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SYFY WIRE The Batman

'The Batman' has a 30-year-old Nirvana deep cut climbing the music charts. Again.

The song that became The Batman's guiding light is a hit long after Nirvana's heyday. 

By Matthew Jackson
The Batman (2022) PRESS

For the second time in two years, a 30-year-old Nirvana song has seen a massive jump in attention thanks to Matt Reeves' The Batman. Billboard reports that "Something in the Way," the final listed track (not counting hidden tracks) on the band's seminal 1991 album Nevermind, is once again seeing massive streaming spikes thanks to its use in the film. 

"Something in the Way" was never released as a single during Nevermind's time as one of the most popular albums of the 1990s, and it was also never a major player in Nirvana's live setlists, but after it was featured in The Batman's first trailer back in the summer of 2020 the song began to climb the charts for the first time. In September of that year, it hit Number 2 on Billboard's Rock Digital Song Sales chart, and Number 45 in Digital Song Sales overall. Now, in the wake of The Batman's release, the song -- featured twice in Reeves' film as a moody exclamation point on Bruce Wayne's state of mind -- is seeing a huge spike in streaming numbers. 

According to MRC Data streaming reports, the week before The Batman's release "Something in the Way" picked up a little more than 70,000 streams in a single day. By the end of the film's opening weekend it was pulling more than 1 million streams per day. In the first four days of the film's release, the song garnered 3.1 million total streams, a 734 percent increase from the previous four days. 

A subdued, mellow and moody Nirvana track that's a far crack from better-known, more raucous tracks like "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Something in the Way" caught the ear of Reeves during the writing process for The Batman, and something about its tone became key to his particular understanding of Bruce Wayne as a character. Here's how he explained it to Esquire earlier this year:

“Early on, when I was writing, I started listening to Nirvana, and there was something about [Nevermind song] ‘Something in the Way’, which is in the first trailer, which is part of the voice of that character," Reeves said. "When I considered, ‘How do you do Bruce Wayne in a way that hasn’t been seen before?’ I started thinking, ‘What if some tragedy happened [ie: Wayne sees his parents murdered] and this guy becomes so reclusive, we don’t know what he’s doing? Is this guy some kind of wayward, reckless, drug addict?’ And the truth is that he is a kind of drug addict. His drug is his addiction to this drive for revenge. He’s like a Batman Kurt Cobain.”

Now, Reeves' version of Bruce Wayne and Kurt Cobain are forever linked in the minds of many fans, as "Something in the Way" takes its turn in the spotlight years after Nevermind's release.