The Schumacher/Goldsman Batman movies are terrible - we all know this. However, in their flurry to market to and cross-market with everything under the sun, they ensnared two famous rock bands. For Batman Forever, it was U2. For Batman and Robin, it was Smashing Pumpkins. Which came out better?
First off, from U2: Hold Me, Kill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me.
This song already existed in a primitive form before the movie soundtrack had need of it,and does not to my knowledge really appear in Batman Forever, but due to its appearance on the soundtrack, it made it to number one in Ireland and number two in the UK. It was nominated both for a Grammy(!) and a Razzie, which is an interesting feat that makes a little more sense when taking how corny it is into account, and the corn-by-association of the movie.
But - corny is not necessarily bad. It’s catchy enough, and got enough notice at the time that Weird Al made a parody of it.
After that, though... U2 didn’t even perform it for over a decade. Just slipped off the radar.
There are some similarities with the Big Headliner (tm) situation for Batman and Robin. Smashing Pumpkins’ The End is the Beginning is the End got its own Batman-themed music video, a good amount of promotion, and then... disappeared. Despite winning a Grammy! It charted in Australia and the UK, but has not been performed live since ‘97.
Despite some poppy-ness, the tendency toward being sinister of Pumpkins bleeds through... which unlike U2's offering sets the song sharply at odds with its film. Because... let’s face the facts here: Batman and Robin is as stupid as a catfood-between-two-sticks-of-butter sandwich and as successfully gloomy as a neon-painted bedsheet ghost... made out of a My Little Pony bedsheet.
After the near-instant trailing off in popularity, the gang making Watchmen had the bright idea of using the alternate cut of the song, The Beginning is the End is the Beginning in trailers for Watchmen. Not like it was used as a highlight for a scene in the movie, anymore than TEITBITE was, but the tone at least fit. Maybe a little too well.
In neither Batman movie does the song realistically have anything to do with the film itself. There does, though, remain the question of whether the song successfully evokes the movie, alongside the question of which is the better song. A comparison grading on either grounds would also have to exclude TBITEITB, because... it was only present on the single and the soundtrack, meaning that it was sold to those who already liked the main version of the song. Doomed to be forgotten until Watchmen, and not worth mention to promote Batman & Robin in any substantial capacity.
So, which do you prefer? Is it possible to be a good fit to Batman Forever or Batman & Robin without absorbing anything negative from them?