Music in Film: Batman Special

As part of our Countdown to The Dark Knight Rises series I was going to simply sing my praises of the Danny Elfman Batman score, which I find to be one of cinema’s most memorable and downright awesome blockbuster soundtracks ever created, but when I thought back to the music in the various cinematic incarnations of the character I realised that most of the scores have been pretty memorable, so instead I bring you Batman music through the ages…

1960’s Batman Theme

You can’t talk about Batman music without including this, which I imagine made an appearance in the 1966 movie:

Danny Elfman’s Batman

Pure class all the way, this still gets stuck in my head every time I hear it. Simple, but massively effective in conveying the necessary mood and power, this is scoring of the highest order:

Batman Forever

Elliot Goldenthal took over composing duties when Joel Schumacher snatched the director’s chair and I can’t remember the theme changing much, but Batman Forever was notable in including a couple of big hit singles from the time, ‘Kiss From a Rose’ by Seal and ‘Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me’ by U2. They may not be the greatest songs in the world, but I always kind of liked the U2 one, it had a sort of Bond thing going on, so I thought I’d include it here:

The Dark Knight

To go along with Christopher Nolan’s new vision for the Batman franchise, Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard put together a suitably darker and more intense soundtrack for Batman Begins and the two follow-ups (Zimmer took on the job alone for The Dark Knight Rises. It lacks the instantly recognisable hook of Danny Elfman’s score, but nonetheless makes for nicely moody listening. I’ve included a clip of the score for The Dark Knight as I thought that was stronger than its predecessor.

The Dark Knight Rises

To top this whole piece off, Empire Magazine from the UK have an exclusive stream of the entire score for the latest installment of the franchise. I’m not sure how long it will stay up, so if you’re interested, head over there now:

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Rick Vance

The Riddler by Frank Gorshin

God he was so perfect in that role, surpassing everyone else in the show.

Jandy Hardesty

That is awesome, Rick! Thanks so much for letting me know that exists. 🙂

David, great collection of themes! I tend to gravitate toward the 1960s one myself, but that’s because I’m an unabashed fan of the campy TV show (and movie).