Like many other Tim Burton films, Beetlejuice features memorable characters and a soundtrack that stays with you long after the credits roll. Throughout his career, Danny Elfman has lent his considerable talent to many other films. When you combine these two impressive forces in the movie business, you get one of the most memorable soundtracks of the 80s. This is a ranking of the songs on the Beetlejuice Soundtrack.
20. “Laughs” – Danny Elfman
This song starts a series of events that lead to a twisted scene in the movie that many critics think was a bit over the top.
19. Lydia Strikes A Bargain – Danny Elfman
Lydia agrees to marry Beetlejuice, but the scene could have been a lot different. The movie went through several revisions. One had Lydia not having as much film time with her younger sister being the one who befriended the Maitlands. Another had her dying at the end and joining them. Instead, this song is the deal Lydia makes before the uncomfortable wedding.
18. The Aftermath – Danny Elfman
Much of the music on this soundtrack is sinister. However, this song breaks up the darker themes of the movie. Adam and Barbara not only a til death do us part relationship, but they maintain their closeness in the afterlife.
17. The Fly – Danny Elfman
Some of the songs in the movie sound so insidious they make you want to jump out of your chair despite the comedic undertones of the movie. The overall rhythm of this piece sounds similar to Rimsky Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee.
16.”Sold” – Danny Elfman
Even though Adam Maitland is dead, he still feels a human longing for the house he and his wife almost got to decorate. Undoubtedly, this is why this song is sadder than other songs on the soundtrack. After all, the Maitland’s style and the Deetz’s decorating ideas are polar opposites.
15. Juno’s Theme – Danny Elfman
Even though she doesn’t have a large part in the movie, it’s memorable enough to have a song accompanying her meeting with the Maitlands. The music is less than a minute long but leaves an indelible impression.
14. Travel Music – Danny Elfman
Newlyweds Adam and Barbara are excited to start work on their new house. However, they have a car accident on the way back from getting supplies for the renovations. Elfman’s music is that it has a quirky darkness that keeps the scene from feeling too maudlin, as is the case here.
13. The Incantation – Danny Elfman
This is the longest piece of music on the soundtrack and at one portion of the movie segues into a crucial scene. It plays when one of the Detzs’ friends tries to resurrect Adam and Barbara.
12. Showtime! – Danny Elfman
This song plays into one of the most memorable lines in the movie. Once the Deetz friend performed a seance, there was no turning back, and Beetlejuice knew he’d gotten his way.
11. The Flier/Lydia’s Pep Talk – Danny Elfman
One of the exciting things about Elfman’s orchestration is that many of the songs are a minute or less long like this one. However, they punctuate the scene and make it more enthralling. In this song, listeners hear something resembling ominous footsteps.
10. Enter…”The Family”/Worm Planet – Danny Elfman
The giant Sandworm is one of the more terrifying characters in the movie. Utilizing the piano makes the scene more insidious and like the viewer is trying to escape the foe.
9. Beetle-Snake – Danny Elfman
Originally, Beetlejuice was slated to be a horror movie. However, the result was much better and became a timeless classic. This song gives some horror vibes to the film with a slow crescendo to the sinister elements.
8. Lydia Discovers? – Danny Elfman
The first time Lydia discovers some of the secrets of the house she and her family moved into is when she finally gets the attic door open. It’s a pivotal moment in the movie, and this song exemplifies how much it will define the rest of the film.
7. The Book!/Obituaries – Danny Elfman
You may hear elements of tango in his song. It’s another installation of an eclectic soundtrack that helps highlight a movie with many twists and turns. According to Movie Music UK, a portion of the song draws from Danse Macabre.
6. In The Model – Danny Elfman
This plays during Adam and Barbara’s first encounter with Beetlejuice. Much like the rest of Elfman’s score, you can tell that there is something sinister afoot.
5. End Credits/Beetlejuice – Danny Elfman
One of the marks of a great soundtrack is that it is engaging from start to finish. Even though you may be ready to turn off the movie before the credits finish, it’s worth keeping them on just so you can hear this song.
4. The Wedding – Danny Elfman
This scene didn’t age well. Today, many people feel uneasy about the age difference between the pair. Nonetheless, it doesn’t take away from the song that plays during this scene. The composer captures it within the bars of this piece.
3. Main Titles (Beetlejuice) – Danny Elfman
There’s no denying that when you hear an instrumental piece from Elfman, it’s instantly recognizable. When you hear this song at the movie’s beginning, you know that the rest of the soundtrack will be fantastic.
2. Day O (The Banana Boat Song) – Harry Belafonte
After the title theme plays, in typical Burton style, the next major scene of the song is completely different. Catherine O’Hara was the one who suggested using this song for the background to add some fun.
1. Jump In the Line (Shake, Shake Senora) – Harry Belafonte & The Original Trinidad Steel Band
Alongside Elfman, Belafonte provided many songs on the soundtrack that helped make the movie the cult classic it is today. Even though the movie has some ups and downs, the Maitlands and Deetzs finally learn to live in twisted harmony. This song is when Lydia is allowed to float to celebrate an A on a test.