Contents Site Updates News Sound and Video Filmography Features Articles 99 Discussion Board Who Is Elfman? Links

Send e-mail About this site

Mission: Impossible (1996)
Music Composed by Danny Elfman
Orchestrations by Steve Bartek, Mark McKenzie
Conducted by Artie Kane
Additional Orchestrations by Steven Scott Smalley
Recorded and Mixed by Shawn Murphy
Album Produced by Danny Elfman, Ellen Segal and Shawn Murphy

Label (Catalogue): Point Music, (454 525-2)
Availability: Limited, In-print
Purchasing options: / Mission Impossible

"Again, light to heavy... Extreme dynamics just like I like it. Lots of pressure on this one but I came out pleased. The romantic / theatrical side of the film made it a great canvas for music." - Danny Elfman

It's the summer of 1996 and Paramount's tent-pole picture is the big-budget remake of Mission: Impossible starring Tom Cruise. Director Brian DePalma has just rejected Alan Silvestri's score for the film. So the story goes that Cruise's wife Nicole Kidman recommended the composer of her film To Die For. That composer was Danny Elfman. Elfman was hired and in a schedule that didn't betray the film's title, wrote a seminal score in his filmography.

If Elfman's score for Dead Presidents ushered in his MIDI-heavy percussion style in the mid-1990's, then Mission: Impossible proved just how effective it could be for a different type of film - an action one. Elfman's Mission: Impossible pays homage to Lalo Schifrin's original approach to the television series but puts a modern spin on things. Schifrin's memorable main theme is used sparingly (only three times in the film if I remember correctly), while Elfman has added his own major theme (heard throughout - from track 1 to 18). Elfman's music is like a finely-tuned watch - ticking away in perfect timing, always nailing the onscreen action and providing just the right amount of support, without bombast. That is not to say this score doesn't get loud - no, in fact several moments set all new records for Elfman's signature orchestral frenzy -- namely "Big Trouble", "Zoom A" and "Zoom B". Though Mission: Impossible is mostly quiet, there's more than enough going on here to make for an interesting listen.

Back to filmography index

Click for enlarged CD artwork
Click cover to enlarge
01. Sleeping Beauty (2:28)
02. Mission: Impossible Theme (1:02)*
03. Red Handed (4:21)
04. Big Trouble (5:33)
05. Love Theme? (2:21)
06. Mole Hunt (3:02)
07. The Disc (1:54)
08. Max Found (1:02)
09. Looking For "Job" (4:38)
10. Betrayal (2:46)
11. The Heist (5:46)
12. Uh-Oh! (1:28)
13. Biblical Revelation (1:33)
14. Phone Home (2:25)
15. Train Time (4:11)
16. Menage a Trois (2:55)
17. Zoom A (1:53)
18. Zoom B (2:54)

Total running time: 52:30

* - Composed by Lalo Schifrin

Danny Elfman's music at:

Download this album at:
Download iTunes

Contents Site Updates News Sound and Video Filmography Features Articles 99 Discussion Board Who Is Elfman? Links Send e-mail About This Site
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.