It's always a blast to find out catalogue news from unexpected sources, so when I read a report from my favorite geek news site Topless Robot about a DC Comics music compilation, I got pretty darn excited.
Set for release September 28, The Music of DC Comics: 75th Anniversary Collection collects 31 tracks from various DC-affiliated film and television projects - Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, The Flash and even Swamp Thing are all here - and the best part is that nearly all of it is previously unreleased.
Hit the jump to take a look at the track list, and check the pre-order link at Amazon.
Various Artists, The Music of DC Comics: 75th Anniversary Collection (Water Tower Music, 2010)
- Superman March - Sammy Timberg (from the Academy Award-nominated cartoon series Superman produced by Max Fleischer, 1941) *
- Theme from "Superman" - John Williams and The London Symphony Orchestra (from Superman: The Movie, 1978)
- The New Adventures of Superman - John Gart (from the Filmation cartoon The New Adventures of Superman, 1966) *
- Theme from "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" - Jay Gruska (from the live-action TV series Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, 1993)
- The Adventures of Superboy - John Gart (from the Filmation cartoon The Adventures of Superboy, 1966) *
- Superboy - Kevin Kiner (from the live-action TV series Superboy, 1988) *
- Season 8 End Title - Louis Febre (from the live-action TV series Smallville, 2008) *
- The Electrical Brain - Lee Zahler (from the live-action serial The Batman, 1943) *
- The Batman Theme - Danny Elfman (from Batman, 1989)
- The Adventures of Batman - John Gart (from the Filmation cartoon The Adventures of Batman, 1967) *
- Batman TV Series Theme - Neal Hefti (from the live-action TV series Batman, 1966)
- The Brave and the Bold - Andy Sturmer (from the animated series Batman: The Brave and The Bold, 2008)
- Batman Beyond - Kristopher Lee (from the animated series Batman Beyond, 1999)
- Molossus - Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard (from Batman Begins, 2005)
- Justice League of America - John Gart (from the Filmation cartoon Justice League of America, 1967) *
- SuperFriends - Hoyt Curtin (from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon SuperFriends, 1973) *
- The All New SuperFriends Hour - Hoyt Curtin (from the Hanna Barbera cartoon The All-New SuperFriends Hour, 1977) *
- Justice League Unlimited - Michael McCuistion (from the animated series Justice League Unlimited, 2004) *
- Legends of the Superheroes - Fred Wener (from the live-action TV special Legends of the Superheroes, 1979) *
- The Teen Titans - John Gart (from the Filmation cartoon The Teen Titans, 1967) *
- Aquaman - John Gart (from the Filmation cartoon Aquaman, 1967) *
- Swamp Thing - Christopher Stone (from the live-action TV series Swamp Thing: The Series, 1991) *
- Shazam! - Norman Prescott & Yvette Blais (from the live-action TV series Shazam!, 1974) *
- The Flash - John Gart (from the Filmation cartoon The Flash, 1967) *
- Green Lantern - John Gart (from the Filmation cartoon Green Lantern, 1967) *
- Green Lantern First Flight - Robert J. Kral (from the animated film Green Lantern: First Flight, 2009)
- The Atom - John Gart (from the Filmation cartoon The Atom, 1967) *
- Hawkman - John Gart (from the Filmation cartoon Hawkman, 1967) *
- Plastic Man Comedy Adventure Show - Dean Elliott (from the Ruby-Spears cartoon The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show, 1979) *
- End Title - Christopher Drake (from Wonder Woman: The Animated Movie, 2009)
- Wonder Woman - Charles Fox & Norman Gimbel (from the live-action TV series Wonder Woman, 1976)
* denotes previously unreleased track
As fun as this looks, there's too many omissions... The 1950's (George Reeves) Superman theme, the 1990 Flash theme, the excellent theme to Batman: The Animated Series from the early-mid 90's (likewise the theme to Superman: TAS from the late 90's). More recently, the theme music to Teen Titans, and the theme to "The Batman" from U2's The Edge.
Of course, I also think there should be some pop songs referencing characters: Donovan's "Sunshine Superman" namechecks both Supes AND Green Lantern, for instance. There's a lot of Superman songs, but not for the rest of the DC stable. Unless you count Steve Miller's "The Joker"! Prince's "Batdance" too, I guess, but I wasn't really a fan of his stuff.
Mike Duquette says
I too wish they had added the Reeves Superman theme, The Flash and maybe something of Elliot Goldenthal's underrated scores to Batman Forever or Batman & Robin (the latter of which is unreleased). The Batman: TAS main titles, while super-great, would've probably been irrelevant with the '89 theme arrangement there (I'd have instead opted for the B:TAS theme by the late, great Shirley Walker, perhaps as heard in Batman: Mask of The Phantasm).
Still, it's cool to have some of those TV themes on this set, and it proves Warner is really into putting out specialty catalogue product on their Water Tower imprint, so I'm satisfied.
Joe Marchese says
The Shirley Walker B:TAS theme was the one oversight that literally jumped out at me...followed pretty quickly thereafter by The Flash's TV theme and then the Adventures of Superman theme. But I'm with Mike here...this looks like a set assembled with genuine thought and care, and I'm thrilled that the time was taken to do it right. (It was originally postponed and just recently restored to the schedule.) The previously unreleased cues should be a lot of fun. Major props for digging out some of the REAL obscure stuff, like the cue from the Batman serial!
Now if I could suggest a special bonus track, it would be one from the 1966 Original Broadway Cast Recording of It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman! Too many comic book fans only know the show through a dreadful (and unfaithful) television adaptation which is perpetually being sold at conventions; the original cast recording is tremendous fun. There are even some cover versions out there, including Dino, Desi and Billy's take on "It's Superman," produced by Lee Hazlewood on Reprise 0444 -- the score has some good, good stuff that Super-fans with an open mind should seek out.
No doubt, the DC heroes have made their mark on stage, screen, television and records.
Agreed with you guys on the Shirley Walker Batman: TAS theme. I probably should've been more specific.
I'm really showing my geek here, but I'm also a bit miffed that they're going with the Justice League Unlimited theme, but not the theme to the Justice League (no "Unlimited") series that immediately preceeded it. That theme was a more appropriate, majestic theme. The JLU theme sounded like guitar shredding from a generic 80's hair band.
Now Marvel should do something similar... Just to have both the 1960's Spider-Man theme (every bit as iconic as the 60's Batman theme),and that sad, lonely piano music from the Incredible Hulk TV show (reprised in the Ed Norton Hulk movie!).