Episode 10: Batman

Today, Batman is undergoing yet another renaissance – fresh off the Dark Knight trilogy, he’s heading up a whole new Justice League. But in 1989, Batman was only starting to become the Dark Knight of popular culture – and Danny Elfman’s landmark score to the Tim Burton film helped him along the way. In this episode of Art of the Score, we take a look at the 1989 score, and pull apart its main themes, its musical influences and style, and ask the ultimate question: just where does he get those wonderful (musical) toys?


Episode notes:

2:50 – An intro to Danny Elfman
4:20 – Batman (1989), Tim Burton, and franchising in Hollywood
10:42 – Is this the most iconic Batman theme ever?
12:45 – Breaking down Elfman’s Batman theme
16:10 – The influence of Herrmann on Elfman
21:00 – The Dark Knight rides again
23:56 – The versatility of the Batman theme
26:00 – The Batutsi
26:55 – 6/8 versus 3/4 timing for Batman
30:20 – How does the Elfman theme fit into the history of Bat-music? The 1949 serial, the TV series, Goldenthal, and Zimmer
35:05 – Is Zimmer’s theme just the bare elements of Elfman’s? Dan says yes: https://vimeo.com/193995233
36:40 – Or is it all just building on Wagner?
38:00 – How does Prince’s music work with the score? Listen to the Love Theme and find out
42:00 – Beautiful Dreamer, the Joker’s Parlour Song
46:00 – Dancing with the Devil in the Pale Moonlight
53:44 – Waltzing to the Death (and Dan’s frustration)
58:11 – The Henchmen’s piano
1:01:35 – Alfred Hitchcock directs Batman
1:05:52 – The henchmen’s boom box
1:08:45 – It’s a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight
1:11:50 – Advertising for the Joker
1:18:30 – Nick’s favourite cue in the score
1:22:30 – Dan has a bone to pick with Batman
1:26:50 – The finale to Batman – the Light Knight?

We love to hear from our listeners – get in touch via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and if you like The Art of the Score, please take a moment to subscribe, rate and comment