hmv.com presents… The Best Soundtracks of All Time: The Nightmare Before Christmas
With some great in-store offers on films and on film soundtracks as part our 'Decades' series, every day we'll be picking the best soundtrack, one for every year, starting with 1950 right through to the present day. Today we're up to 1993 and we're recommending the soundtrack to The Nightmare Before Christmas...
Tim Burton’s animated alternative holiday classic The Nightmare Before Christmas.
So what’s the film about?
Jack Skellington is the most important person in the magical world of Halloween Town – he’s the one in charge of organising the annual Halloween celebrations. But secretly he grows bored of doing the same thing every year.
That is until he stumbles upon a portal to the mysterious Christmas Town. This festive land is everything he could hope for. Upon his return he attempts to convince the citizens of Halloween Town that they should embrace Christmas – but unsurprisingly they remain unconvinced. Jack then knows what he has to do to show them the magic of Christmas: kidnap Santa Claus.
Is this a score or a soundtrack?
It’s a musical, so it’s a soundtrack of the songs from the film.
So who’s on it? Anyone I might know?
All the songs are written by legendary score composer Danny Elfman (who also wrote the music for films such as Batman, Spider-Man, Men In Black and even the theme tune from The Simpsons). They’re sung by Elfman as Jack, and the rest of the cast.
So which songs are on it? Did any of them become hits?
They didn’t become hits, but many of them have become festive favourite. If you tend towards less-traditional Christmas music you might like ‘What’s This’, with Jack excitedly experience the holiday season for the first time, and the devilish ‘Kidnap The Sandy Claws’, with Paul Reubens and Catherine O’Hara joining Elfman to plot their abduction. Less seasonal but just as much fun is ‘Oogie Boogie's Song’, the great New Orleans-tinged theme for the main bad guy.
What’s the best moment?
The raucous opening number ‘This Is Halloween’, with the citizens of Halloween Town introducing themselves. It perfectly sets the anarchic, grizzly tone for the rest of the movie.
Has it stood the test of time?
Definitely. It’s one of the few CDs you can spin on two different holidays (Halloween and Christmas). The film has gone on to be a real cult hit, and there was even a tribute album released entitled Nightmare Revisted featuring cover versions from the likes of Marylyn Manson, Korn and Plain White T’s.