You Oughta Know: Danny Elfman
Today we celebrate the birthday of Danny Elfman, a man who started his career with Oingo Boingo and then shifted gears and became known as a go-to composer for movie and TV scores. Given how many high-profile projects have featured his name in the credits, we’d be surprised if you didn’t know who he is, but if you don’t... Well, you oughta!
During his years as the frontman and songwriter for Oingo Boingo, Elfman recorded predominantly outside of the Rhino catalog, but as the ‘90s beckoned, so too did his career as a film composer, which kicked off in a major way as a result of writing the music for Tim Burton’s Batman. Of course, he’d done soundtrack work prior to that, but it was definitely his music for the Caped Crusader that made people really stand up and take notice, and it’s also what led him to do the music for Warren Beatty’s feature-film adaptation of Dick Tracy, too.
Before Oingo Boingo called it a day, however, they did release one album on Warner subsidiary Giant Records, dropping the “Oingo” and just billing themselves as Boingo. It wasn’t a huge hit, but it did offer a single that did pretty well on the college radio charts (“Insanity”), along with a pretty great cover of the Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus.”
For the most part, though, Elfman’s output within the Rhino catalog is soundtrack-oriented, so we’ve put together a playlist that includes a sampling of his compositions, along with a few songs that he wrote which were recorded by others. (Definitely don’t miss Danny Gatton’s version of the Simpsons theme. It’s amazing.)