
Album Produced by Danny Elfman

Label (Catalogue): MCA Records, (MCAD 10094)
Availability: Out of print, limited availability
Purchasing options: Used at

"I loved writing this score. Again old-fashioned and melodramatic, but in a way that I'm crazy about. Sam Raimi has a wonderful visual style that lends itself easily to music. It was an enormous relief writing long, extended musical sequences, something which is very rare in modern films. No reason to hold back on this one." - Danny Elfman

Darkman is a film I hold in very high regard. A lot of folks just don't appreciate Sam Raimi's high-octane take on the comic book hero as tortured loner. The film has it all: amazing visuals, quick pacing, fine performances, memorable setpieces, humor, scares, romance, sadness -- and great music. Darkman is the team-up of my favorite director, Raimi, with my favorite composer, Elfman. Can it get any better then when these two work together?

The film and score work hand in hand. Danny Elfman captures all sides of the Darkman character: the rage, the isolation, the love-lost for Julie (Frances McDormand). Liam Neeson may have given Darkman life, but it's Elfman's music that is the air Darkman breathes. Darkman was written in that super-fertile period for Elfman that was the early 1990's, so his orchestrations are thick and feature plenty of orchestral might. Of note is the brass-heavy main theme stated, in traditional Elfman fashion for the era, in "Main Titles". Also par for the course was the ingenious variations on the main theme, Elfman weaves it in and out of the score in many guises, including a circus motif ("Carnival From Hell") which starts out vibrant and quickly descends into hell. The two concluding tracks "High Steel" and "Finale/End Credits" are among the best, with "High Steel" featuring some of Elfman's most dynamic brass writing ever.

The Darkman album seems like it's available everywhere, but is no longer available at the online retailer If you see a copy, grab it before it disappears. - Ryan Keaveney

While the album seems short, there's about 90% of Elfman's score available. Jonathon Sheffer, a frequent conductor on Elfman scores, wrote an extended cue for the helicopter sequence in the film, which is not on this album.

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Click for enlarged CD artwork
Click cover to enlarge
01. Main Titles (1:37)
02. Woe, the Darkman! Woe (6:09)
03. Rebuilding / Failure (3:16)
04. Love Theme (12:56)
05. Julie Transforms (1:11)
06. Rage / Peppy Science (1:37)
07. Creating Durante (1:50)
08. Double Durante (1:50)
09. The Plot Unfolds
      (Dancing Freak)
10. Carnival From Hell (3:16)
11. Julie Discovers Darkman (1:59)
12. High Steel (4:19)
13. Finale / End Credits (3:39)

Total running time: 40:05

Danny Elfman's music at:

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All original text, original artwork Ryan Keaveney & Klaatu Media and cannot be copied without written consent. All other materials are by original authors / artists / labels and are presented here for critique, educational and promotional purposes only. Answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the Discussion Board. Additional questions or comments can be emailed to Ryan Keaveney.