I have a definite soft spot for the character of Batman, whatever form he
may take. There's the dark angst of the comics and Tim Burton's two movies
(I even enjoyed Val Kilmer's interpretation in Batman Forever, although
the less said about Batman and Robin the better!). But it's the surreal parody
of the 1960s TV series that holds a special place in my affections.
Ironically, when I first watched the series as a youngster I always longed
for it to take the story more seriously, but as an adult I have come to fully
appreciate the show on an entirely different level, savouring the deadpan
delivery of Adam West, the delightful over-the-top performances of Frank
Gorshin (The Riddler) and Cesar Romero (The Joker) and the sheer bizarre
stylishness and originality of the entire enterprise. And now FSM has been
generous enough to provide us with an invaluable record of the distinctive
music that added so much to the general air of quirky fun.
Despite the fact that the catchy, very familiar main theme was written by
Neal Hefti, the main body of music for both the series and the spin-off movie
was composed by Nelson Riddle. And it's the film version that's the focus
of this CD, the score a distillation of his library of 'Bat' music, many
cues derived from Riddle's scoring duties on the series itself. As you might
expect there is an attractive sixties ambience to the work, but it actually
manages to transcend its era and simply becomes something uniquely its own,
the perfect partner in crime for a series like no other.
For established fans this is a must, but the appeal should be relatively
broad given the inventive quality of Riddle's music.