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The Dark Knight Rises premieres in theaters everywhere today and what better way of surrounding yourself in all that Batman-y goodness than with a great playlist? Here are a couple of songs I think perfectly encapsulate Batman and the whole Gotham City atmosphere. There are some selections from official soundtracks as well as some of my personal picks. It's a surefire way to get pumped for the film, especially for those of you who have yet to see it. Let's get started! Na na na na na na PLAYLIST!
1. Hybrid – Choke
Hybrid's “Choke” has the potential to serve as an anthem for both Batman and Gotham City. With industrial sounds, a heart-pounding intro, and lyrics like “The city is too bright/ I'll stay here with my secrets/ Until it fades to dust,” the song truly captures the essence of Gotham's silent protector. Plus, you'll feel like a total badass walking down the street as you listen to this song.
2. Danny Elfman – Batman Theme
Hans Zimmer, you'll have your moment in this playlist. For now, I've gotta hand it to Danny Elfman for creating a timeless theme song that hits us right in the nostalgia glands. This song, from Tim Burton's Batman (1989), has an excellent blend of darkness, intrigue, and just plain adventure. It makes you feel like the Dark Knight himself, darting and swooping through Gotham's towers. As much of a die-hard Nolan fan as you may be, you can't deny the thrill behind this song.
3. Bohren & Der Club of Gore – Destroying Angels
Do me a favor. Click here and then click play on this video:
Tell me how awesome that is. This jazzy theme by the most metal-sounding German band ever is ambiance at its finest. About 10 seconds in, you become a film noir detective, roaming through the desolate streets of Gotham. Two more minutes and you want to start smoking a cigarette and referring to women as “dames.” Don't say I didn't warn you.
4. Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi – Black (ft. Norah Jones)
Breaking Bad fans have already deemed this song the theme for meth-dealing protagonist Walter White (Lily of the Valley, anyone?). However, I think this song works just as well for our favorite caped crusader. It's smooth and chilling and Norah Jones really knocks it out of the park with the vocals here. You can just imagine this playing as Batman hobbles away from a scene of destruction, bloodied and beaten.
5. Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard – The Dark Knight Rises (Main Theme)
Ah, yes. Here's what we've been waiting for. Good ol' Zimmer, the amazing composer behind The Lion King, Gladiator, Inception, and of course, The Dark Knight trilogy. “Time” from Inception is top tier for me in terms of film scores and it seems Zimmer is pulling out all he's got for The Dark Knight Rises. With the swelling orchestra and loud thumping drums, you can just sense that something's going down and the next three hours are about to be an emotional rollercoaster.
6. Civil Twilight – Letters from the Sky
This powerful song, to me, relays the immense tragedy behind Bruce Wayne and the overwhelming responsibility he has taken upon himself. There's definitely an apocalyptic feel to this song and a resounding note of sadness. The life of a hero has moments of triumph but there are also episodes of loss as well. “Letters from the Sky” perfectly emulates this sentiment.
7. Funki Porcini – This Ain't The Way To Live
I first heard this song on the amazing E4 show Misfits. In spite of the artist's disco-ready name, this is actually quite a dark song (like most of the songs on this playlist, sorry. The next one will be cheerier, I promise. But c'mon, it's Batman.) It's slow, contemplative, and simply amazing. Listen for yourself.
8. The Heavy – Short Change Hero
This fantastic spaghetti-western tinged song comes from the soundtrack for the video game Batman: Arkham City, so I may be cheating a bit. It's hard to deny that this is an excellent pick for Batman. Lyrics like “This ain't no place for no hero/ This ain't no place for no better man” (what is that, a triple negative?) really get you thinking about Batman's struggle and dilemma. He may be the hero Gotham deserves, but is he the one the city really needs?
Do you have suggestions for The Ultimate Batman Playlist? Let us know in the comments!