Published Jan 04, 2019While director Tim Burton released Beetlejuice way back in 1988, the film has achieved true cult status in the ensuing the years. Starring Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin, the movie is now regarded as a stone-cold classic and rightfully earned a glowing place in cinematic history. But part of that enduring legacy is thanks to charmingly bombastic soundtrack by composer Danny Elfman, whose Beetlejuice work is now being celebrated with a 30th anniversary reissue.
For Waxwork's re-release, the soundtrack hub has gathered up Elfman's complete score and treated it to a remastered 180-gram vinyl pressing, throwing in new art, an art print and some fancy vinyl variants. Overall, it's an impressive — and hefty — physical package, but at its core, the real appeal remains Elfman's music.
For the uninitiated, the Beetlejuice soundtrack is a lot to wrap your ears around. It's a seriously complex piece of scoring, throwing out layer upon layer of sound and often at manic speed. Mind-twisting piano, spritely strings, ghostly choirs, nightmarish organs, terror-blasting brass and even some sanity-stripping big top music — it's all here, offering up an array of sonic mischief that (amazingly) keeps pace with the onscreen shenanigans of Beetlejuice himself.
Yes, there's some real macabre madness in Burton's Beetlejuice, and so too is there in Elfman's score. But just in case it still wasn't already all surreal enough, the soundtrack adds a pair of Harry Belafonte songs — "Day-O" and "Jump in Line (Shake, Shake Señora)" — to up the weird even further.
Part horror, part comedy and all Elfman, the Beetlejuice score stands as a true breakout moment for the composer, and Waxwork's reissue is a stunning reminder of that. (Waxwork Records)