Back in 1976, I traded my seven inch copy of the Muppet Show theme – then a recent chart hit – for a schoolfriend’s copy of the 1966 Batman TV soundtrack LP, in glorious mono. A demo copy, no less. It remains the best deal I’ve ever made. The Muppet song was a passing fad (and I had two copies anyway), but the Batman TV show was – and is – great, a glorious collision of pure comic book nonsense and high camp. And it had a fantastic and immediately iconic theme song by Neal Hefti, which was recorded numerous times throughout the Sixties by countless rock bands, as well as fantastic incidental music by Nelson Riddle.
The soundtrack LP manages to bring everything about the show together – the music, the dialogue, even the ‘POW!’ and ‘THWACK!’ visual effects, here translated into sound voiced by stars Adam West and Burt Ward. Individual episodes are boiled down to snippets of narration, dialogue, music and action, while other moments appear as almost experimental snippets of brief dialogue and music. It’s a hugely entertaining, very weird and totally groovy affair, much like the show itself. And it has stood the test of time much better than many a conventional soundtrack LP.
Here are a few snippets to enjoy.