The 7 Best Bat-Songs From ‘Guano: The Uncollected Batman Songs of the ’60s’
Here at ComicsAlliance, we're no strangers to the odd world of music inspired by the "Batman" TV show in the late '60s. I've even managed to amass a respectable collection myself, but my efforts at Batmusicology have been blown away by Michael Vee, who compiled a mixtape called "Guano, or: Holy Batcrap!"
Available for download through Vee's site, it's a 29-track collection of bizarre Bat-themed rarities from the heyday of the show, complete with album art by J.R. Williams, and while the whole thing's worth a listen for any fans of Batman, musical oddities or '60s garage rock (a Venn diagram with an overlap I fall right into), I've got a few of my favorites from the album after the jump:
Unsurprisingly, there are quite a few covers of the Batman theme out there floating around, but this one's probably my favorite, thanks to the dude just wailing on the drums the entire time. I'd be legitimately surprised if he didn't have a big "POW!" painted on the kick.
It's worth noting that the Batman show was a truly worldwide phenomenon. Not only was it the reason we got Jiro Kuwata's awesome Batman comics from Japan, but it also inspired this track, in which we hear about Batman's exploits in French. At least, I think that's what they're singing about; I barely passed French in high school, and I'm really hoping I didn't just offend ComicsAlliance's sizaeable Quebecois audience.
I've been a fan of the Ventures ever since I picked up their surf rock Christmas album, and now they've done a song about the one thing I love as much as I love Christmas: The Batman. I'm not sure if the clips from the trailer to the '66 "Batman" movie were on the original track or an after-market addition by Vee (I suspect the latter, as they're all over the mixtape), but the effect is totally awesome.
The Marketts appear a couple times on the compilation -- including a Catwoman tune that's suitably jazzy, peppy and sultry -- but my favorite of theirs is this one. Again, it's got a great opening clip from the show with Commissioner Gordon being absolutely scandalized about lady crooks, but I actually like it as a big band dance number quite a bit.
I think this one's lyrics sum it up pretty well:
Whoa whoa, Batman, he's out catchin' the crooks
Whoa whoa, Batman, he's in the comic books
Even if he's not real
He's still our ideal
Truer words, my friends, have never been sung. And it only gets better when the lead singer starts asking about Batman's "purple bun-huggers."
Another quirky ode to Batman, this one starts off pretty tame, but starts to get crazy when they start talking about how he "graduated with honors from a swingin' school" and then goes completely awesome with the beatboxing of the Batmobile and a spoken interlude with Batman's awesome Southern accent. "Goin' out to fight some crahm" indeed!
And finally, my favorite track from the album. Admittedly, it's hard to beat Southern-Fried Batman, but the combination of rockin' surf guitar and a lyrical summary of Batman's origin and the fact that the Batmobile's "roar of thunder" gets rhymed with "Robin the Boy Wonder" is pretty great -- and that's before the slowed down hand-clap breakdown. It's pretty fantastic, and come on: More songs need to have lines like "he's a millionaire who fights crime."