Adam West, Batman, Batman Theme, Batmania, Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin, Link Wray, Marketts, music, Neil Hefti, Nelson Riddle, Old School Batman, playlist, Revengers, Sun Ra, Superhero Playlist, Ventures
When I’m reading my comics, I like to listen to music. Since I haven’t been able to find very much information online of other people’s musical choices while they read, I’ve decided to detail mine here. Hence, Superhero Playlist.
Today’s installment is my Old School Batman playlist.
Now, this is not what I listen to when I’m reading my new Batman books I picked up this week at the comic shop. This is when I’m reading older Batman back issues or collections. Pretty much anything from 1939 up to Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams’ run. Anything newer is a separate, dedicated “modern” Batman playlist which I will probably go into another time.
First up is the Batman 60’s Television soundtrack.
I cannot stress enough that this is an OLD SCHOOL Batman mix. The backbone of this list is made up of music released around the classic television series. This is the actual themes from the show and the first time the Batman tv theme pops up on the playlist. Trust me when I say that it won’t be the last.
Up next naturally, is the soundtrack to the 60’s movie made in conjunction with the tv series.
Then followed up by Batman and Robin by Sun Ra (the sensational guitars of Dan & Dale.) There are a lot of nice instrumental surf guitar tracks on this that go great with more lighthearted silver-age stories without distracting from them.
Next is Batman and Other Super Men by The Revengers. This one features other themes besides Batman, but I decided to include them because they all fit the tone of the list. Plus, how great is it that I can put a band called The Revengers on a Batman mix. Revenge is like what Batman is all about!
After that is The Batman Theme Played by The Marketts. This is another one that showcases some good instrumental tracks that are great for reading to. I’m pretty sure it is the only one, maybe in existence, that features a track named for Dr. Death. That’s an old-school Batman reference even for back then!
Next is probably the crown jewel of this list. Batmania Songs Inspired by the Batman TV Series. As far as I’ve been able to learn about this, is that it’s a compilation of songs released around the time of the show. It features Adam West, Burgess Meredith, and Frank Gorshin SINGING ON IT. Take a second, read that last sentence again. Now take a breath and realize how astounding this album is. Not just a soundtrack, this also acts as a time capsule of the popularity surrounding the 60s show.
Now we get to what is easily the most contemporary entry on the list. Batman The Brave and the Bold Mayhem of the Music Meister soundtrack. This is the music from the Music Meister episode of the amazing Brave and the Bold cartoon series. Even though this is a modern album, the tone of the show in general harkened back to the silver-age Batman stories of the past. All of these tunes feel like they could have been produced for an old Batman story. It is also superior to the others here in that Batman actually sings on this! Oh yeah, Doogie Howser is on here too.
There’s just no way I’m compiling an old-school Batman playlist without throwing The Ventures interpretation of the Batman Theme on here. It’s just not done.
Same goes for Link Wray. How are you not putting this on here?
So the tone of this list is fun, fast-paced Batman music. I’ve lucked out that there was a time when there was a demand for this music and a LOT was produced. I wasn’t intentionally limiting this list to only Batman music. It turned out I didn’t really have to go outside that though. When I was compiling this I contemplated adding some Man…Or Astroman? to this and some other more modern surf music. Eventually, I decided to just keep it in the Batcave and include the soundtracks listed here.
I usually listen to this and other playlists on random while I read. I feel it helps keep the music fresh. Plus, some of the albums feature narratives and that prevents it from interrupting the story I am reading.
So, if you’ve been jonesing for some musical accompaniment for your older Batman comics, here you go.
Let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions for this or what you listen to. Also, you can always holler at me @detective651 on Twitter.