"The Elephant Man"
Original Soundtrack - (1980)
Infinitely more conventional than David Lynch's Eraserhead effort, The Elephant Man follow-up focuses on John Morris' impressive yet all too safe compositions with a minimal amount of authority. There is much Danny Elfman-like carny-jingling travelling along the industrialized byways of 19th century London, a few rumblings of looming despondency, and not nearly enough creative invention. Surely, mixing one of Mel Brooks' favorite composers with the unparalleled world of Lynch would never have amounted to much, but it's even more telling that the soundtrack's peak is actually Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings." Without a doubt, the moment is fully realized, capturing the film's extraordinary climax with new depth. In the larger story, though, along with Dune, The Elephant Man represents an in-between stage for Lynch's personal work trying to find the right composer. Morris does his best trying to understand the unique complexities of Lynch's mind. It's just that much like the film itself, it is a restrained Lynch experience. Which is rarely — if ever — a good thing. (allmusic.com)