The Secrets Behind Undertaker Music: How Jim Johnston Created the Perfect Theme for the Lord of Darkness
Undertaker Music: The History, Meaning, and Trivia of The Deadman's Theme Songs
If there is one wrestler who is synonymous with WWE, it is The Undertaker. For over 30 years, he has been a dominant force in the ring, a loyal servant to the company, and a legend in the industry. His matches, feuds, and moments have captivated millions of fans around the world. But what makes The Undertaker so special is not just his wrestling skills, but also his music.
The Undertaker's theme songs are an integral part of his character, his entrance, and his aura. They set the tone for his matches, they reflect his personality, and they evoke emotions in the audience. They are also some of the most recognizable and iconic pieces of music in wrestling history.
In this article, we will explore the history, meaning, and trivia of The Undertaker's theme songs. We will look at how they changed over time, how they matched his gimmicks, and how they influenced wrestling culture. We will also share some of the sources that we used to gather information for this article, such as YouTube videos, Wikipedia articles, and interviews with The Undertaker himself.
Who is The Undertaker and why is his music important?
The Undertaker is the ring name of Mark William Calaway, an American retired professional wrestler who spent most of his career in WWE. He debuted in 1990 as a mysterious and supernatural character who was accompanied by a manager named Paul Bearer. He soon became known as "The Deadman", a nickname that stuck with him throughout his career.
The Undertaker's music is important because it enhances his character, his entrance, and his aura. His music creates a sense of anticipation, dread, and awe in the audience. It also helps him stand out from other wrestlers and makes him memorable. His music is often associated with his signature moves, such as the Tombstone Piledriver, the Chokeslam, and the Last Ride.
What are the main types of Undertaker music and how did they evolve over time?
The main types of Undertaker music are:
The original "Funeral March" theme, which was a slow and ominous instrumental piece that featured bells, organs, choirs, and thunder sounds. This theme was used from 1990 to 1998.
The "Ministry" theme, which was a dark and heavy metal piece that featured guitars, drums, chants, and distorted vocals. This theme was used from 1998 to 1999, when he was the leader of a cult-like faction called The Ministry of Darkness.
The "American Badass" theme, which was a rap rock piece that featured vocals by Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, or Jim Johnston. This theme was used from 2000 to 2002, when he adopted a biker persona and rode a motorcycle to the ring.
The "Big Evil" theme, which was a hard rock piece that featured vocals by Jim Johnston or Rob Zombie. This theme was used from 2002 to 2004, when he became a more ruthless and arrogant heel.
The "Return of The Deadman" theme, which was a variation of his original theme that featured more guitars, drums, and vocals. This theme was used from 2004 to 2020, when he reverted to his Deadman gimmick and mixed elements of his previous themes.
The Undertaker's music evolved over time to suit his character changes, his storylines, and his opponents. He also experimented with different genres, styles, and artists to create a diverse and unique musical portfolio.
What are the main sources of information for this article?
The main sources of information for this article are:
YouTube videos that showcase The Undertaker's theme songs, entrances, and matches. Some examples are .
Wikipedia articles that provide background information, facts, and trivia about The Undertaker and his music. Some examples are .
Interviews with The Undertaker and other WWE personalities that reveal insights, opinions, and anecdotes about his music. Some examples are .
The Early Years: From Badlands to Rest in Peace
How did The Undertaker debut in WWE and what was his first theme song?
The Undertaker made his WWE debut on November 22, 1990, at the Survivor Series pay-per-view. He was introduced as the mystery partner of Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Team. He wore a black trench coat, a black hat, and gray gloves. He had pale skin, dark eyes, and long black hair. He looked like a zombie or a mortician.
His first theme song was called "Badlands", which was composed by Jim Johnston. It was a slow and ominous instrumental piece that featured bells, organs, choirs, and thunder sounds. It created a sense of fear and mystery in the audience. It also contrasted with the upbeat and colorful music of the other wrestlers at the time.
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How did he change his music to fit his character development and feuds?
As The Undertaker's character developed and evolved, so did his music. He changed his music to fit his mood, his alignment, and his feuds. He also added or removed elements from his original theme to create variations.
Some examples of how he changed his music are:
In 1991, he turned face and feuded with Jake Roberts. He used a version of his theme that had more organ sounds and less thunder sounds. He also added a gong sound at the beginning of his entrance.
In 1994, he feuded with Yokozuna and was "buried alive" at the Royal Rumble. He used a version of his theme that had more choir sounds and a funeral march beat. He also added a voice-over that said "The spirit of The Undertaker lives within the soul of all mankind."
In 1996, he feuded with Mankind and Paul Bearer turned on him. He used a version of his theme that had more guitar sounds and a faster tempo. He also added a voice-over that said "Rest in peace."
In 1997, he feuded with Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. He used a version of his theme that had more orchestral sounds and a darker tone. He also added a voice-over that said "You're gonna pay."In 1998, he formed The Ministry of Darkness and feuded with Vince McMahon and Stone Cold Steve Austin. He used a new theme song called "Dark Side", which was composed by Jim Johnston. It was a dark and heavy metal piece that featured guitars, drums, chants, and distorted vocals. It also had a voice-over that said "The Undertaker is not here right now. But if you leave your name and number, he'll get back to you as soon as possible."
What are some of the trivia and facts about his early theme songs?
Some of the trivia and facts about his early theme songs are:
His original theme song was inspired by the movie "Phantasm", which featured a villain named The Tall Man who controlled flying metal spheres that killed people. The movie also had a funeral home setting and a similar music score.
His original theme song was also influenced by the music of John Carpenter, who composed the scores for horror movies such as "Halloween", "The Thing", and "The Fog". Carpenter's music was known for its simplicity, repetition, and tension.
His original theme song was sometimes played in reverse to create a creepy effect. This was done at WrestleMania VIII, when he faced Jake Roberts, and at WrestleMania XII, when he faced Diesel.
His original theme song was also used by other wrestlers who had a connection to him, such as Kane, The Undertaker impostor, and The Corporate Ministry.
His Ministry theme song was originally intended for another wrestler named Gangrel, who had a vampire gimmick. However, The Undertaker liked the song and asked to use it instead. Gangrel then got a new theme song called "Blood", which was also composed by Jim Johnston.
His Ministry theme song had different versions depending on the event and the opponent. For example, at WrestleMania XV, he used a version that had more guitar sounds and less vocal sounds. At King of the Ring 1998, he used a version that had more vocal sounds and less guitar sounds.
The American Badass Era: From Rollin' to Dead Man
How did The Undertaker reinvent himself as a biker and what was his new theme song?
In 2000, The Undertaker took a hiatus from WWE due to an injury. He returned at Judgment Day