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September 22, 2017


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BATMANIA
Songs Inspired By The Batman TV Series (Varese Sarabande, 11846 Ventura Blvd., Suite 130, Studio City, CA 91604)

By: GARY PIG GOLD

Now that the dumb big-screen series seems to have finally flushed itself deep into Gotham's sewage system, those ever-inspired folk at Varese have compiled fifteen excuses to celebrate anew the REAL Batman: yes, the one that resided in the landmark ABC Television series of years ago. But before you all cry "Holy cash-in!", just take a listen to some of the fine, fine vintage sounds to be heard herein: LaVern Baker's snarl 'n' shout "Batman To The Rescue" (# 135 on the charts circa 1966), Peggy Lee's typically large-lunged "That Man" (once # 31 on the Adult Contemporary listings) and the Combo Kings' "Batman A Go Go" (alas, did not chart). The Dynamic Duo's coolest villains ever, Burgess Meredith's Penguin and the ingenious Frank Gorshin's Riddler, also provide a tune or two apiece, and speaking of the true Caped Crusader, Adam West Himself (pause for reverent applause) even belts out his '66 cult classic "Miranda" (now why didn't this chart?!!). On the goofier side - remember, this WAS the mid-Sixties - the Brothers Four and Jan & Dean, the latter from their magnificent Jan And Dean Meet Batman platter, offer suitably whacked variations on the Batman theme, while Neal Hefti's original treatment of THAT song (yes, Pop # 35: accept no substitutes!) gets a run for its money from no less than the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Chorus' variation-and-a-half on a theme. All told, this disc provides a beautifully rich bevy of Batsounds the likes of which peons like Prince only WISH they could concoct. Seek, purchase, enjoy!
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