Nut Suite. Mini reviews of albums old and new. Minimum words. No fuss. No spoilers [?]. Occasional smugs.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

JOHN MORRIS / The Elephant Man: Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture [1980]

After the nightmarishly puzzling Eraserhead, director David Lynch took more of a conventional approach with his sophomore follow-up both in film narrative and music with 1980's The Elephant Man.
Instead of scoring the film himself a second time, Lynch turned to Young Frankenstein composer John Morris and the results suit the surreal black & white heart-break of the film to a tee.  For the main theme, Morris channels the same sort of somber Eastern European off-kilter carnival tones Danny Elfman would relate to early in his career.  The tickling xylophones, twinkling chimes and swaying organ of the main theme counteract with the heart-wrenching strings and crying woodwinds of a secondary theme that harkens back to some of Bernard Herrmann's more dramatic scores.  It's all very simple composing and orchestrations but it's easy on the ears and works with the film so perfectly it's nothing short of a success both on-screen and on it's own.

4 adagio for strings out of 5

Songs of Note: The Elephan Man ThemeRecapitulation

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