Nirvana is not quite to Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” as Prince was to Tim Burton’s 1989 version of “Batman.” But even with only one oldie being used instead of an entire new song score, the new film is being identified with primarily one musician, thanks to Kurt Cobain’s “Something in the Way” appearing at prominent beginning and end points in the film as well as being alluded to in the score.
So the gloomy-sounding song is experience something in the way of a comeback even outside of theaters, not surprisingly. As of this Friday afternoon writing, a week after the film’s release, “Something in the Way” sits at No. 3 on Spotify’s daily ranking of the top 50 streaming songs in the U.S., with 803,000 plays for the day, just behind the No. 1 Glass Animals and another movie-based song at No. 2, “We Don’t Care About Bruno.”
MRC Data crunched the numbers for Billboard and tallied up just how much of a streaming surge the 1991 track is seeing in the wake of the movie’s blockbuster success. MRC reported that in the first four days the film was out, the 3.1 million on-demand streams for Nirvana’s song represented a 734% increase over the total streams in the four days before “The Batman” came out.
On March 8, the last date for which MRC reported totals, “Something in the Way” was streamed 1.6 million times, a peak reached from a low of 72,000 streams a week earlier.
Interest in the song is also helping boost numbers for the 1991 “Nevermind” album on which it first appeared, even though the album has already been a consistent catalog vinyl seller in recent years. At the Amazon Music store, “Nevermind” is currently at No. 9 on the list of bestselling CDs and vinyl.
Prior to MRC reporting its data, Spotify had gone out March 9 with a stat that “Something in the Way” has picked up a more than 1200% increase on its service.
Something In The Way 🤝 #TheBatman pic.twitter.com/dRX5WogLka
— Spotify (@Spotify) March 9, 2022
It’s interesting to see “Something in the Way” become a bit of a hit 31 years later, since it was never released as a single and has counted as one of the less-celebrated songs off that classic album. But a song that counts as mopey even by depressed Kurt Cobain standards was just the ticket for Reeves establishing some emo cred for the brooding new iteration of the character played by Robert Pattinson, who looks and acts as though he’d be right at home in a Seattle rainstorm.
How gloomy is the song? Cobain told biographer Michael Azerrad that, lyrically, it was “like if I was living under the bridge and I was dying of AIDS, if I was sick and I couldn’t move and I was a total street person. That was kind of the fantasy of it.”