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Taking Woodstock (Original Motion Picture Score)

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Album Review

Of course, the primary musical accompaniment to director Ang Lee's film Taking Woodstock comes from the rock artists who played the Woodstock Festival, and they are heard on a soundtrack album to the film. But there is also a modest background score composed by rock star-turned-Hollywood composer Danny Elfman, and this album manages to squeeze out half an hour's worth of it. Elfman's idea seems to have been to provide music that would complement the late-'60s pop/rock heard at the festival, and for the most part, these short cues sound like what might have been heard backstage if some combination of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were strumming their acoustic and electric guitars while waiting to go on, that is, if clarinetist David Krakauer also happened to be wandering around playing his instrument dolefully. Elfman only changes tack midway through, when the trio of tracks "Groovy Thing (Office #1)," "A Happening (Office #2)," and "Groovy Thing (Guitar Solo)" introduce a theme that is played, first in an unmistakably Byrds-like style, complete with 12-string electric Rickenbacker guitar; then in an early psychedelic garage band style, with Farfisa organ and wailing electric guitar solo; then as an acoustic guitar theme. These styles are slightly anachronistic, harking back to the mid-'60s, but they are authentically re-created. Indeed, "Groovy Thing (Office #1)" could be stuck on a CD reissue of an old Byrds album as a bonus track, and nobody would be the wiser. This is not one of Elfman's major scoring efforts, but it is appropriate to the material at hand.

Customer Reviews


This is a great album! Elfman is such a chameleon. I wonder why the album distributed by La La Land Records features two more tracks. Any chance of itunes getting these?

a different elfman

works beautifully with the movie, sounds great and very accurate at recreating a certain era of music, and is easy to digest..... but as an elfman fan, i have to admit, it's just not what i look forward to from the man. all of the elements that make his work so appealing.... his energy level and exuberance, his skill at sustaining craziness, his embrace of all things oddball and goofy, and the wicked glee that he can conjure like no one else....... is nowhere to be found here. now don't get me wrong, i realize perfectly well that those attributes would not be appropriate for this score.... and that the score he did provide fits the movie like a charm..... it's just not the same elfman. things are kept pretty low key and relaxed here. and not to mention the fact that the music totals up to about 25 minutes (which is a bit rediculous seeing as how they divided this and the soundtrack album into 2 seperate releases). but if this release does accomplish one thing really well, it's that it adds one more work to point to when some half-wit claims all elfman scores sound the same. the man has a distinct voice like any great artist, and he can totally go chameleon when it's called for. i can't think of another elfman score that sounds like this, and for that, it's very worthwhile. ohh yeah, if you had to try out any tracks, i would say go with 'taking woodstock titles', 'perspective extended', and the two 'woodstock wildtracks'.


Born: May 29, 1953 in Amarillo, TX

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Best known for his work in collaboration with director Tim Burton, composer Danny Elfman created one of the most distinctive bodies of work in contemporary film music, bringing his talents to a dark fantasy world populated by superheroes, monsters and freaks. The son of novelist Blossom Elfman, he was born May 29, 1953 in Amarillo, Texas. Raised in Los Angeles, he and brother Richard relocated to France in 1971, where he joined a theatrical group. Elfman subsequently moved on to Africa, returning...
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Top Albums and Songs by Danny Elfman

Taking Woodstock (Original Motion Picture Score), Danny Elfman
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  • $11.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Soundtrack, Original Score
  • Released: Aug 13, 2009

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