For every super-hero, there is a corresponding theme that is meant to set to the heart-pounding and the blood racing. From John Williams stirring score for ‘Superman’ to the childishly simple yet brilliantly catchy opening to the 1966 ‘Batman’ TV show, all swirling around the minds of many super-hero fans, music has always played an important role in the adventures of our caped avengers lives.
This second compilation of DC related music, the first released in 2010 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of DC, is compiled by DC executive, comic fan and DJ, Peter Axelrad, who has done more than simple bundle together a few theme tunes. There’s a real sense of curation here and with 11 previously unreleased pieces of music, there’s plenty to delight comics fans.
The album opens with ‘The Baby From Krypton’, the intro from the 1940s ‘Superman Radio Show’. Bud Collyer’s earnest narration of the origins of Superman is both kitschy and rather sweet and it reminds us that many of the tropes we now associate with the hero (such as ‘Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? No, it’s Superman!’) originated on that radio show. We then segue into ‘What Are You Going To Do When You Are Not Saving The World?’ from Hans Zimmer’s score to ‘The Man Of Steel’. There is a lot of juxtaposition between the more innocent past of DC and the more cynical present, ‘Fight Night’ ‘from Batman Vs Superman’ leads into the 1966 ‘Batman’ theme, and it works well raising not only the odd chuckle but also reminding us of the myriad of ways in which many of our heroes have been represented.
There is certainly a wide diversity of music. From three Arthur Korb songs, that are the epitome of swinging 60s music, to a catchy ballad from the animated ‘The Brave And The Bold’ animated show, there’s always plenty to discover. Not everything stand out. Blake Neeley’s theme from the 2015 ‘Supergirl’ show sounds like it should be opening the local news report, while Danny Elfman’s theme to the 1990 ‘The Flash’ TV Show is basically his Batman theme in a different key. There are also a couple things that would have been nice to include. Given that they’ve become such a huge part of the Superman mythos, something from the ‘Arkham’ games would have been welcome alongside a piece from the wonderfully bonkers episode of ‘The Brave And The Bold’, ‘Mayhem Of The Music Meister’.
But these are minor quibbles for a fun and entertaining compilation that will really speak to DC Comics fans who are interested in finding some curios and classic music. If you’ve always wanted the theme to ‘The Adventures Of Superpup’, alongside Mark Hamill singing ‘Jingle Bells Batman Smells’, well, rejoice, all your dreams have finally come true.
(pub: Sony Music Classical. 1 CD 29 tracks, 64 minutes. Price: $11.99 (US), £ 9.99 (UK). ASIN: B01H4X1Q9E)
check out website: http://www.sonymusic.co.uk