- Danny Elfman's music for the first two films, Batman (1989) 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, titled "The Batman Theme" is a dark and triumphant track that makes the accompanying opening 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. The theme is considered by many to be the Batman theme and for good reason.
- "Waltz to the Death," which is what the Joker and Vicki Vale were dancing to while Batman was beating up Mooks, is dark, beautiful, and (considering what's happening on the screen) "unintentionally" hilarious.
- "Descent into Mystery" 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.
- The pop soundtrack composed by Prince has some awesome numbers:
- "Partyman", a highly energetic track with fun lyrics used during the Joker's raid on the art museum to hilarious effect.
- "Scandalous" rounds out the soundtrack and the film's credits as a more slow-going and seductive piece with a relaxed, funk/soul sound and breathy vocal performance from Prince that helps it live up to its name.
- The crowner is probably "Batdance", picked as the main single from the album and a #1 chart topper. It samples various pieces of dialogue from the film and a heavy funk/electric guitar sound mixed with shouts of "Batman!" and "Batdance!" to deliver a very grooving dance track despite not actually appearing in the film.
- "Trust" plays during the Joker's parade raining money down on Gotham. The heavy funk backing instrumental and lyrics focused on trust make it incredibly memorable and perfectly matches the Joker's raucous party.
- Elfman's incredibly intense score for Batman Returns is nothing short of awesome.
- Especially epic is the opening number, "Birth of a Penguin", complete with a dark re-orchestration of the previous film's theme, and "The Final Confrontation".
- 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 "Ode to Joy" part everyone remembers).
- And on the more conventional rock side of things, it's practically impossible for there to be a more fitting rock song for this film than "Face to Face", an incredibly dark, incredibly melancholic, incredibly sexy track — performed, no less, by Siouxsie and the Banshees, the ambassadors of goth rock themselves.
- 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.
Awesome Music /
Batman Film Series
aka: Batman And Robin