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To Die For (1994)
Original Score Composed by Danny Elfman
Orchestrations by Steve Bartek
Conducted by Richard Stone
Music Editor: Ellen Segal
Recording Engineers: Bill Jackson and Bobby Fernandez
Produced by Danny Elfman

Label (Catalogue): Varese Sarabande, (VSD-5646)
Availability: Out of print
Purchasing options: Check secondary market

"Pure wicked fun with very few rules to obey. The schizophrenic nature of the film made for a great time. (Not to mention the fact that I finally got to play my guitar)." - Danny Elfman

To Die For was Danny Elfman's first score for Gus Van Sant. Later he would go on to score Van Sant's Good Will Hunting (earning an Oscar nomination for "Best Original Dramatic Score") and adapt Bernard Herrmann's Psycho for Van Sant's shot by shot remake of the film. To Die For also started the infamous "Weepy Donuts" injoke between the composer and director.

Danny Elfman's music is a schizophrenic blend of plucky voices ("Suzie's Theme") and orchestra (emulating that 1950s T.V. sound) with gnashing electric guitars and drums ("Main Title"). A female voice moans a melancholic solo in "Weepy Donuts", weird electronic effects populate "Creepy Creepy", while skittish strings scratch out "Angry Suzie". The opening of track 6, "Murder!" is one of my favorite moments from the album and features some unique choir effects.

The score on album runs just above 18 minutes and to facilitate an album, several songs from the film are included. They are really of no interest to me so I program them out. The cues: "Main Titles", "Suzie's Theme", "Busted", "Weepy Donuts" and "Finale" are featured on "Music For A Darkened Theater Vol. 2". The selections for a suite 10:59 long. If you have MFADT Vol. 2, owning the To Die For soundtrack isn't essential for fans of Elfman's more broad orchestral scores, but recommended for completists.

Rumored to be the score that helped land Elfman Mission: Impossible, To Die For star Nicole Kidman was married to M:I star and producer, Tom Cruise at the time.

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Click for enlarged CD artwork
Click cover to enlarge
01. Main Titles (4:09)
02. Suzie's Theme (1:41)
Featuring Little Gus & The Suzettes
03. Busted (2:00)
04. Weepy Donuts (1:50)
05. Creepy Creepy (0:50)
06. Murder! (3:51)
07. Angry Suzie (0:36)
08. Finale (3:47)
09. Wasting Away (3:03)
     Performed by Nailbomb
10. Nothing From Nothing (2:34)
     Performed by Billy Preston
11. All By Myself (4:54)
     Performed by Eric Carmen
12. Sweet Home Alabama (3:37)
     Performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd
13. Wings Of Desire (4:48)
     Performed by Strawpeople
14. Season Of The Witch (4:54)
     Performed by Donovan

Total running time: 42:55
Total score time: 18:54

Danny Elfman's music at:

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