If film composers and their critics see television scores as
a bit less impressive than your average blockbuster basher, imagine what they
might think about the music for adverts and jingles. Well, Danny Elfman presumably
thought enough of his music for a Nike commercial that he included it on his
'Music for a Darkened People Vol.2' money-maker, and, despite being at the top
of his career tree for a number of years now, he still contributes to this diminutive
but lucrative canon. [N.B. All text by Bluntinstrument unless otherwise credited.]
Nike "Barkley Superhero"-
A fast-paced percussive number that doesn't sound very Elfmanish
but is entertaining nonetheless.
by Groovy Yak
Honda - (2002)
Hear the theme in MP3
The actual commercial may still be available in Quicktime format here.
The type of commercial for which Danny Elfman's Pee-wee
phase of wacky tunes and lurid orchestration was made. A parade of weird and
wonderful vehicles parade through a rocky desert, bedecked in the most child-friendly
primary colours, all in full IMAX format. The icing on the cake is the hugely
extravagent music Elfman contributes that could so easily have been commissioned
from an inferior imitator. Honda obviously believe you get what you pay for,
and what better advertising than for Danny to have proved them right.
Nissan "Enjoy the Ride"
An oddity, this, with a slightly Williamseque opening, gradually
opening out into a succession of pigeon-holeable Elfman styles that one might
have thought he was employing unused scraps from previous film scores. Everything
is there, from The Frighteners to Flubber, with Edward Scissorhands
magical chorus giving all they're worth in a very characteristic second half.
The effect is certainly reminiscent of timeless cinema magic (no doubt the makers'
object, since this was a television campaigne), but is a little too unfocussed
for such a short playing time, trying perhaps a little too hard to play to every
slight action on screen. N.B. Steve Bartek has been credited for orchestration
Chanel no.5 "Share the Fantasy (Little
Red Riding Hood)" (1998)
Ah-ha! If you have arrived here having seen Luc Besson's so-kitch-it's-kool
advert you will no doubt be wondering, as I did, whether this is an Elfman advert
or a galling swipe of his score from Edward Scissorhands. Well, the jury
is out on the technicalities of this one. It is definitely music legally taken
from the film scoreindeed, if you wanted to hear the best bits in a half
minute digest, this is the place to gobut rumour abounds that the actual
performance is from a re-recording made by Nic Raine with the City of Prague
Philharonic Orchestra, available on the disc 'Cinema Choral Classics II'; and
the adept pruning ("arranged") is credited (according to his official
website) by Elfman's orchestrator Steve Bartek. Whatever the specifics, this
proves a very fitting choice for Besson's foxy French fairytale, and is the
exception that proves the rule when it comes to noticing when Elfman's music
has been ripped off.
I'm afraid I am going to have to disappoint you: this is definitely
an unashamed lift from Edward Scissorhands. Two sections in fact (one with a
minor edit midway), stitched very badly together, and all available on the soundtrack,
leaving nothing remotely original or of added value from what should be in any
self-respecting Elfmanite's collection. Zoom-zoom
indeed. [Thanks to Clement Shimizu for the link]