Awesome Music: Batman

"There are few movie music moments when you know a big gun has entered the room- the sweeping orchestral strains of Williams' Superman among them. Now a "new" hero was arriving with an attitude for a far more jaded generation of fans. And when those menacing strings rose with glistening percussion, before bursting into a galloping, instantly memorable theme, you knew this was one of those holy shit musical moments - the sound of major talent arriving on the scene like a bat out of hell."
—Film Music Magazine's review of the 2010 remaster of Batman (1989)

Batman: The Brave and the Bold and the Batman: Arkham Series have their own pages .

The Live-Action Movies:

  • Batman/Batman Returns/Batman Forever/Batman & Robin:
    • Danny Elfman's music for the first two films, Batman in particular, is one of the very few elements of the original film series that many people think the Nolan films haven't come anywhere near topping.
    • The opening number, literally titled "The Batman Theme", makes the accompanying titles so awesome that you can fail to notice that next to nothing's happening onscreen. The theme gets a reprise at the film's end. It is also rescored as the opening theme for Batman the Animated Series.
    • "Waltz to the Death," which is what the Joker and Vicki Vale were dancing to while Batman was beating up Mooks, is also quite amazing. It's dark, it's beautiful, and (considering what's happening on the screen) it's also "unintentionally" hilarious.
    • "Attack of the Batwing", people.
    • "Descent into Mystery", which is heard when Batman drives Vicki Vale through the forest to the Batcave. So epic, it was reused in the trailer to Batman Returns. The "whirlwind" sound at the beginning at the Ominous Latin Chanting deserve special mention.
    • The "Finale", the most triumphant piece of Batman-related music ever. Especially epic is the crescendo (before the familiar "Batman Theme" hook at the end) combined with the image of Batman standing on a ledge, silhouetted against the night sky, with the Bat-signal in the distance. If that doesn't give you goosebumps, nothing will.
    • In addition, the pop soundtrack composed by Prince has some pretty awesome numbers, too. The crowner is probably "Batdance", picked as the main single from the album. It was #1 on the charts for a reason, folks.
    • Elfman's incredibly intense score for Batman Returns is nothing short of awesome, either.
      • Especially epic is the opening number, "Birth of a Penguin", complete with a dark re-orchestration of the previous film's theme.
      • Much of the incredibly intense Danny Elfman score. "The Final Confrontation" in particular takes the cake.
      • The network television premiere of Batman Returns on February 12, 1995 (prime-time slot on NBC-TV) was kicked off by a montage of the most action-packed scenes from the film set to what is perhaps the Crowning Music Of Awesome: Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (specifically the Freude, schöner Götterfunkennote  part everyone remembers.
    • The latter two films in the series may not have been the greatest, but both include pop soundtracks that are actually enjoyable to this day. At the very least, no one can deny that "Kiss from a Rose" was the single of 1995.
    • And while still a distant third to Elfman and Zimmer/Newton Howard's scores, Elliot Goldenthal's scores are still pretty amazing, delivering the proper level of bombast for an abjectly cartoonish universe (Goldenthal specifically chose to invoke a feeling similar to a Russian circus). Sadly, most of the music he composed for Batman Forever was shelved and unreleased in favor of the aforementioned pop-heavy soundtrack, and has only recently become commercially available in its full length.
    • Whatever other flaws Batman & Robin may have, it used the bombing-awesome theme song introduced in Forever. Plus, the pop soundtrack is really good (even if the vastly superior remix to R. Kelly's "Gotham City" is left out) in a "Why tie this music to this movie?" sense. So much that The Smashing Pumpkins' "The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning" was recycled in a Watchmen trailer, which was featured before The Dark Knight, of all movies.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • "Molossus" and "Antrozous" from Batman Begins.
    • Whilst it seems to only be on the soundtrack to Batman Begins, not in the actual movie (at least, not in it's entirety),"Lasiurus" possibly sums up the essential character at the heart of Batman better than any piece of music (even some of the other fine pieces listed here) ever will — it's dark, brooding and melancholy, and yet there's a subtle note of hope weaved in there that gradually and powerfully builds to a crescendo, giving the listener the impression that the night will end and evil will be overcome...
    • "Mortus", the song played during the final battle between Batman and Ducard, the true Ra's al Ghul.
    • "Artibeus", which also doubles as horror.
    • From Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard's The Dark Knight:
    • The opening track "Why So Serious?" sets the mood for the entire film. Amazing how much horror is contained in a single note... Listen to it over headphones, or surround sound in an acoustically perfect room; that single note jumps around, well... chaotically.
    • The Crystal Method's Remix of said song is not quite as creepy, yet... it is. In its own "Crystal Method way."
    • Like A Dog Chasing Cars pretty much sets the tone for this Batman, right down to a lapse into "Why So Serious?"
    • The last minute of Aggresive Expansion. If "Why So Serious?" builds up the tone of the Joker, this song smashes it down on you like a 5000 pound hammer. It's impossible to listen to this song without imagining him bursting into the room and holding a knife to someone's neck at the last second, and to top it all off, the scene it's used in is when he kills the goddamned judge and commissioner.
    • The sheer awesomeness of "Agent of Chaos".
    • I'm Not a Hero. Particularly the subtle similarity to the Elfman theme around the 4 mintue mark.
    • Harvey Two Face, especially in its stirring reprise of the love theme. Awesome in spite of the fact that the ending part doesn't show up in the film.
    • The fire rises, especially after 2:48.
    • The Dark Knight Rises: DE-SHAY DE-SHAY BASHARA BASHARA
    • And then there's "A Fire Will Rise", the third trailer theme, which is mind-blowingly epic and tragic, fitting perfectly the mood for the finale of the trilogy.
    • While this isn't connected to the movie directly, Hans Zimmer created a hauntingly beautiful track called "Aurora" honoring the victims of the Aurora Theater Shooting. The Dark Knight would be proud.
    • The track "Gotham's Reckoning" that plays as Bane and his henchmen kidnap a nuclear physicist and wreck a CIA jet in mid flight.
    • And now the complete score has been released, witness the incredible drums at the end of the film version of that track.
    • "Why Do We Fall".

The Animated Movies:

The Animated Series:

  • Batman: The Animated Series: In many, many ways. The show introduction is famous for the music as much as for its almost-a-storyboard art style. The second intro is less well-known, but also features some epic music. And most villains have their own (often awesome) leitmotifs. BTAS had a unique soundtrack for every episode, a feature that might never happen again.
    • Awesome, in part, because it's the same theme Danny Elfman wrote for the Michael Keaton Batman movie. Some of the best TV watching memories were when that Warner Bros. logo faded away, the police headlights came on, and those horns started blaring. One of the best themes to a television show. Ever.

      Just to give an idea - this theme was so awesome, that even the staff of the show didn't realize that the title of the show didn't appear during it. Go ahead and rewatch if you don't believe that fact.
    • The theme from The Adventures of Batman and Robin. Shirley Walker gave Batman a Leifmotif as memorable as the 1980's movie's.
    • Also, The Grey Ghost's theme (until about 0:51). Very short, but brilliant!
    • There's a lovely theme that plays in the BTAS episode "Heart Of Ice" that makes one think of snow falling...
    • The Joker's Theme from BTAS (the second song). He even whistles it.
    • For many, Shirley Walker's Batman overture is even more iconic than Danny Elfman's theme (which is only heard in a few of the episode scores, like "Nothing To Fear" and "The Cat And The Claw, Part II"note ). It helps that the animated theme is very much a Suspiciously Similar Song to the film's version.
    • The intro to each episode not only provides great film noir imagery but great film noir music as well, setting the tone for the episode. And thanks to La-La Land, there are now ten discs worth of music available!

Miscellaneous: