: (updated 2008-10-17)
Composer and musician Clint Mansell left behind a career in a groundbreaking British pop group to break just as many rules -- and find nearly as much success -- writing musical scores for motion pictures. Born in Coventry, England, in 1963, Mansell first rose to fame as singer, guitarist, and leader of the band Pop Will Eat Itself, whose deliriously rude blend of punk, pop, hip-hop, electronic, and dance music made them one of the most influential British groups of their day. The 'Poppies' (as their fans called them) released seven albums between 1987 and 1996, but as the various members of the group became involved in side projects, PWEI began to splinter, and they decided to call it quits after the release of their final album, Wise up Suckers. After the breakup, Mansell moved to the United States, and began devoting himself to purer electronic sounds as he investigated the possibilities of film composition. In 1998, Mansell completed his first film score, for the acclaimed independent feature Pi; Mansell's score received wide acclaim, and Pi's director, Darren Aronofsky, tapped Mansell to score his ambitious follow-up, 2000's Requiem for a Dream. The success of Mansell's scores for Aronofsky quickly made him an in-demand film composer, and he scored six films in 2001 and 2002, including Knockaround Guys, The Hole, and Murder By Numbers.