The Marketts: The Batman Theme Played by the Marketts

Instrumental tunes inspired by Batman TV show

The Batman television show of the 1960s inspired a number of musical spinoffs. There was an original TV soundtrack, a Nelson Riddle-orchestrated film soundtrack, and a Neal Hefti album that wedded Batman-related titles with swinging orchestrations. On the pop front, the Ventures released their own album of TV titles (The Ventures Play the Batman Theme), and the Marketts (who’d hit a couple years earlier with the space-surf “Out of Limits”) released this collection of instrumentals with chorus vocals. The Marketts arrangements don’t rival the orchestrations of Hefti and Riddle, nor do they really fit with the group’s earlier sax-and-rhythm hits “Balboa Blue” and “Surfer’s Stomp.” Songwriters Dick Glasser and Al Capps borrowed heavily from the James Bond cannon, and their horn charts more often have the ominous feel of a John Barry arrangement than the pop sizzle of Riddle and Hefti. Highlights include the title track, a soulful original ode to the Penguin, and the organ-and-horn dance tune “The Bat.” At a shade under twenty-nine minutes this remains a nice artifact of the original Batman television era, but not the show’s most exciting musical spin-off. [©2010 hyperbolium dot com]

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