While that’s obviously a fairly simple soundtrack (at least by modern standards), it’s certainly interesting to take a trip back to 1995 and listen to how a young Michael Giacchino helped craft very “Batman-esque” songs using Sega Genesis sounds. Tracks 4, 6, and 7 could almost be inserted into the soundtrack for any great Batman game of that era, and it’s still very easy to appreciate how Giacchino and co-composer Patrick J. Collins’ managed to craft an underlying Gothic theme that they occasionally interrupt with sharp electronic stabs and horn-like sounds. There are a few sections of The Batman theme that capture that same vibe via relatively similar techniques.
Of course, you kind of have to dive into Giacchino’s orchestral video game scores to really start to connect his early work to his later compositions. While The Lost World and Small Soldier‘s PS1 soundtracks (which are both significantly better than the games they are associated with) feature eerie tracks that really tap into the almost horror film-like tones we hear in that theme for The Batman, it’s Giacchino work on the Medal of Honor franchise that not only sent his career in a new direction but can clearly be heard in his latest composition.
In fact, there is so much of the Medal of Honor Frontline score in that new theme for The Batman (particular in the way that the Batman theme builds towards horn interludes that heroically punctuate an otherwise mournful tune) that I genuinely wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Giacchino returned to that soundtrack for inspiration.
Of course, given The Batman‘s dark tone and the way that theme slowly builds suspense while still feeling strangely triumphant in spots, I’d have to say that the Giacchino video game soundtrack it reminds me of the most would have to be the score for Black: a brilliant and tragically underrated composition that Giacchino worked on with the great Chris Tilton.
While this is all obviously an excuse to inject some truly great video game music into your day and pay tribute to a composer whose work in that field is sometimes too easily forgotten, it is genuinely fascinating to listen to The Batman theme and hear the many ways it not only touches upon some of Giacchino’s earliest work but manages to capture the evolution of Batman’s greatest theme songs as well as the heart of the character.