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Music for a Darkened Theatre Volume Two (1996)
Music Composed by Danny Elfman
Conducted by Artie Kane, Jonathan Sheffer, J.A.C. Redford, Richard Stone, Shirley Walker, Chris Boardman
Orchestrations by Steve Bartek
Additional Orchestrations by Mark McKenzie, Edgardo Simone, Steven Scott Smalley, Thomas Pasatieri,
Jeff Atmajian, Jack Hayes
Recorded by Shawn Murphy, Bobby Fernandez, Bill Jackson, Dennis S. Sands
Mixed by Shawn Murphy, Bill Jackson and Bobby Fernandez
Album Produced by Ellen Segal and Danny Elfman

Label (Catalogue): MCA Records, (MCAD2-11550)
Availability: In print
Purchasing options: Available at

After the smash success of the first Music for a Darkened Theatre volume, MCA Records released volume 2 six years later. In that time, Danny Elfman had gone on to write some of his most beloved film music for Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, Black Beauty, Sommersby and Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas. All of these scores are reprensented here as well as lengthy suites from Mission: Impossible, To Die For and Dolores Claiborne. Among the unreleased gems, almost fifteen minutes of Elfman's MIDI-propulsive Dead Presidents score, seven minutes of his improvised score for the twisted Freeway and several suites and themes from Amazing Stories, The Flash, Pee-Wee's Playhouse and even a Nike commercial!

Like volume 1, MfaDT2 offers up Elfman's commercially released music in lengthy suites - however this time they run longer and more comprehensive due to the 2CD format. Folks who don't have the soundtrack album from To Die For are treated to more then half of the music here on MfaDT2. Sharp ears will hear moments in the Edward Scissorhands, Dolores Claiborne and Mission: Impossible suites where music not on the original sountrack album appears (though only a few seconds in each). To present the scores as suites, a fair bit of editing has been done - although it is precise and presents the music well. Only the suite from Nightmare Before Christmas jumps around a bit and (sadly) features none of the films vocal performances.

The real highlight - as was the case with MfaDT1 - is the unreleased music. There's a ton of it here. The highlights include Elfman's break-neck theme for The Flash (think Darkman at 500 M.P.H), the Dead Presidents suite (the "Main Titles" are available on the "songtrack" album, but there are additional cues here that are fantastic) and the "Television Odds 'n Ends". Elfman's music for Amazing Stories harkens back to a time where his music brimmed with melody and madcap orchestrations and is truly a memorable listen. Probably the most notable inclusion here is the original demo for "This Is Halloween" featuring Elfman performing all the vocal parts! Worth every penny... - Ryan Keaveney

A first volume of Music for A Darkened Theatre was released in 1990, covering music from Forbidden Zone to Dick Tracy, as well as several unreleased tracks of music from Elfman's television work, including his popular themes for The Simpsons and Tales from The Crypt. To date a third volume has not been released.

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Click for enlarged CD artwork
Click cover to enlarge
Disc One:
01-05. Edward Scissorhands (16:01)
06-10. Dolores Claiborne (12:29)
11-15. To Die For (10:59)
16-22. Black Beauty (16:13)
23-26. Batman Returns (15:47)

Disc Two:
01-03. Mission: Impossible (10:11)
04-06. Sommersby (16:27)
07-11. Dead Presidents (14:50)
12-14. The Nightmare Before
          Christmas (9:01)
15-17. Freeway (7:02)
18. Shrunken Heads (1:55)

Television Odds 'n Ends
19-20. Amazing Stories:
          Family Dog (2:21)
21. Amazing Stories:
     Mummy Daddy (2:23)
22. Nike Commercial:
     Barkley Superhero (0:31)
23. The Flash (1:33)
24-27. Pee-Wee's Playhouse (3:36)
28. Beetlejuice: Anim. Series (1:02)
29. This Is Halloween
     (Original Demo) (3:19)

Total running time: 145:53

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.