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Review of Batman The Animated Series Volume 2 Limited Edition Score

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Disc 3: 

Track 01: Main Title (MIDI Version) – Danny Elfman and Shirley Walker

I really dig the MIDI version of the theme… It’s interesting and different. Very cool.

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Tracks 02-12: Almost Got ‘Im – Stuart Balcomb

BEST COMEDIC EPISODE OF THE ENTIRE SERIES!!!!!!  This episode has a jazz theme to part of the music, and it is just amazing. End. Of. Story. The entire composition is great!!!

“Almost Got’im”!!! As I said above easily one of the most comedic BTAS episodes! With the title track “Almost Got ‘Im” It has a really jazzy feel to it. I really enjoy that. Because it’s for when the villains are telling their Almost Got’im stories. It ends on a nice horn section too. Stuart Balcomb is the composer here, and he does this episode justice. Each story from each of the villains has it’s own unique themes. Which is very interesting, because Balcomb was able to depict each villain personality in the music. “Shadow Secrets* / Cat Food for Thought* / Maybe Some Day” might be my favorite track outside the main theme track for this episode. It has such a mysterious flare to it. Then there is Club Source Tracks #2 and #4. Dig both of these, and I’m so very happy that the album producers are able to add these little nuances to the disc set. Along with those we also get Joker’s Talk Show Source, and Joker Bumper, and closing it out is Just For Laughs. This might be my favorite scored ep on the entire disc set.

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Tracks 13-23: If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich? – Carlos Rodriguez

The Maze of the Minotaur. I love this episode, because it showcases Robin’s skills! The epic music knows no bounds in this one. Especially when the Hand of Fate is after you!!!!

This always was a great ep!!!! Carlos Rodriguez does an amazing job with the tones in this one. The music is amped up only by the mystery of the maze. A few of my favorite tracks are “Minotaur’s Myth* / The Griffin / Griffin Fight / Hand of Fate”, “Hijacked Hand* / The Minotaur / Destroy Them / Deadbolts*”, and “Griffin Theme” I have to say though the best part about this episode’s score is the source tracks and the motif themes. Stuff like “Riddle of the Minotaur Source”, “Question Mark Motif”, “Hand of Fate Motif”, “Wasteland Motif”, and “Musical Puzzle”. They are all great additions onto the soundtrack. Because when I hear them as you watch the episode, I know I wanted to hear them outside of it.

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Tracks 24-40: The Demons Quest Parts I and II – Michael McCuistion and Harvey R. Cohen

Ra’s al Ghul knows who Batman is! The music behind this two part episode at times is very sinister, and it will make you shiver!!!!

Ra’s al Ghul… one of Batman’s most sinister villains. Not just because he knows who Batman is, but because he taunts Batman’s will at every turn he takes. Ra’s turns Batman’ world upside down every time they face each other. Yet nearly every time Batman always defeats him. Michael McCuistion’s score for part one of this two parter is amazing!!!!I can visualize every scene from the episode by just listening to the music. Take the track “Black Cat / Sweet Dreams, Kitty*” it has some great big horns in it, and it is VERY sinister. The action that goes along with this is wonderful. Shirley Walker and her entire team brought composition to a whole new level with these animated series. “Strike Three – You’re Out” Might be the best track from The Demon’s Quest Part I. Even though it’s pnlu 44 seconds of music, it’s still great to hear musical accompaniment with Batman’s every move! Then there is Part II of this ep, which is done by Harvey R. Cohen. It maintains the overall feel McCuistion set up in part one, but then it adds a whole other level to it’s awesomeness. In the track “Parted Lovers / Goodbye Beloved*” when you really think about it Bruce and Talia are the DC Universe’s own Romeo and Juliet. The tones in this track are sad, as they should be, but it really shows you that there was emotion behind their relationship.

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Tracks 41-49: The Laughing Fish – Shirley Walker

While I love the music from this episode, the first few tracks don’t seem to fit a Joker episode. When I got to the track Batman Rides Shark/Jumping Joker Sees Jaws that’s when I felt it fit the episode.

Joker…. Joker….ya gotta love the Joker right. Even though he is a sick twisted homicidial maniac… he is fun to watch, and his themes are so well done. Shirley Walker closes out Disc 3 with The Laughing Fish score. The funny, yet ironic thing is that I do not remember this ep just by listening to the music. The music is wonderful, don’t get me wrong. I just can’t picture the episode is all. The piano track at the end of “The Laughing Fish / Joker’s Insane Scheme” is gorgeous to listen to. Then Shirley uses the piano again to to really amp up the action in the next track “Friendly Fish Truck / Missile Fish / Francis Gets Happy (Extended) / I Know You’re Watching” The end of “Jackson’s Cat” which is the next track… Ms. Walker uses some interesting notes from the piano there. I hadn’t realized when watching this episode that the piano was heavily used in this. I LOVE it, just commenting on the fact I hadn’t noticed it before. At the end we have the Joker’s Chimes #1 and #2 as well as the Joker’s Fish Song. So awesome!!!

Track 50: End Credits (Alternate Ending) Danny Elfman

Disc 4: 

Track 01: Main Title (with Sound Effects) – Danny Elfman

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Tracks 02-16: Shadow of the Bat Parts I and II – Shirley Walker and Harvey R. Cohen

Ahh yes the debut of Barbara Gordon… well Babs as Batgirl!!!!! These tracks have very soft nature to them, sure there are the big moments in them. However at first very soft tones. I love how this orchestra can just change stuff up like that.

The debut of Batgirl! I love the dark overtones used at the very beginning of the first track from this episode which is “Shadow of the Bat/Thorne on the Roof” There’s just something about it that really makes me smile! Part one is scored by Shirley Walker, and Part Two o Shadow of the Bat is done by Harvey R. Cohen. The “Gordon’s Arrest” track is very dark and ominous, which is interesting how dark that they took the theme there. In the track “Two-Face’s Hideout / The Batgirl / Batgirl Takes Action / Batgirl Gets Trashed” There’s almost a whimisical tone in the beginning. Then when we get to Batgirl’s intro and her taking action…Well the music just gets more heroic as we go along. She even has her own theme which is a wonderful thing. As Part II starts we have “Shadow of the Bat, Part II / Casing Gil’s Apartment” Which is a nice little intro to the episode. Cohen’s style fits BG very well as a character. The music used and crafted for this ep fits it like a glove. “Robin and Batgirl Follow* / Matches Gives the Signal / Bad Guys Escape” might be favorite track from the Part II score. Because it is the Bat family all in action even though in different roles.

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Tracks 17-21: Harley and Ivy – Peter Davidson

 This is where I like Ivy the best, teamed up with Harley. We are back to the big beats, and emphatic moments, I like this!

Harley and Ivy a team up that no one ever saw coming! I am expecting the scores for this ep to be light, upbeat, and fun. In the first track we have “Harley and Ivy (M. McCuistion, L. Ritmanis)” It is exactly that. There’s a great beat to it, I almost could dance to the Harley and Ivy theme! I love the opening to “Harley is On Her Own (S. Walker, L. Ritmanis) / The Girls Escape (S. Walker)” Harley always has so great music cues!!!! The sad thing about this part of the release is that I can’t believe it’s only 5 tracks. Still happy to have it though. The horns used in several of the tracks sound amazing, and there are a few deep drumbeats. ove that kinda stuff in this music.

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Tracks 22-27: Read My Lips – Shirley Walker

Hey Dummy!!!! When I went back and watched this for the podcast record of Legends Of the Dark Knight, I had forgotten it was a Scarface episode. Let alone the debut of Scarface. Lots of good instrumentals being done with these tracks, I’m enjoying them just as much as the episode. And just like Almost Got ‘Im this has somewhat of a few jazz tunes in it.

I like this one! The ewntire thing has so much jazz in it. Especially the first track “Read My Lips / Scarface’s Boys” Jazz really fits the ScarFace character, and it’s wonderful to listen to. After the opening jazz number we have “What a Dummy” Which has more jazz themes in it, and then it goes dark and sinister! Re listening to these scores is so enjoyable. I haven’t listen to them since the set was released. Oh not because I didn’t want to, but because I’ve had so much other music I’ve needed to hear. Shirley Walker handles the scores for this episode, and I’m glad she did! Because there are so many different elements to these tracks. It’s a classical jazzy kinda feel. Which works on so many levels. The final track for this ep “Dummy Up / Here We Go Again” is a combination of jazz and the classic Batman cues!

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Tracks 28-33: Fire From Olympus – Shirley Walker

The music is the only good thing about this episode.  Love the drums and big brass in this.

Even after all these years I still say this is one of the BAD episodes BTAS made. As I stated in the italics. The music is the only good thing about this episode. Out of the six tracks for this episode I only like two of them. They are “Sneaking Batman In / Fire in the Sky ” and “Batman Enters Olympus / Snake Fight” each of these tracks as very different aspects to them. I love the big drums and bass in the latter track I mentioned, and in the former I love the edge of your seat viloins.

Track 34: End Credit (Alternate Beginning and Ending) – Danny Elfman

Overall this set is amazing. There are episode cues and sets I listen to more than others. Beware the Gray Ghost and Almost Got’im are my top two favorite episode scores from this set. Go get this soundtrack from La La Land Records. Any BTAS  fan would want this no matter what.

Review Overview

The Music of the Bat continues to exceed all expectations!

Battastic!!!!

Batman the Animated Series Volume 2 has 17 full scored episodes to it, along with various versions of the BTAS theme. Plus certain music cues and motifs used in the cartoon. It is a must add to any DC Animated Universe fan's collection!

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