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BATMAN – Danny Elfman

December 31, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Bringing Batman to the cinema was a torturous journey that took ten years to come to fruition. Producers Benjamin Melniker and Micheal Uslan purchased screen rights from DC Comics in 1979, and their creative vision was to abandon the campy TV iteration and fashion a dark and serious exposition of the hero. Regretfully United Artists, Columbia Pictures and Universal Pictures all turned down the project, as they wanted a script that reprised the campiness of the TV series. Eventually in 1980 Warner Brothers took on the project seeking to capitalize on its massive success with Superman. Tom Mankiewicz was hired to write the script, which was completed in 1983. Yet the project stalled until 1985 when Tim Burton was hired. Burton wanted his own vision and so rejected Mankiewicz’s script, instead tasking Sam Hamm, a comic book fan, to write a new screenplay. After three years of delays by Warner Brothers executives, the film was given the green light to proceed in April of 1988. Casting the principles could have supported a feature film of its own. Instead of going with one of the leading male action movie stars of the day, Burton selected Michael Keaton whom he had directed in Beetlejuice, which caused uproar among comic book fans who sent 50,000 letters of protest to studio executives. The casting drama continued when Robin Williams was hired for the role of the Joker and then let go in favor of Jack Nicholson. Rounding out the cast would be Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale, Pat Hingle as Commissioner Gordon, Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent, and Jack Palance as Carl Grissom.

The film’s story reveals a protagonist and antagonist who are both deeply flawed. With Bruce Wayne we see a fractured identity, a man at war with himself, struggling with his alter ego Batman. Unlike the archetypal hero Superman, Batman offers the dark menace of the anti-hero. Pitted against him is a deranged freak, the alienated Joker, who is outcast from society. He seeks revenge on Batman who created his misery when he let him fall into a chemical vat, which cause horrific facial disfiguring. The Joker has been driven mad by his deformity, and is unbound by societal and moral constructs, operating amorally without empathy or regret. As Gotham prepares to celebrate its bicentennial, Batman and the Joker are brought into conflict as the Joker prepares to poison the city with “Smilex”, which will create the same facial deformity as his, ultimately leading to death. Each is intent on the destruction of the other, with the Joker repeatedly frustrated at Batman’s technology and gadgets. In the end, Batman prevails casting the Joker off a cathedral to his death. Batman is embraced by city residents and Commissioner Gordon who institutes the Bat-Signal that will be used to call Batman whenever Gotham City needs him. The film was a massive commercial success earning $411 million, or 12 times its production costs. It spawned a franchise of three additional films as well as Batman: The Animated Series, which unleashed the DC Marvel animated universe. Critical acclaim was mixed and it only secured one Academy Award nomination, for Best Art Direction.

Tim Burton had forged a bond with Danny Elfman after their two earlier collaborations, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and Beetlejuice. So there was never any doubt that Elfman would be his choice for composer. Producer Jon Peters was however not receptive, and Elfman himself had doubts that he was up to taking on a production of this magnitude. All seemed to fall into place when Elfman won over Peters by providing his now iconic Batman Anthem. However new demands arose from Peters, that Prince write music for the Joker and Michael Jackson create some romance songs. Well Burton blew a gasket and refused Peter’s vision stating, “My movies are not commercial like Top Gun!” A compromise was eventually reached, Elfman would carry out his vision for the score, and Prince would write source music songs to be woven into the score’s tapestry. Prince eventually wrote nine songs, two of which were used as source cues.

For his score, Elfman would create three primary themes, and one secondary theme. Foremost is the iconic Batman Anthem, which has passed unto legend, rightfully taking its place as one of the greatest super hero themes ever written. Its conception arose on a plane flight home from England in an airplane restroom at 38,000 feet, with Elfman humming the notes into his tape recorder! The theme has a multi-phrasic construct, with the A Phrase consisting of an ascending four-note minor modal declarative phrase, which transitions to a major modal two-note descent. It drives forward with dark gothic power as a propulsive marcia bellicoso and serves as Batman’s identity, dramatically empowering him resolutely and purposely – unstoppable. The B Phrase is kindred as it also commences with a four-note ascent, however it then dissipates the anthem’s energy with a long lined descent from which re-launches the A Phrase. I believe this rising and falling motion brings a complexity and dynamism to the theme. Instructive is how Elfman deconstructs the theme, melding it to create suspense throughout the film. Also noteworthy is the inherent dichotomy and lack of resolution in the theme, which informs us of the psychic tension of the internal Bruce Wayne-Batman struggle. It suffices to say that this theme thrust Elfman into the tier one composer strata, and he has never looked back. The Joker’s Theme emotes as a grim valzer comico, full of occult menace, twisted and evil. It serves as his identity and provides a perfect juxtaposition to the Batman Theme. There is a secondary identity where Elfman interpolates Stephen Foster’s “Beautiful Dreamer” song for those fleeting moments where his maniacal comedic side is revealed. The last primary theme is the Love Theme, which is multifactorial in that it speaks to the romance of Bruce and Vicki, but also Bruce’s love of his dead parents. Elfman interpolates Prince’s song “Scandalous” joining it with elements of the Batman Theme, which is shed of its gothic power, instead rendered full of yearning by strings tenero and piano. The Henchmen’s Theme serves as a secondary theme and is more rhythmic than melodic in its sensibilities. Every shifting percussive rhythms animate their comic-nefarious missions. Lastly, two pop songs by Prince were added to the soundscape to provide a contemporaneous sensibility for the audience.

“Main Title” offers the Batman Anthem in all its darkness and glory, a score highlight, which gains Elfman immortality for one of the greatest film openings in cinematic history. After the display of the Warner Brothers logo we open in the clouds, and as the credits roll, descend atop repeating statements of the A Phrase by foreboding horns supported by low register strings sinistri with counterpoint by ethereal harp and twinkling chime figures. As the Batman logo displays at 0:40 a monstrous crescendo erupts and Elfman unleashes the anthem at 0:46 as a driving marcia bellicoso, abounding with gothic power propelling dark purpose. At 1:20 a mysterioso for strings and organ sow unease as we continue our descent. We conclude atop repeating dire statements of the A Phrase, which close with a percussive storm. “Family” reveals a family walking with trepidation through an alley a s we behold the dark underbelly of crime infested Gothic City squalor. Elfman supports their progress by sowing tension and fear with a textural milieu of percussion, tremulous strings and bassoon. Robbers jump the family and steal their belongings, fleeing aloft to the safety of rooftops. At 0:45 in “First Batman” an ominous declaration of the Batman Theme informs us of his presence aloft. Elfman sows unease with low register percussion and tremolo strings until 1:35 when Batman descends stealthily to the roof supported by a menacing statement of his theme. Dark percussion, strings sinistri and hideous bassoons support the robbers as they count their spoils rooftop. At 2:03 in “Roof Fight” all Hell breaks loose as Batman appears and strikes. Elfman propels the fight with percussive rhythms kindred to the Batman Theme over which swirls ferocious orchestral mayhem. We conclude powerfully atop his theme as he jumps from the roof, vanishing within a mysterioso as the robber looks out with stunned amazement.

In “Jack Vs. Eckhardt” Jack Napier, crime boss Carl Grissom’s right hand, meets Lieutenant Eckhardt who is on his payroll. The men despise each other and Elfman supports their confrontation with textural writing, which sows unease and tension with pizzicato strings, low register piano, and bongos. We conclude with a nascent rendering of the Joker’s Theme, an allusion of his fate. “Up Building” reveals a rapid camera ascent aloft to Grissom’s penthouse office, which Elfman supports with a swift orchestral ascent atop pizzicato strings and glissandi. At 0:12 we segue into “Card Snap” where Grissom is meeting with his gangsters and Napier in his office. He seizes on Napier’s idea to break into the Axis chemical plant and steal incriminating records and tasks him with the job. As his secretary Alice glances at Napier, Elfman informs us of their relationship with a lusty saxophone. An angry Grissom is aware of the tryst and sets Napier up by informing the police. Elfman underscores his burning fury and revenge with pulsing percussion and resplendent tremolo strings In “Bat Zone” Bruce Wayne hosts a party at his mansion and converses with reporters Alexander Knox and Vicki Vale. He departs the party early and surreptitiously observes Vicki and Alexander with his security cameras, as Elfman stokes suspense with pulsing strings and muted horns. What follows is a mesmerizing mysterioso rendering of the Batman Theme on flute and kindred woodwinds, supported by strings animato as Bruce focuses in on Commissioner Gordon discussing Napier’s criminal involvement at the Axis Chemical plant. At 1:15 we segue into “Axis Set-Up” Where Eckhardt orders his men to ambush Napier as he breaks into a safe. Elfman sows mounting tension atop strings agitato, pizzicato strings and free form piano as Napier breaks into the safe, only to discover it empty.

In “Shootout” we have a score highlight where Elfman unleashes a stunning action piece empowered by the Batman Theme, now rendered with awesome and irresistible power. A gun battle ensues driven incessantly by a dark, rhythmic bass figure, staccato horns, overlaid with high register string figures, woodwinds animato and dire trumpet declarations. Juxtaposed is the Batman Anthem, which supports his subduing without mercy, one gangster after another. Terror is evoked, as Batman seems to appear and disappear at will. At 3:15 Batman confronts Napier, which Elfman supports with an astounding complex array of horn declarations, kinetic percussive rhythms, culminating in resounding trombones as a bullet strike’s Napier in the face and he teeters over a chemical vat, held inadequately by Batman. We close with massive chords and his theme as he slips from Batman’s grip and falls to his doom. “Dinner Transition” reveals Bruce and Vicki on a date at his manor. They are tentative and decide to leave the formality of the dining room, for a more intimate repast in the kitchen. As they leave, Elfman carries their progress with a subtle rendering of the Love Theme by piano and strings tenero. We segue seamlessly into “Kitchen Dinner” where we see affection growing between them, born by the Love Theme, which blossoms, carried by strings tenero, and woodwinds delicato over a sea of shifting piano chords. At 1:23 we change scenes to “Surgery” where a quack surgeon seeks to repair Napier’s wounds. As Napier beholds his disfiguration he staggers out laughing with insane menace. Elfman provides grotesque textural sounds by bassoon, percussion strings and piano as Napier’s bandages are removed to expose his horrific deformity.

“Face–Off” is an exceptional cue where Elfman’s creative writing shines. We open with the Love Theme as Vicki and Bruce share their first kiss. We change scenes at 0:12 to Grissom’s office where an enraged Joker visits him. The Joker is clearly insane, threatens Grissom and finally shoots him. Elfman’s music is both grotesque, reflecting the Joker’s disfigurement, and maniacal, reflecting his madness. Piano sinistri, pizzicato bass, cymbal brushings, rattling percussion and strings agitato carry the Joker’s rage. After he shoots Grissom, Elfman unleashes at 1:51 the Joker’s Theme in all its perverse glory, a maniacal valzer comico, full of menace, twisted and evil. A diminuendo with the music box rendering of his theme supports a segue at 2:25 into “Beddy Bye” where a contemplative Bruce watches over a sleeping Vicki. Elfman supports the moment with the Batman Theme expressed by strings romantico and piano delicato, thus informing us that she may be the catalyst of mending Bruce’s fractured psyche. Yet the theme’s articulation reverts to darkness as she wakes to find Bruce hanging upside down from his exercise bar. We conclude atop ominous horns with another scene change to the Joker, who has usurped Grissom’s position and office. As he revels in his new stature, a music box rendering of his theme carries the moment. In “Roasted Dude” the Joker asserts his control during his meeting with fellow gangsters by incinerating one of them to forcefully drive home the point of his dominion. Afterwards, as he converses with the corpse, Elfman speaks to his madness and malice with a grotesque textural milieu of ominous pulsing percussion, bassoon and rubbed glass rods.

“Vicki Spies (Flowers)” reveals Vicki trailing Bruce to an alley, where he lays two roses upon the site where his mother and father were murdered. A mysterioso rendering of his theme born by woodwinds, strings, horns and piano carry his progress. As he places the roses we are graced with an evocative Batman Theme rendered by strings romantico, adorned with harp and chimes. We conclude as Bruce holds a silent vigil, supported by dark resounding chords of regret. In “Clown Attack” the Joker forcibly takes control of Grissom’s business with an assault carried out by his henchmen, miming the Joker’s deformity. As machine guns blaze Elfman supports the mayhem of the henchmen’s attack with staccato piano strikes and grotesque strings. As the Joker moves to the forefront and kills a gangster boss with a poison dart, snare drums empower him, joined by monstrous resounding chords. “Photos” reveals Bruce and Alfred discussing Vicki, supported plaintively by piano chords, a violin sustain and English horn. As the scene shifts to Vicki’s apartment where we see her reviewing her photos of Bruce’s memoriam, strings tenero join the piano informing us of her growing affection. At 0:50 we shift atop a bowed saw to “Beautiful Dreamer” and the Joker’s lair where he is reviewing his own photos, achieving an eureka moment when he comes upon a photo of Vicki. We see him mesmerized by her and Elfman informs us of his lust by interpolating Stephen Foster’s “Beautiful Dreamer”.

In “Men At Work” the Axis Chemical Factory has been repurposed to manufacture Smilex, the Joker’s lethal poisonous gas. Elfman reprises the action writing of the “Shootout” cue, with a mechanistic rhythm to support their activities. “Paper Spin” reveals newspaper headlines displaying news of the Joker’s Smilex murders supported by a swirling vortex of strings. At 0:05 we segue into “Alicia’s Mask” atop grotesque atmospherics as the Joker threatens a drugged Alicia that he was going to “make some art”. In “Vicki Gets A Gift” Bruce has apparently stood her up for their date at the Flugelheim Museum. Strings doloroso and piano inform us of her disappointment. The music mutates on grotesque string glissandi as she receives an odd gift – a gas mask. The Joker’s chattering percussion joins in evil communion with trombones di orrore, menacing strings, and trumpets agitato, which sow terror as purple gas floods the museum, killing all but Vicki, who was saved by the mask. The next scene where the Joker and his henchmen enter the museum is supported by the Prince song “Partyman”, whose dance like rhythms energize the Joker’s lunacy and vandalism. This song is not presented on the album.

As the Joker crudely attempts to make a sexual advance with Vicki, Elfman juxtaposes musically with the romantic theme from “A Summer’s Place” rendered by Percy Faith and his orchestra, which is not on the album. “Alicia’s Unmasking” reveals the captive Vicki watching the Joker unveil his latest sadism – the horribly burned face of Alicia. Vicki, who is filled with disgust, douses the Joker with a pitcher of water. He feigns injury, reprising grotesquely, the scene from “The Wizard of Oz” where the witch screams I’m melting. Horrific tremolo strings propel a grotesque dissonant crescendo as the Joker feigns excruciating pain. This ternary cue offers an astounding score highlight, which showcases the Batman Anthem with furious action scoring. In “Batman To The Rescue” Batman dramatically crashes through the Museum’s glass ceiling in an audacious rescue of Vicki. The Batman Anthem joined by kindred trumpets bellicoso stuns both Vicki and the Joker. Batman sweeps up Vicki and zip lines to safety carried with kinetic crescendo force. At 0:26 we segue into “Batmobile Charge” as the two board his technological wonder and escape, with the Joker and his henchmen in pursuit. Elfman propels the chase with a driving irresistible Batman Anthem juxtaposed by a malevolent surging of horns empowered by percussive chaos, which support the villains. We conclude at 1:28 with “Street Fight” where Batman and Vicki leave the blocked Batmobile on foot, with piano agitato carrying their progress. He safely deposits Vicki aloft on a rooftop and then engages the henchmen in combat. Elfman sweeps us away with an angry, churning sea of percussion and ferocious staccato trumpets as Batman takes down the henchmen one by one.

Batman prevails, and Vicki rejoins him, taking refuge in the Batmobile. In “Descent Into Mystery” Batman drives Vicki to the safety of the Bat Cave in the Batmobile. Elfman carries their progress with an eerie mysterioso of spectral chanting choir, set against contrapuntal rhythmic string and rhythmic woodwind figures. The Batman Anthem resounds as the Batmobile surges forward with unrestrained power, but dissipates replaced by strings tenero as Vicki contemplates the identity of the man behind the mask. We conclude with spectral choir and thundering waves of orchestral chords as the Batmobile arrives and enters the Bat Cave. In “Bat Cave” Elfman bathes us in a fluid mysterioso born of tremolo strings, flute delicato, and muted horns, adorned with harp and chimes. Vicki is mesmerized and surrenders herself as Batman envelops her with his cape, a moment crowned with a bold stamen of his theme. In a scene change at 2:34 to “Paper Throw”, pizzicato strings and horns create unease and urgency as the latest issue of the Gotham Globe reaches the newsstands. “The Joker’s Poem” reveals the Joker celebrating his apparent murder of Bruce at Vicki’s apartment with a poem and flatulence. As he departs Elfman supports with the secondary comedic music box thematic identity, which informs us of his humorous, yet twisted psyche. Howling trombones supports his crude flatulent powered exit. Vicki, who is stunned, recovers, and then moves to open another Joker present carried by his Music Box Theme. As she opens it, up springs a hand with dead roses, causing her to faint. A stinger marks the surprise.

In “Sad Pictures”, Vicki is shown newspaper records that reveal that Bruce’s parents were murdered at the site she saw him place flowers. Strings doloroso joined by a muted rendering of the Batman Theme speak of the pathos of the photo and the sympathy engendered in Vicki’s face. “Dream/Challenge” reveals the Joker issuing a cocky challenge to Batman on TV, which triggers a flashback as Bruce relives the murder of his parents by Napier. Elfman supports the flashback by creating a surreal pulsing mysterioso ambiance using low register piano, strings affanato, and wordless female choir. The marriage of visuals and music is excellent. We segue at 2:53 into “Tender Bat Cave” where Vicki is brought to Bruce by Alfred in the Batcave. All is now laid bare between them as they try to reconcile love and Bruce’s compulsion to ensure justice. The scene is supported by what I believe is the most evocative rendering of the Love Theme in the score. Its articulation is tinged with sadness, informing us that the future portends uncertainty. “Charge Of The Batmobile” offers a rousing score highlight that features a ferocious rendering of the Batman Anthem. Bruce cuts off the argument, declaring that he needs to go to work. As he suits up for battle, a drum roll launches a powerful choir enhanced declarative statement of the Batman Anthem. As he drives the Batmobile with a grim resolve, the anthem propels his progress like a juggernaut, unstoppable! A grand, operatic declaration of the anthem resounds as he crashes through the gates of Axis Chemical factory and destroys it with a barrage of cluster bombs!

“Joker Flies To Gotham” reveals the Joker aloft in a helicopter, taunting Batman. Elfman conceived of grotesque stinger, which was dialed out of the film. We segue at 0:11 into “Batwing I” where Batman descends in the Batwing, empowered by an aggressive statement of his anthem, which resounds with menace. The album does not contain the music for the scene between these two cues. We see the Joker staging a nighttime parade in downtown Gotham, which features massive comic balloon caricatures filled with the lethal Smilex gas, and the Joker showering the crowd with $20 million in cash. Prince’s festive song “Trust” was used with good effect to provide the necessary festive energy. “Batwing II/Batwing III” offers one of the score’s most dynamic action cues, which supports Batman’s battle with the Joker. The Joker intends mass murder and begins unleashing his lethal gas on a crowd. Horrific chords of doom join in unholy communion with trumpets terrore and a swirling vortex of strings to support his attack. Juxtaposed to this monstrosity is the Batman Theme, which is also buttressed with horns bellicoso and energetic strings as the Batwing flies through the skyscrapers. At 3:08 Batman grapples the four balloons, intending to drag them upwards to save the crowd. His theme empowered by trumpets feroci, bells and kinetic pounding percussion support his audacious counterattack, and the subsequent challenge of the struggling Batwing to ascend to safety. As he barely avoids crashing into a skyscraper his anthem resounds triumphantly as he releases the balloons. Pizzicato and low register string percolate, informing us of the Joker’s outrage. We conclude atop the Batman Theme as the Batwing descends, guns blazing on an attack run intending to kill the Joker and his henchmen. Remarkably, the Joker survives the assault and shoots down the Batwing with a single bullet from his long barrel pistol. A torrent of trumpets and kindred horns support the crash of the Batwing into the cathedral steps.

“Cathedral Chase” offers an astounding score highlight, a kinetic cue where we see the joker dragging Vicki upwards in the Cathedral with Batman in pursuit. As they ascend the bell tower to their final confrontation, Elfman propels Batman’s ascent with dramatic repeating horn declarations of his anthem, resolute and unstoppable. As the Joker gains the bell tower loft, Batman’s Theme resounds as massive Herrmannesque organ empowered chords, which are juxtaposed to the evil chimes and music box melody of the Joker. “Waltz To The Death” offers creative writing by Elfman. Batman’s Theme carries him to the bell tower loft. As he battles the Joker’s henchmen, the Joker joins Vicki in a comic valzer macabre. The graceful waltz rhythms support his perverse lunacy and juxtapose the violent fist de cups of the battle raging about them.

The following two cues are supreme score highlights, which intensely support the final confrontation between Batman and the Joker. In “Showdown” Batman seeks vengeance for the murder of his parents and quickly gains the upper hand as he pummels the Joker and knocks him over the ledge, yet his theme has lost its vital energy as it contests with the Joker’s twisted cadence of strings sinistri and col legno strings. We see in Batman’s eyes that he is consumed by hate, which allows the Joker an opportunity to strike. We segue into “Showdown II” at 1:12 as the joker manages to pull Batman and Vicki over the edge and gloats as they hang desperately for their lives. Elfman speaks to their peril with harp and cymbal waves, which join with a depleted rendering of the Batman Theme on pipe organ. Dark and ominous chords of doom resound as the Joker’s henchmen approach with his helicopter. As he grabs on to the ladder his perverse gloating is supported by frenetic horns running upwards and downwards in their register. Yet all is not lost as the Batman Theme resounds as he fires his cable gun, which ties the Joker to a gargoyle, which snaps, taking the Joker to his death. His death fall is propelled by the fury of descending strings and trumpets. A romantic rendering of the Batman Theme supports our lovers, yet it is short-lived as the ledge crumbles and they plummet supported by shrieking trumpets. As he saves them with another cable gunshot, the romantic rendering of the Batman Theme returns as they grasp each other with relief. As we descend below to the Joker’s corpse, a twisted variant of his theme, replete with chimes bring us to him, yet he gets the last laugh as a gag laugh-maker hidden in his pocket sounds.

In “Finale” a triumphant declaration of a Batman Theme resounds as Commissioner Gordon christens the new Bat-signal, which displays on the clouds above. As Vicki and Alfred depart in a limousine the scandalous melody carries their progress and ushers in resounding declarations by trumpets trionfanti of the Batman Theme, which carry us upwards to his rooftop silhouette as he gazes at the Bat-signal emblem in the clouds. We close majestically upon his theme, which ends in a flourish, informing us that justice will soon call as new villains await. The “End Credits” are propelled by a powerful rendering of the Batman Anthem in all its glory. The remainder of the credit roll, which is not on the album, is supported by Prince’s song “Scandalous”.

I would like to thank Dan Goldwasser, Neil Bulk, MV Gerhard and La La Land Records for this exceptional reissue of Danny Elfman’s seminal score to Batman. The sound quality is excellent and provides a wonderful listening experience. The inclusion of the film score, original soundtrack release, and alternative cues makes this a quality product. This score propelled Danny Elfman to tier one composer status and he has never looked back. Following in the tradition of John Williams, Elfman’s anthem for Batman joins Superman as iconic super hero anthems, which have passed unto legend. In a masterstroke of conception, Elfman captured the emotional core of Burton’s film, providing the power, mystery and darkness that was Batman. The anthem excelled in providing the kinetic energy necessary to drive Burton’s narrative, and the contest between hero and villain. Brilliantly juxtaposed to the Batman Anthem were the themes of our villain, the Joker. The use of comic and macabre waltzes, music box chimes, and festive songs by Prince fleshed out lunacy, perversion and maniacal menace of this amoral monster. This score understood that super heroes are larger than life and so require power anthems to rouse and inspire. I consider this score to be one of the finest of the genre, a masterwork of the Bronze Age, and one of the finest in Elfman’s canon. I highly recommend its purchase as essential for your collection.

Buy the Batman soundtrack from the Movie Music UK Store

Track Listing:

  • Main Title (2:42)
  • Family/First Batman/Roof Fight (3:24)
  • Jack Vs. Eckhardt (1:37)
  • Up Building/Card Snap (1:54)
  • Bat Zone/Axis Set-Up (1:55)
  • Shootout (5:42)
  • Dinner Transition/Kitchen Dinner/Surgery (3:00)
  • Face-Off/Beddy Bye (3:59)
  • Roasted Dude (1:03)
  • Vicki Spies And Flowers (1:56)
  • Clown Attack (1:59)
  • Photos/Beautiful Dreamer (2:30)
  • Men At Work (0:33)
  • Paper Spin/Alicia’s Mask (0:30)
  • Vicki Gets A Gift (1:13)
  • Alicia’s Unmasking (1:10)
  • Batman To The Rescue/Batmobile Charge/Street Fight (4:25)
  • Descent Into Mystery (1:33)
  • Bat Cave/Paper Throw (2:48)
  • The Joker’s Poem (0:59)
  • Sad Pictures (0:38)
  • Dream/Challenge/Tender Bat Cave (4:28)
  • Charge Of The Batmobile (1:43)
  • Joker Flies To Gotham (Unused Version)/Batwing I (0:31)
  • Batwing II/Batwing III (6:02)
  • Cathedral Chase (5:07)
  • Waltz To The Death (3:58)
  • Showdown I/Showdown II (5:05)
  • Finale (1:47)
  • End Credits (1:29)
  • The Batman Theme (2:37)
  • Roof Fight (1:22)
  • First Confrontation (4:43)
  • Kitchen/Surgery/Face-Off (3:09)
  • Flowers (1:51)
  • Clown Attack (1:46)
  • Batman To The Rescue (3:57)
  • Roasted Dude (1:02)
  • Photos/Beautiful Dreamer (2:31)
  • Descent Into Mystery (1:33)
  • The Bat Cave (2:35)
  • The Joker’s Poem (0:59)
  • Childhood Remembered (2:43)
  • Love Theme (1:30)
  • Charge Of The Batmobile (1:41)
  • Attack Of The Batwing (4:45)
  • Up The Cathedral (5:05)
  • Waltz To The Death (3:56)
  • The Final Confrontation (3:48)
  • Finale (1:46)
  • Batman Theme Reprise (1:31)
  • News Theme (0:11)
  • Joker’s Commercial (1:23)
  • Joker’s Muzak (Unused Version) (1:15)
  • Main Title (Alternate Version I) (2:42)
  • Photos/Beautiful Dreamer (Alternate Version) (2:33)
  • Batman To The Rescue (Original Ending Version) (0:52)
  • Charge Of The Batmobile (Film Edit Version) (1:47)
  • Main Title (Alternate Version II) (2:47)

Running Time: 54 minutes 47 seconds (Original)
Running Time: 144 minutes 00 seconds (Expanded)

Warner Brothers 9-25977-2 (1989)
La-La Land Records LLLCD-1140 (1989/2010)

Music composed by Danny Elfman. Conducted by Shirley Walker. Orchestrations by Steve Bartek, Shirley Walker and Steven Scott Smalley. “Scandalous” composed by Prince Rogers Nelson and John L. Nelson. “Beautiful Dreamer” composed by Stephen Foster. Recorded and mixed by Eric Tomlinson. Edited by Bob Badami. Score produced by Danny Elfman and Steve Bartek. Expanded album produced by Dan Goldwasser, Neil S. Bulk, MV Gerhard and Matt Verboys.

  1. December 31, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Brilliant! One of my all-time favourites. Great choice Craig!

  2. silenig
    March 1, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    Superman was maybe the first “serious” film and score based on a superhero property, but Batman is the one that defined it. It’s 30 years old, but its influence can’t be overstated.

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