I have to admit, when Teen Titans Go! first made its appearance I was skeptical. It looked like it was meant for toddlers. I was ready to just dismiss the whole thing and move on, but there’s something wonderful about art. Given enough breathing room, it will shine forth anyway.
Which brings us to now. If you look at the Billboard charts for the week of August 26, you’ll find, in spot number 23, a surprise: it’s a song called The Night Begins to Shine, by a band nobody’s ever heard of, called B.E.R. The song was written more than ten years ago. What happened?
Teen Titans Go! happened.
The song first appeared on the show in 2014. Director / Producer Peter Michail was directing an episode called Slumber Party when he came up 10 seconds short. He grabbed something from the in-house music library. Cyborg sang a few lines from it before turning out the lights and going to bed.
“Off that episode, people started saying, ‘What’s this song? Is this a song I’ve heard before?'” says Teen Titans Go! executive producer Michael Jelenic. They decided that it should be Cyborg’s favorite song, and its popularity grew until fans started making fan edits with the song over other cartoons, made remixes, and generally went nuts over it.
This month — and here’s where that corporate overlord plotting starts to kick in — Cartoon Network decided to go all-in and air a four-part series about the song. They released an EP, and commissioned covers from musicians like Fall Out Boy, who did the track you hear in the clip below.
Carl Burnett, the “B” in B.E.R., helped write and produce the song. He’s the one who got the assignment in 2005 to write an ’80s-style song for a music library, and he’s as surprised as anyone by its success.
The song is a natural fit for Krypton Radio, and for some listeners just might be their new geek anthem.