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The World's Finest Presents

Releases - CD - Batman: The Animated Series, Volume 1
 

Original Release Date
: December 16th, 2008
Second Edition Reissue Release Date: July 19th, 2012
Number of Discs: 2
Label: La-La Land Records
Music Composed by: Shirley Walker
Limited Edition run of 3000 copies; first 100 copies signed by Lolita Ritmanis and Michael McCuistion.

Track Listing
Disc 1
01. Gotham City Overture 14:01
02. Batman™: The Animated Series - Main Title (Danny Elfman) 1:02
“On Leather Wings” – Shirley Walker
03. Sub-Main Title / Batwing / Bat Attack 1:51
04. Batman Drives To Gotham 1:00
05. Batman Investigates / Batman Uses Infrared /
Police Rush Building 1:48
06. Batman Escapes / Batman Flies 1:48
07. Bats / Evidence Goes Up In Smoke/ The Formula /
Dr Jekyll And Mr. Bat 3:01
08. Gotham From the Air / Ride’Em Batman / Epilogue 2:16
“The Last Laugh” – Shirley Walker
09. Sub-Main Title 1:35
10. The Submarine / Joker Loots Gotham 2:35
11. Alfred Loses It 0:58
12. Bat Boat / Batman Catches The Big Fish /
Batman Fights The Bad Guys 2:18
13. Cliff-Hanger Under Water / Batman A.K.A Houdini 1:56
14. Batman The Terminator 2:01
15. Batman Vs. Joker / Batman Vs Joker Part 2 3:47
“It’s Never Too Late” – Lolita Ritmanis
16. Sub-Main Title / Stromwell’s Flashback 2:01
17. Batman on Top of Church / Stromwell Arrives At Pete’s / Thugs Exit 1:20
18. Stromwell Confronts Thorn 1:15
19. It’s Party Time / Batman Carries Stromwell 0:48
20. Stromwell Sees Joey 1:41
21. Stromwell Tricks Batman / Thorn’s Men Move In /
Thorn Chases Stromwell 3:22
22. Stromwell’s Flashback #2 1:45
23. Batman Cracks Heads / Thorn Removed 1:20
“Pretty Poison” – Shirley Walker / Lolita Ritmanis / Michael McCuiston
24. Ground Breaking Ceremony / Penitentiary Time Lapses 1:11
25. Batman Catches A Chopper / The Chopper Crashes / Rooftop Chase 1:58
26. Batman Sneaks Around 1:09
27. A Little Plant Muzak / The Carnivorous Plant 0:59
28. Batman Vs. Poison Ivy / Poison Ivy In Prison 3:52
“Christmas with the Joker” - Shirley Walker / Lolita Ritmanis / Michael McCuiston
29. 14 Seconds Opening / Jingle Bells / The Joker Blasts Off 1:03
30. Down the Mountain / Sidewalk Red Herring 0:51
31. Pukey Christmas Music / Christmas With The Joker / Game Show Music 2:18
32. The Train Crashes 1:19
33. Observatory Cannon / Cannon Out Of Control / Robin Blows Up Cannon 1:11
34. More Game Show Music / Drive To The Toy Company 1:39
35. Nutcracker Suite Medley 1:24
36. Pie In Batman’s Face / Dangling Hostages Saved / Deck The Halls 1:40

CD One Total Time: 76:05
Disc 2
01. Batman™: The Animated Series - Alternate Main Title (S. Walker) 1:09
“Two-Face, Part I” – Shirley Walker
02. Harvey’s Nightmare / Dent’s Soap Box 2:24
03. Batman Tracks Dent 2:07
04. Split Personality / Harvey / Harv 4:21
“Two-Face, Part II” – Shirley Walker
05. Part One Recap 0:33
06. Sub-Main Title / The Heist 1:49
07. Bruce Wayne’s Nightmare / Two-Face Remembers 2:47
8. Batcycle / What About Grace 1:58
9. My Name Is Two-Face 1:52
10. The Great Equalizer / Where There’s Love 4:03
“Joker’s Favor” – Shirley Walker
11. Sub-Main Title / Cussing Out The Joker / I Had A Bad Day 3:18
12. Joker’s Hide-Out 1:19
13. Charlie’s Neighborhood / Joker Finds Charlie 1:18
14. Charlie Arrives In Gotham / Joker Collects His Favor 0:42
15. Harley’s Party Source 0:44
16. Crashing The Party 1:33
17. Batman Saves The Commissioner / Batman’s After The Joker /
Charlie Gets the Joker 3:38
“Vendetta” – Michael McCuiston
18. Sub-Main Title / Conway Is Abducted 0:43
19. A Clue / The Crocodile’s Lair 1:27
20. Another Clue 1:19
21. Croc’s Cave / Killer Croc 2:52
22. Batman Chases Croc / Sewer Fight 2:54
23. Bullock Gets The Croc 1:09
“Perchance To Dream” – Shirley Walker
24. Sub-Main Title / The Dream Begins 0:52
25. It’s Impossible / Bruce Sees Batman / Bruce Watches Batman At Work 2:14
26. My Life Is A Dream 2:48
27. Climbing The Church Tower / Belltower Fight 2:45
28. Your Own Private Wonderland / Back to Reality 2:48
“Birds of a Feather” – Shirley Walker
29. Birds Of A Feather 1:54
30. That Fine Roman Nose / Penguin vs. Muggers 2:32
31. Penguin Takes Veronica 0:40
32. The Drop / Rubber Duckie Ride 1:50
33. The Penguin’s Opera / High Society 2:19
34. Batman™: The Animated Series - End Credit (Danny Elfman) 0:34

BONUS TRACK:
35. Music Of The Bat 101 6:45

CD Two Total Time: 74:02


Review (Zach Demeter): For years…no wait, scratch that. For over a decade fans of Batman: The Animated Series have clamored for a commercial release of some of the scores composed for the series. To date, the series remains one of the most beautifully composed animated series, with a full orchestra backing up every note of music played in the series. While fans got a bit of a gift when Warner released the soundtrack to Mask of the Phantasm, it’s wasn’t until late 2008 did we actually get a taste of what the animated series music sounded like without the dialogue and sound effects on top of it. Thanks to La-La Land Records, a fantastic two-disc set featuring a couple hours worth of music from the series has been released, with future volumes (hopefully) on the way.

It’s hard for me to describe how I feel about this soundtrack; I’ve waited so long for it and, since receiving it, have listened to it well over a dozen times. Nearly every note of the episodes selected here have been collected in this set and some absolutely fantastic episodes have been chosen for this first volume. Every one of them is a showing of how unique and diverse each episodes score was, with “Christmas with the Joker” being a prime example. A mixture of classic Christmas cues combined with the hint of Bat and Joker themes behind it. “Two Face” includes a mixture of brooding and dramatic music, while “Perchance to Dream” takes us to places of Bruce Wayne’s psyche as he unravels a mystery that’s all in his head.

Before I knew it, my first listen of this soundtrack was over and I quickly found myself looping it back around for another listen. It was here I picked up on the finer points of the score; Danny Elfman’s influence on the score is apparent, and after listening to a near seven minute piece on the second disc in which Shirley Walker talks about the elements of the scores in the series, it becomes even more apparent. While the series always had a heavy Burton influence visually, I never made the aural connect with its music until listening to the scores isolated. It’s a really fantastic and diverse collection, as previously mentioned, as no episode score sounds the same. The set itself is also prefaced by a fantastic “Gotham City Overture”, running fourteen minutes long and including everything from Batgirl’s theme to elements of other episodes that have yet to be included on this set. If anything, it’s a fantastic primer for this volume and, I hope, future volumes to come.

It’s easy to get lost in the music here and my appreciation of the series has only grown over the years. I always knew the music was brilliant, but never having had the chance to enjoy it via isolated score before, I don’t think I ever really knew just how great it all was. To think this was all done for what was essentially a children’s animated show…it’s simply amazing. Nowadays we take the scores in animated series for granted since we assume they’re each going to be unique, but what Warner Bros. Animation did in the early 90s to pioneer this was nothing short of brilliant. To finally hear this music in stand-a-lone form is absolutely fantastic. I’ve mentioned that three times now (possibly more), but I’ll continue to drive it home; hearing this music cranked to eleven and allowing yourself to be fully submerged in it creates a whole different world and tone in which you can enjoy the episodes that were cherry picked for this volume.

Overall I don’t have to tell fans of the series to pick this one up, but…just in case I do, this is Highly Recommended.

The Set
Limited to only 3000 copies (a hundred or so of which were signed by Lolita Ritmanis and Michael McCuistion), Batman: The Animated Series is no doubt going to be hard to come by in a few years. With hope, the set will sell well enough to warrant future volumes. This set, however, is the focus of this review and as such we can delve into some of the finer points of it. The set itself arrives in a standard two-disc jewel case, with a full color booklet inserts that fully detail the song titles and run time of each, as well as an aggregate of each CD’s total run time.

The booklet is where this set shines (outside of the two discs themselves, one of which boasts Batman on it, while the other has Joker). This eighteen page booklet is filled with words from Paul Dini, Eddie Garodetsky, Daniel Schweiger and Danny Elfman, all of which take time out to fill us in on the time period in which this music was recorded and the effect it had on those who worked (and watched) the show. It’s a touching tribute to the late Shirley Walker, who no doubt would be ecstatic to finally have these scores available for consumer consumption after all of these years.

With an eighteen page booklet to read while you immerse yourself in the sounds of Batman: The Animated Series, this two disc set is really a fantastic value for anyone who is a fan of the series. For those who haven’t grown up or are huge fans of the series, you still owe it to yourself to check this soundtrack out. As a score lover in general, the music here is really some of the best written and composed music to ever grace a television series, let alone an animated one. Assuming you aren’t reading this review too late, go out and pick up a copy of this soundtrack. You’ll end up with a limited edition collectible, as well as an absolutely wonderful two-disc set. Highly Recommended.

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