DC Comics has unilaterally pre-empted our usual Caturday with Baturday, the official (so they say) Batman Day around the planet. Not being a fan, I had no idea that such a holiday even existed, but since we’re here, we might as well acknowledge the celebrations with some music. Here are some of my favourite Batman musical moments of all time
1. The Original Batman Theme (1966)
When I was a kid, I watched this show religiously, completely oblivious that it was supposed to be campy and stupid. I took it all very, very seriously. Mom says my favourite part of the theme came at about the 11 second mark with the drum fill just before the Ron Hicklin Singers kicked in. When I took accordion lessons–yes, it’s true–I asked my instructor to teach me what Neil Hefti had written. Do you know how hard it is to play that bassline on all those little buttons?
2. The Batusi
Again, kids had no idea how stupid the original Batman was designed to be. I totally bought into the Batusi. Made sense to me.
3. Danny Elfman’s Rebooted Theme (1989)
No more twelve-bar blues surf music. Tim Burton wanted his Batman to be dark, very dark. Danny Elfman delivered.
4. Prince’s “Batdance”
The soundtrack to that first Batman movie was pretty good. I though Jack Nicholson made a good joker. Not as good as Heath Ledger–Burton hadn’t shrugged off all the campiness of the original–but I still love the line “Where does he get all those wonderful toys?” And poor Bob. He didn’t didn’t deserve that.
5. Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Face to Face” (1992)
Siouxsie and co. gave an alt-rock element to Batman Returns. Although they performed it, the song was written by Danny Elfman and producer Stephen Hague.
Bonus: Batman sings in Justice League Unlimited
Poor heartbroken Batman. Wonder Woman is transformed into a pig (you heard me) by the evil Circe–hence the episode’s title “This Little Piggy”–and Batman spends the entire show trying to get her back. [SPOILER: He does. Circe turns her back into a human.]
Bonus bonus: The Who play Batman (1966)
Many people have recorded covers of Neil Hefti’s theme: The Kinks, Jan & Dean, The Jam. The Who recorded a version of the original theme in 1966. No, I’m not kidding. It first showed up on the EP Ready Steady Go and was later reissued on the CD edition of A Quick One.
Bonus bonus bonus: Voidvod’s cover (1988)
There had to be at least one metal version, right?