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Friday, October 09, 2009


Taking Woodstock
Music by Danny Elfman
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1104 (US)
20 Tracks 30:08 mins

Releasing Danny Elfman's score for Ang Lee's new film Taking Woodstock is quite a coup for this enterprising label, but don't expect your typical Elfman score. It's more like something W.G. "Snuffy" Walden might produce. The comedy relates the events leading up to the staging of the historic Woodstock Music and Arts Festival of 1969 and obviously the film is stuffed full of music of the times, and of course the other soundtrack album (on Rhino) presents a good selection of these songs. What's left is Elfman's underscore, which only runs for a little over half an hour, as one might reasonably expect.
The album starts where else, but with the "Taking Woodstock Titles" which, after a wailing electric guitar intro, settles into a vaguely Jewish theme, voiced by bass clarinet, but with folksy acoustic guitar accompaniment. The guitar continues, in livelier fashion, through "Elliot's Place." Some of the cues that follow are quite brief and don't really amount to much, predominantly featuring solo acoustic guitar, though there are a couple of clarinet and electric guitar moments; the longer ones include more of the clarinet and guitar from the "Titles," but with addition of violin, in "Get The Money; very late '60s grooves in "Groovy Thing" and "A Happening;" nice, homely acoustic guitar solos in "Groovy Thing (Guitar Solo)," "Hash Brownies," and "Perspective Extended;" and the increasingly spaced--out "The Acid Trip."
The final cues include a couple of "Woodstock Wildtracks," featuring both acoustic and electric guitars; the suitably "Happy Guitars" and the concluding "Guitar Improv" - both very light and listenable.
So, as previously stated, this is definitely not your typical Elfman score. In fact, it is unlike anything I have heard from him before. But, if you're a fan of the music of shows like The Wonder Years, you might well find this to be your cup of tea.
The accompanying booklet features an introduction to the film, as well as many colour stills therefrom. Go to for further info, samples and to order your copy.


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