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"Batman Theme"
Recorded and Mixed at Beachwood Studios, Cleveland, Ohio, 1984
Written by David Wadley and Neal Hefti, Produced by David Wadley and George Sipl, Lead and Background Vocals: David Wadley (Batman, Robin, Batfreak, Alfred, The Penguin, Giant, and synthesized "Batman" chorus), Nadine Finklea (Catwoman), Raquel Gary (Little Girl), Keyboards, Synthesizers, Drums, and Audio Engineer: George Sipl, Guitar: Ed Sarley, Bass: Mike Solarz, Executive Producers: Dorothy McIntyre and Walter D. Bizzell IV, Mastering: Nashville Record Productions, Mastering Engineer: John Eberle, 2019 Audio Conversion: Current Pixel, Atlanta, GA, Owner: Tim Rogers, Preservation Artist: Sean Jackson, Audio Archivist: Catherine Wadley

Electro (or electro-funk) is a genre of electronic music and early hip hop directly influenced by the use of the Roland TR-808 drum machines, and funk. Records in the genre typically feature drum machines and heavy electronic sounds, usually without vocals, although if vocals are present they are delivered in a deadpan manner, often through electronic distortion such as vocoding and talkboxing.

Following the decline of disco music in the United States, electro emerged as a fusion of funk and New York boogie. Early hip hop and rap combined with German and Japanese electropop influences such as Kraftwerk and Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) inspired the birth of electro. In 1981, Gandmaster Flash and The Furious Five released the masterpiece, "Scorpio." Afrika Bambaataa and producer Arthur Baker followed one year later with the seminal "Planet Rock", which was built using samples from Kraftwerk's Trans-Europe Express (1977) and drum beats supplied by the TR-808. "Planet Rock" was followed later that year by another breakthrough electro record, "Nunk" by Warp 9. In 1983, Hashim created an electro funk sound which influenced Herbie Hancock, resulting in his hit single "Rockit."

Throughout the early 1980s, electro welcomed several contributions from talented artists living in the state of Ohio, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Zapp & Roger, a Dayton, Ohio band led by Roger Troutman, blazed a trail with the iconic "More Bounce to the Ounce" in 1980, which was produced by Cincinnati, Ohio native, William "Bootsy" Collins. Zapp and Roger's music would later be sampled by Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and many other artists. Ice Cube stated that "More Bounce To The Ounce" introduced him to hip-hop:

"I was in the sixth grade, we'd stayed after school. We had this dude named Mr. Lock, and he used to bring in his radio with these pop-lockers [dance troupe]...He put on that song 'More Bounce', and they started pop-locking. And I think from that visual, from seeing that, it was my first introduction into hip-hop. Period. I didn't know nothing about nothing. I hadn't heard "Rapper's Delight" yet. It was the first thing that was really fly to me. They started dancing, and since 'More Bounce' goes on forever, they just got down. I just think that was a rush of adrenaline for me, like a chemical reaction in my brain." - Ice Cube

"More Bounce to the Ounce" was followed by the Grammy winning hit, "Let it Whip," released by The Dazz Band, a group hailing from Cleveland, OH. "Let it Whip" features a percolating drum machine rhythm underneath live drums, and a Minimoog bassline underneath an electric bass guitar. Radio DJ, Lynn Tolliver, then composed the electro classic "I Need a Freak" for the group Sexual Harassment in 1983, which was later recreated by the Black Eyed Peas, Too Short, and Egyptian Lover. In 1984, the final year of the electro era, David Wadley recorded an imaginative 24 track cover of "Batman Theme," effectively utilizing Troutman's earlier vocoder technique to create electronic vocals for the "Batman" chorus, and the animated voice of a humorous supervillain named Batfreak. Tolliver, who directed music programming at Cleveland's leading R&B radio station, WZAK, consistently opened his daily radio show with "Batman Theme" to energize listeners during their morning commute to work and school.

The early 1980s were electro's mainstream peak. By the mid 1980s, the genre moved away from its electronic and funk influences, using harder edged beats and rock samples, exemplified by Run DMC. From the late 1990s onward, the term "electro" is also used to refer to two other fusion genres of electro; either blended with techno and new wave in electroclash, or with house and the former in electro house. The genre enjoyed a resurgence from 2016 onwards with DJs like Helena Hauff and DJ Stingray gaining popularity. Electro has branched out into other subgenres, including Electrocore and Skweee, which developed in Sweden and Finland. Several music labels are now pushing a current trove of electro artists introducing the genre to an entirely new generation of music lovers. 

Ironically, the creators of "Batman Theme" (1984) - David Wadley, "The Riddler" (1995) - Method Man / Produced by RZA, and "Batman and Robin" (2002) - Snoop Dogg, all worked together on MGM's SOUL PLANE (2004). Snoop Dogg and Method Man co-starred in the feature film, while the other two worked behind the scenes; Wadley serving as Supervising Sound Editor and Wu-Tang Clan's RZA providing musical accompaniment as the Film Composer.

"Batman Theme"
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