Batman Theme

1966 single by Neal Hefti / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Batman Theme", the title song of the 1966 Batman TV series, was composed by Neal Hefti. This song is built around a guitar hook reminiscent of spy film scores and surf music. It has a twelve bar blues progression, using only three chords until the coda.

Quick facts: "Batman Theme", Single by Neal Hefti, from th...
"Batman Theme"
Single by Neal Hefti
from the album Batman Theme and 11 Other Bat Songs
B-side"Batman Chase"
Released1966
GenreSurf rock
Length2:16
LabelRCA Victor
Songwriter(s)Neal Hefti
Neal Hefti singles chronology
"Batman Theme"
(1966)
"Gotham City Municipal Swing Band"
(1966)
Close

The eleven cries of "Batman!" are sung by a chorus of four tenors and four sopranos (performed by The Ron Hicklin Singers). A common misconception is that the chorus is actually a horn section, a rumor began shortly after the TV series ended its initial run in 1968, and gained attention from Adam West's 1994 book Back to the Batcave, in which he incorrectly recalled that the theme featured horns rather than vocals. Neal Hefti, the writer of the theme, stated that the chorus was made up of eight singers, one of whom jokingly wrote on his part, "word and music by Neal Hefti".[1] According to TV's Biggest Hits by Jon Burlingame, which includes an interview with Hefti about the creation of the song, the song consists of "bass guitar, low brass and percussion to create a driving rhythm, while an eight-voice chorus sings 'Batman!' in harmony with the trumpets".[2][3]

In addition to Neal Hefti's original version, and the television soundtrack version by Nelson Riddle,[4] versions were covered by The Marketts (single "Batman Theme" and album The Batman Theme by The Marketts), The Ventures (The Ventures Play the "Batman" Theme, Dolton BST8042, 3/1966), Al Hirt, The Standells and actor/musician David McCallum.

The song has been parodied in the more than half-a-century since its debut. The theme has been re-recorded by dozens of artists, including Link Wray,[5] Voivod,[6] The Jam,[7] The Who,[8] and The Kinks.[8]