Batman (score)

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Batman: Original Motion Picture Score
Batman score.jpg
Film score by
ReleasedMay 1989
Genre Soundtrack
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Danny Elfman and Steve Bartek
Danny Elfman chronology
Batman: Original Motion Picture Score
Dick Tracy
Batman soundtrack chronology
Batman (score)
Batman (album)
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Batman: Original Motion Picture Score is the score album for the 1989 film Batman by Danny Elfman. According to the Batman DVD Special Edition, Elfman said that producer Jon Peters was not sure about him as a composer until Tim Burton made him play the main titles. Elfman admitted he was stunned when Peters announced that the score would be released on its own album, as releasing a separate score album for a film was something that was rarely done in the 1980s.

A film score is original music written specifically to accompany a film for the actors. The score forms part of the film's soundtrack, which also usually includes pre-existing music, dialogue and sound effects, and comprises a number of orchestral, instrumental, or choral pieces called cues, which are timed to begin and end at specific points during the film in order to enhance the dramatic narrative and the emotional impact of the scene in question. Scores are written by one or more composers, under the guidance of, or in collaboration with, the film's director or producer and are then usually performed by an ensemble of musicians – most often comprising an orchestra or band, instrumental soloists, and choir or vocalists – known as playback singers and recorded by a sound engineer.

<i>Batman</i> (1989 film) 1989 film directed by Tim Burton

Batman is a 1989 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton and produced by Jon Peters and Peter Guber, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. It is the first installment of Warner Bros.' initial Batman film series. The film stars Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne / Batman, alongside Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough and Jack Palance. The film takes place early in the title character's war on crime, and depicts a battle with his nemesis the Joker.

Danny Elfman American composer, record producer, and actor

Daniel Robert Elfman is an American composer, singer, songwriter, and record producer. Elfman first became known for being the lead singer and songwriter for the band Oingo Boingo from 1974 to 1995. He is well known for scoring films and television shows, particularly his frequent collaborations with director Tim Burton. One of Elfman's notable compositions is The Simpsons theme, which he wrote in 1989.


Elfman's "The Batman Theme" went on to become an iconic piece. It served as the basis for the theme music of Batman: The Animated Series , which premiered in 1992, although this was later changed. Some parts of the Elfman score are also heard in Lego Batman: The Videogame , Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes , Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham and Justice League . Parts are also played in the queue, and on the station platform of Batman the Ride at various Six Flags theme parks.

<i>Batman: The Animated Series</i> Animated series based on the DC comics character

Batman: The Animated Series is an American superhero animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. Developed by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski and produced by Warner Bros. Animation, it originally aired on Fox Kids from September 5, 1992, to September 15, 1995, with a total of 85 episodes. For the final fifteen episodes, the series was given the on-screen title The Adventures of Batman & Robin, which was also used for reruns of earlier episodes. The series became the first in the continuity of the shared DC animated universe; spawning further animated TV series, feature films, comic books and video games with most of the same creative talent.

1992 in television may refer to:

<i>Lego Batman: The Videogame</i> 2008 video game

Lego Batman: The Videogame is a Lego-themed action-adventure video game developed by Traveller's Tales and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, released in 2008 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, OS X, Microsoft Windows and Wii video gaming platforms. It is the first Lego Batman video game. The game is based on the comic book character Batman and the Lego Batman toy line, who also handled marketing and financial aspects of the game.


Burton hired Elfman to compose the music score. For inspiration, Elfman was given The Dark Knight Returns. Elfman was worried, as he had never worked on a production this large in budget and scale. [1] In an interview with Keyboard in October 1989, Elfman said that he never read Batman as a child, preferring Marvel heroes such as Spider-Man and Fantastic Four. [2] In addition, producer Jon Peters was skeptical of hiring Elfman, but was later convinced when he heard the opening number. [3] Peters and Peter Guber wanted Prince to write music for the Joker and Michael Jackson to do the romance songs. Elfman would then combine the style of Prince and Jackson's songs together for the entire film score. [4]

Keyboard is a magazine that originally covered electronic keyboard instruments and keyboardists, though with the advent of computer-based recording and audio technology, they have added digital music technology to their regular coverage, including those not strictly pertaining to the keyboard-related instruments. The magazine has its headquarters in San Bruno, California.

Marvel Comics Company that publishes comic books and related media

Marvel Comics is the brand name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc., formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, a publisher of American comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Worldwide's parent company.

Spider-Man Fictional Marvel superhero

Spider-Man is a fictional superhero created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko. He first appeared in the anthology comic book Amazing Fantasy #15 in the Silver Age of Comic Books. He appears in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, as well as in a number of movies, television shows, and video game adaptations set in the Marvel Universe. In the stories, Spider-Man is the alias of Peter Parker, an orphan raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben in New York City after his parents Richard and Mary Parker were killed in a plane crash. Lee and Ditko had the character deal with the struggles of adolescence and financial issues, and accompanied him with many supporting characters, such as J. Jonah Jameson, Harry Osborn, Max Modell, romantic interests Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson, and foes such as Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin and Venom. His origin story has him acquiring spider-related abilities after a bite from a radioactive spider; these include clinging to surfaces, shooting spider-webs from wrist-mounted devices, and detecting danger with his "spider-sense".

Burton protested the ideas, citing "my movies aren't commercial like Top Gun ." [4] Elfman enlisted the help of Oingo Boingo lead guitarist Steve Bartek and Shirley Walker to arrange the compositions for the orchestra. [5] Elfman was later displeased with the audio mixing of his film score. "Batman was done in England by technicians who didn't care, and the non-caring showed," he stated. "I'm not putting down England because they've done gorgeous dubs there, but this particular crew elected not to." [6] However, Elfman included several synthesizer cues in the film, mostly percussion samples. [2] Elfman based his five-note Batman motif on his viewing experience on the rough cut of the film. [2]

<i>Top Gun</i> 1986 American action drama film directed by Tony Scott

Top Gun is a 1986 American action drama film directed by Tony Scott, and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, in association with Paramount Pictures. The screenplay was written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr., and was inspired by an article titled "Top Guns" published in California magazine three years earlier. The film stars Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, and Tom Skerritt. It also marked the debut of actor Adrian Pasdar. Cruise plays Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, a young naval aviator aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. He and his Radar Intercept Officer, Nick "Goose" Bradshaw (Edwards) are given the chance to train at the US Navy's Fighter Weapons School at Naval Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California.

Oingo Boingo was an American new wave band, formed by songwriter Danny Elfman in 1979. Oingo Boingo emerged from a surrealist performance art theatrical troupe, The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, founded in 1972 and led by Danny Elfman's brother Richard Elfman.

Steve Bartek is an American guitarist, film composer, conductor and orchestrator. He is best known as the lead guitarist in the band Oingo Boingo and for his orchestration work with composer Danny Elfman.

In rearranging Stephen Foster's "Beautiful Dreamer", Elfman added a "lovely climax" as the Joker twirls away. Elfman also recorded the composition twice, primarily on the violin. [2] Meanwhile, in recording "Up the Cathedral", Elfman did not use a real church organ, but an electronic organ by Rodgers Instruments. Elfman cites his inspiration for "Up the Cathedral" to Bernard Herrmann's score for the 1961 film, Mysterious Island , a film he enjoyed as a child. [2] Elfman completed his score on May 15, 1989, just over a month before the film's release. [2]

Stephen Foster American songwriter

Stephen Collins Foster, known as "the father of American music", was an American songwriter known primarily for his parlor and minstrel music. He wrote more than 200 songs, including "Oh! Susanna", "Hard Times Come Again No More", "Camptown Races", "Old Folks at Home", "My Old Kentucky Home", "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair", "Old Black Joe", and "Beautiful Dreamer", and many of his compositions remain popular today. He has been identified as "the most famous songwriter of the nineteenth century" and may be the most recognizable American composer in other countries. His compositions are sometimes referred to as "childhood songs" because they have been included in the music curriculum of early education. Most of his handwritten music manuscripts are lost, but editions issued by publishers of his day can be found in various collections.

Beautiful Dreamer song by Stephen Foster

"Beautiful Dreamer" is a parlor song by American songwriter Stephen Foster (1826–1864). It was published posthumously in March 1864, by Wm. A. Pond & Co. of New York. The first edition states on its title page that it is "the last song ever written by Stephen C. Foster. Composed but a few days prior to his death." However, Carol Kimball, the author of Song, points out that the first edition's copyright is dated 1862, which suggests, she writes, that the song was composed and readied for publication two years before Foster's death. There are at least 20 songs, she observes, that claim to be Foster's last, and it is unknown which is indeed his last. The song is set in 9
time with a broken chord accompaniment.

Rodgers Instruments

Rodgers Instruments Corporation is an American manufacturer of classical and church organs. Rodgers was incorporated May 1, 1958 in Beaverton, Oregon by founders, Rodgers W. Jenkins and Fred Tinker, employees of Tektronix, Inc., of Portland, Oregon, and members of a Tektronix team developing transistor-based oscillator circuits. Rodgers was the second manufacturer of solid state oscillator-based organs, completing their first instrument in 1958. Other Rodgers innovations in the electronic organ industry include solid-state organ amplifiers (1962), single-contact diode keying (1961), reed switch pedal keying for pedalboards (1961), programmable computer memory pistons (1966), and the first MIDI-supported church organs (1986).

Track listing

  1. "The Batman Theme" (2:38)
  2. "Roof Fight" (1:20)
  3. "First Confrontation" (4:43)
  4. "Kitchen, Surgery, Face-off" (3:07)
  5. "Flowers" (1:51)
  6. "Clown Attack" (1:45)
  7. "Batman to the Rescue" (3:56)
  8. "Roasted Dude" (1:01)
  9. "Photos/Beautiful Dreamer" (2:27)
  10. "Descent into Mystery" (1:31)
  11. "The Bat Cave" (2:35)
  12. "The Joker's Poem" (0:56)
  13. "Childhood Remembered" (2:43)
  14. "Love Theme" (1:30)
  15. "Charge of the Batmobile" (1:41)
  16. "Attack of the Batwing" (4:44)
  17. "Up the Cathedral" (5:04)
  18. "Waltz to the Death" (3:55)
  19. "The Final Confrontation" (3:47)
  20. "Finale" (1:45)
  21. "Batman Theme (Reprise)" (1:28)

Complete score

La-La Land Records released Danny Elfman's complete score to Batman on July 27, 2010. [7]

Disc One: Original Score (film version)

  1. "Main Title"* (2:42)
  2. "Family*/First Batman*/Roof Fight*" (3:24)
  3. "Jack Vs. Eckhardt"* (1:37)
  4. "Up Building*/Card Snap*" (1:54)
  5. "Bat Zone*/Axis Set-Up*" (1:55)
  6. "Shootout"* (5:42)
  7. "Dinner Transition*/Kitchen Dinner* (**)/Surgery*" (3:00)
  8. "Face–Off* (**)/Beddy Bye*" (3:59)
  9. "Roasted Dude"* (1:03)
  10. "Vicki Spies (Flowers)"* (1:56)
  11. "Clown Attack"* (1:59)
  12. "Photos*/Beautiful Dreamer* (***)" (2:30)
  13. "Men at Work"* (0:33)
  14. "Paper Spin*/Alicia’s Mask*" (0:30)
  15. "Vicki Gets a Gift"* (1:13)
  16. "Alicia’s Unmasking"* (1:10)
  17. "Batman to the Rescue*/Batmobile Charge*/Street Fight*" (4:25)
  18. "Descent into Mystery"* (1:33)
  19. "Bat Cave*/Paper Throw*" (2:48)
  20. "The Joker’s Poem"* (0:59)
  21. "Sad Pictures"* (0:38)
  22. "Dream*/Challenge*/Tender Bat Cave* (**)" (4:28)
  23. "Charge of the Batmobile"* (1:43)
  24. "Joker Flies to Gotham (Unused)*/Batwing I*" (0:31)
  25. "Batwing II*/Batwing III*" (6:02)
  26. "Cathedral Chase"* (5:07)
  27. "Waltz to the Death"* (3:58)
  28. "Showdown I*/Showdown II*" (5:05)
  29. "Finale"* (**) (1:47)
  30. "End Credits"* (1:29)

Disc Two: Original Soundtrack Album (remastered)

  1. "The Batman Theme" (2:37)
  2. "Roof Fight" (1:22)
  3. "First Confrontation" (4:43)
  4. "Kitchen/Surgery/Face–Off"** (3:09)
  5. "Flowers" (1:51)
  6. "Clown Attack" (1:46)
  7. "Batman to the Rescue" (3:57)
  8. "Roasted Dude" (1:02)
  9. "Photos/Beautiful Dreamer"*** (2:31)
  10. "Descent into Mystery" (1:33)
  11. "The Bat Cave" (2:35)
  12. "The Joker’s Poem" (0:59)
  13. "Childhood Remembered" (2:43)
  14. "Love Theme"** (1:30)
  15. "Charge of the Batmobile" (1:41)
  16. "Attack of the Batwing" (4:45)
  17. "Up the Cathedral" (5:05)
  18. "Waltz to the Death" (3:56)
  19. "The Final Confrontation" (3:48)
  20. "Finale" (**) (***) (1:46)
  21. "Batman Theme Reprise" (1:31)

Bonus Cues

  1. "News Theme"* (0:11)
  2. "Joker’s Commercial"* (1:23)
  3. "Joker’s Muzak (unused)"* (1:15)
  4. "Main Title (alt 1)"* (2:42)
  5. "Photos*/Beautiful Dreamer (alt)* (**)" (2:33)
  6. "Batman to the Rescue (original ending)"* (0:52)
  7. "Charge of the Batmobile (film edit)"* (1:47)
  8. "Main Title (alt 2)"* (2:47)

(*) Previously unreleased
(**) includes "Scandalous!" composed by Prince with John L. Nelson
(***) includes "Beautiful Dreamer" composed by Stephen Foster

Chart positions

Chart (1989)Peak
U.S. Billboard 200 [8] 30

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  1. Danny Elfman, Tim Burton, Nocturnal Overtures: The Music of Batman, 2005, Warner Home Video
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Doerschuk, Robert L. (October 1989). "Danny Elfman - The Agony & The Ectasy of Scoring Batman". Keyboard. Vol. 15 no. 10. GPI Publications. pp. 82–95. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  3. Tim Burton, Sam Hamm, Danny Elfman, Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark KnightThe Legend Reborn, 2005, Warner Home Video
  4. 1 2 Mark Salisbury; Tim Burton (2006). "Batman". Burton on Burton. London: Faber and Faber. pp. 70–83. ISBN   0-571-22926-3.
  5. Givens, Ron (February 23, 1990). "The Elfman Cometh". Entertainment Weekly . Archived from the original on January 7, 2008. Retrieved December 18, 2007.
  6. Judy Sloane (August 1995). "Elfman on scoring". Film Review. p. 77.
  7. "LA LA LAND RECORDS, Film Scores, Music Scores, Film Music,Film Composers,MovieMusic, Composers, Film Composers, Movie Composers, Soundtrack Composers". Archived from the original on 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  8. "Billboard Albums: Batman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Allmusic . Retrieved 2010-05-23.