Neil Hefti’s soundtrack to the Batman TV series is top-flight 60s instrumental music – playful and imaginatively-produced. “Sewer Lady,” from the 1966 album, Batman Theme and 11 Hefti Bat Songs, was inexplicably overlooked by RCA for single release:
RCA Victor would release the “Batman Theme” 45 in late 1965 in the US and in Europe the following year – here’s the 45 picture sleeve for the Netherlands market:
1966 would see the release of Dickie Goodman’s affectionate sample-laden tribute, “Batman and His Grandmother” (who, at story’s end, gets drafted – reverse spoiler alert).
RCA would later issue “Batman Theme” as a single in the UK and Australia with “Holy Diploma, Batman – Straight A’s!” as the B-side in 1988.
“Les & Larry Elgart are right in the groove with some swinging contemporary dance music. There’s “Michelle,” “Taste of Honey,” “Batman’s Theme” and more in the go-go vein. It’s fine for the youngsters, and the Elgart name will help with the adults who want to cavort like youngsters.”
Even if only for his pioneering production work with one of my guitar heroes, Duane Eddy (e.g., using a gigantic grain tank as an echo chamber), let it be known that Lee Hazlewood, while himself not a hotshot guitarist, co-wrote some of Eddy’s best tunes (including half of his excellent 1965 album, Duane-a-Go-Go), as well as penned a fair number of surf classics for other artists: “Baja“; “Movin’” and “Batman” for The Astronauts, plus all of Al Casey‘s best instrumentals – “Surfs You Right“; “The Hearse“; “Surfin’ Hootenanny“; and “Guitars, Guitars, Guitars.”
Is Hazlewood’s 1961 instrumental – five years before Neil Hefti’s “Batman Theme” – the first musical tribute to the Caped Crusader?