Beginning his career as an in-house music publisher and songwriter, Batt swiftly moved into production and session work, playing keyboards on albums by Hapshash And The Coloured Coat and producing the Groundhogs' debut album. However, Batt's early success came through the medium of television advertisement jingles, rather than progressive rock. Like 60s producers Andrew Loog Oldham and Larry Page, Batt also released some eponymous orchestral albums, including portraits of the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Simon And Garfunkel, George Harrison, Elton John and Cat Stevens. By 1973, he had discovered a new hit-making machine courtesy of the Wombles, a children's television programme that spawned a number of UK hit singles including 'The Wombling Song' and 'Remember You're A Womble'. He continued to produce for other artists, including the Kursaal Flyers, Elkie Brooks, Steeleye Span and Linda Lewis. Although Batt attempted to forge a career on his own as an artist, and hit UK number 4 with 'Summertime City' in 1975, his subsequent album forays failed to win mass appeal. Ultimately it was as a songwriter that he took top honours, with Art Garfunkel taking his 'Bright Eyes' (from the movie Watership Down) to UK number 1 in 1979. The song provided Batt with his second Ivor Novello award, following the previous year's prize for the soundtrack to Elmo Williams' Caravans.
During the 80s Batt continued to write for films and musicals, scoring again with David Essex's reading of 'A Winter's Tale' (lyric by Tim Rice), which narrowly failed to reach the top of the UK charts in 1982. He also worked with Cliff Richard, the Hollies and Andrew Lloyd Webber during this period. His ambitious stage musical, The Hunting Of The Snark, opened in London, England on 24 October 1991, and closed seven weeks later following a series of vicious reviews. Batt had been immersed in the project for several years. The mid-80s concept album featured such diverse talents as Sir John Gielgud, Roger Daltrey, Julian Lennon, George Harrison and Cliff Richard, accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra, and the musical originally premiered in Sydney, Australia.
Batt worked in both the classical and pop music fields during the 90s, collaborating with the State Orchestra Of Victoria, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Finbar Wright, Vanessa Mae, Bond, David Essex and XTC among others. He acted as musical supervisor on several movies, and wrote the score for Keep The Aspidistra Flying. In 1994, he received the Royal commission to write music for the inauguration of the Channel Tunnel. During the late 90s, he worked on the Watership Down television series and relaunched the Wombles. In summer 2001, Batt was commissioned to write the Conservative Party's election campaign theme ('Heartlands'). In August of the same year, he was badly injured in a car crash in Spain. He recovered and launched his new project the Planets, recording the rock/classical crossover album Classical Graffiti. The album featured a track of silence 'inspired' by John Cage's seminal work '4'33"'. Despite being credited to Batt/Cage, Batt was forced to resolve a copyright dispute with Cage's estate via an out-of-court settlement. Batt bounced back into the public eye in 2003 as the svengali behind chart-topping teenage jazz singer, Katie Melua.
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