on 22 May 2005
One of the times I've felt most proud of the British public was Christmas 2003, when Gary Jules' "Mad World" reached the coveted Christmas number one spot. Not your typical festive favourite - hushed piano and vocals, breaking with sadness - it was nevertheless a moving, fantastic record, much better than the heaps of inane R'n'B/pop crossovers floating around the charts at the time.
Jules cover of the Tears For Fears song was made for Donnie Darko, and there are actually 3 copies of it here. And, it's almost worth it.
'Mad World' is only one of many moments of eighties heartbreak on this record. Soundtracks can be a fantastic way of discovering a forgotten era, and this was my introduction to the wonderful world of Eighties gloom - gothic, melodramatic and gorgeous, this soundtrack has led to me spending far too much money on Cure and XTC compilations.
The Eighties is a much maligned genre, but Richard Kelly has picked the cream of that decade for 'Donnie Darko'. All the songs on the first disc of this soundtrack convey the sadness and greatness of the film - Echo and the Bunnymen's epic, Arabian influenced 'The Killing Moon', one of my favourite songs. Tears For Fears juxtaposition of jaunty, catchy pop music with teen depression lyrics (for some similar eighties contrasts listen to The Smiths) 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' which has had essays written on it and needs nothing more to be said, and The Church's forgotten gem 'Under The Milky Way'.
At first I was slightly disappointed about the small-ish number of actual songs. However after a few listens I appreciate the instrumentals in the middle of the record much more. They add to the sense of high gothic melodrama and doomed romance that pervades this record (and the alternative music scene of much of the decace)
The second disc, of instrumentals from the film, is also very good. I known it's been given a few lukewarm reviews by critics, but I find it ethereal and eeriely beautiful. If you enjoyed the score for 'Donnie Darko', you'll find it works just as well outside of the movie - dark but beautiful.
This is a record to treasure and replay as many times as that 'Donnie Darko' DVD sitting next to your TV. It's a perfect introduction to everything that was great about eighties music. It's gothic, gloomy, sad, but also joyful, full of perfect pop moments, songwriters at the peak of their powers and some genuinely uplifting moments among the heartbreak. Hey - it's a mad world.
on 30 April 2006
Only the score is available in the States, so this release is the one to get. So many great songs from the 80s. Included are all the songs from the original release of the film, plus "Never Tear Us Apart", which replaced "Killing Moon" on the Director's Cut. I prefer "Killing Moon" because it's a darker song and hints at the movie's themes, but they are both here. This is one of the best sountracks you will ever own. If you loved the film, you need to get it.
on 24 June 2015
The soundtrack is a great collection of songs. Whilst the score isn't really worth bothering about (in my opinion), I'm delighted that the soundtrack is finally available again. I looked to purchase the soundtrack on cd a few years ago, only to find that it had been a limited release and was no longer available. The cheapest I could find was over £80... Second hand!! (No matter how good, it wasn't worth that.) So £20 for a new copy, which includes the score that some may enjoy, seems a much more reasonable price. I'd have preferred the option to buy the soundtrack alone (which would have got 5 stars), but I'll settle for this.
The Gary Jules version of Mad World is, for me, the standout song on the album, but there are several more that are great in their own right. Any fans of the film (which is also worth a watch - easy to see why it became something of a cult classic) will enjoy this collection.
on 7 December 2004
If you are like me and thin Donnie Darko is an amazing piece of work, then you'd like the music on it. This CD offers those moving songs from the film and scores from the different scenes. The music is mostly 1980's (to suit the 1988 setting of the film) but they all sound so good. I hadn't heard of most of the band on the CD but after listening to it, i now have a favorite song, The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen. It's a good buy for good fans of the film, like me.
on 10 January 2005
I bought this movie recently after seeing it round a friends place and becoming totally engrossed. It was a definate for the collection. Whilst trying to find out some info on the film's excellent music I came across the album and couldnt believe my luck when I saw how many good tracks were on it. If you're 30 something (like me) and remember this era then you are in for an audio treat retro-style!!.. Kick back and enjoy, worth every penny! ps. tears for fears track had me jumping round the front room, Great stuff..
on 4 January 2005
Well, how do i start. Firstly, this movie is one of the best movies in recent time, even if hardly anyone understands it. But not understanding the movie couldn't stop people appreciating how brilliantly directed, written and shot the movie was! And what just took it that little further and made the movie great was its sound track, which dragged you straight back into the 80's!
Whether its the beautiful killing moon (echo and the bunnymen) that opens the Movie or the coolness of the tears for fears track Head over Heels, which coincides with the best cinematic sequence in the movie, this soundtrack rules. Just Like the 80's.
Dont take my word watch the movie again and listen, you'll see what i mean!
on 30 October 2009
Very rarely will I find an album where I don't skip at least one of the tracks. Automatic for the people by REM, Parachutes by Coldplay and now Donnie Darko, the Soundtrack.
An absolutely fantastic album, diverse, chilling, uplifting and 80's disco fever.
Why is this album so difficult to get hold of? Buy it whilst you still can!