Batman The Animated Series
On October 07, 2014 La La Land Records released Batman: The Animated Series Volume 3 on a 4 Disc Set. You can order it here from their website. Price is $59.98. Volume 3 consists of four discs this time, with 170 tracks. The total running time for the set is 312:53. Here’s TFG1Mike’s in depth review!
We get so many awesome scores here in BTAS Volume 3. Robins Reckoning, The Forgotten (which I have been dying for), P.O.V., and more!!!! I’ve already reviewed Volumes 1 & 2. Volume 3 is all encompassing just as the other two sets are. There is an episode score set for every BTAS fan. Whether your favorite episode is “What is Reality” or “I am the Night”, or “Be A Clown” Any BTAS fan NEEDS this in their life! With a lot of the episodes that are featured in this set… I went back and watched them, then listened to the music afterwards to get the feel of it both ways.
Track 01: Batman The Animated Series Theme – Danny Elfman
Tracks 02-15: Robin’s Reckoning – Carlos Rodriguez, Peter Tomashek, & William T. Stromberg
Robin’s Reckoning the two parter BTAS episode that gave us the haunting origin of Dick Grayson in the DCAU. This is one of my favorite episodes of the entire series. With tracks like “Boy Wonder”, “Extortion / The Flying Graysons”, “The Bonding / Never Again”, and more this selection of scores is wonderful to listen to. Not only because it has very haunting tones, but it also has tones of a hope for the future for Dick Grayson. Carlos Rodriguez, Peter Tomashek, & William T. Stromberg craft such amazing music for this two parter! The track “Amusement Park Fight / Robin Gets Zucco / Robin Does Right” might be one of the most intense tracks on the entire set. Because it conveys Robin’s NEED to get Zucco, and then Dick realizing he needs to be better than someone who just wants to get revenge. I also enjoy the bonus alternate tracks that they include here. It once again shows you how dedicated and on top of things the composers were when crafting music for this cartoon.
Tracks 17-23: P.O.V. – Shirley Walker
Ms. Walker outdoes herself yet again. P.O.V. is yet another of my favorite episodes. The music in this one is full of life and intrigue. It also has some great chase music. I love each of the cop’s P.O.V. tracks, each shows a different side to the overall story. They also show each of the cop’s personalities in them. That is such a nice touch. Bullock’s track is over the top just like he is, Wilkes’s track is very raw, yet at the same time polished. Wilkes POV track has that unique innocence to it, where he is a rookie cop not knowing the ropes. He wants to believe in Batman, yet at the same time he doesn’t know what to believe. Montoya’s track is something complretely different. Whereas Bullock and Wilkes are on two very different sides of the fence. It almost seems Montoya is stuck straddling the fence. Not really knowing what she wants to believe. There are some deep bass hons in her track, and it also features themes of her trusting Batman. The track “Suspended Cops” is a somber one, because it’s the scene in the episode where the three cops get suspended. However I like the slow pace of it. Before we get the building up of “Renee Finds Batman / Batman Fights the Mob / Montoya Cleans Up” The beginning of this track has an awesome horn and symbol section. Iyt really draws your ear into itself.
Tracks 24-28; The Clock King – Carlos Rodriguez
Ahh yes The Clock King. This one was always a hidden gem. At least for me it was. Hearing the music outside of the episode gives me a fresh take on it. Carlos Rodriguez does a wonderful job throwing tones around… Like a boom brass bass… or a subtle sound effect. You just never know what you are going to get with this episode’s score. That is a very good thing. With the opening track “The Clock King / Gone with the Wind / Fugate Loses It we get some great tones that you would never think to hear in a animated series like this. Then there is “Political Graffiti /Fugate Catches Train” Which has those big brass moments I mentioned. After that I really enjoy “Time Is Running Out / Batman the Safecracker”, because of the urgency that is expressed in the music.
Tracks 29-36: Tyger Tyger – Todd Hayen
I’ll say this for Todd Hayen, he really did an excellent job of crafting a great score for a really bad episode. As I’ve stated before BTAS is amazing, but there were bound to be BAD episodes. This to me is one of them. Even after listening to the psychology behind this ep on The Arkham Sessions…. I still can’t get over how much I dislike this episode. It’s a prelude to Splicing when Batman goes Beyond. However as I said the music is wonderful. Actually it’s wonderfully sad and kinda depressing. Tracks like “Dorian s Island” and “The Catwoman / You Made Her a Monster” Add a slight horrific element to the episode. These tracks a very creepy sounding.
Tracks 37-40: See No Evil – Shirley Walker
The final episode score on disc 1 is See No Evil. So this on is all about a con man and his secret relationship ith the daughter that he’s NEVER supposed to see. Shirley Walker composed this one, and the music is wonderfully haunting. There are moments where it’s upbeat, but in general once again very sad score. Not only because of what the “villain” is doing, but because of the way he and his daughter are effected. The second track for this score entitled “Kimberly s School / Stay Away / Abandoned” has that upbeat and friendly sounding music I was referring to. Well at least in the beginning. I thought it was a very nice tune, and then it gets super dark. “Mojo s Pearls / Hold On Batman” is another track I enjoy. It has some chase music elements in it, and it’s where Batman saves Kimberly.
So that’s it for disc one. I’m really surprised that the producers didn’t put ending themes on here. Onto……..
Disc 2 features one of my favorite all time BTAS episodes. “The Forgotten” I’ve literally been waiting YEARS to have the music from that episode! I have always lved it, and now that it’s here I can’t stop listening to it. Other scores on this disc are Cat Scratch Fever, Terror in the Sky, Dreams in Darkness, Be a Clown, and The Underdwellers. So lets get right to it with……
Tracks 01-07: Cat Scratch Fever – Harvey R. Cohen
Cat Scratch Fever it sounds like a Brian Setzer Orchestra song title. BUT This is yet another Selina vs Daggett episode. The greatest thing about these face offs between Catwoman and Daggettt is the fact that he is voiced by Ed Asner! The music here is dark, like most BTAS music is, but this has a very evil undertone to it. “Daggett Labs / Selina is Bitten” Is what I’m talking about with the very dark undertones, and then they continue and turn into some dark chase music with “The Toxin Takes Effect”! I love how Harvey R. Cohen brings all these elements together. He crafts music that fits this dark tale very well. The chase music kinda continues in the next track with “Let the Hunt Begin / The Chase Continues / Toboggan Run”! There’s some fun tones closer to the end of this track. “Isis Return” is the final track for this episode, and it’s some of the best music ever… in such a short amount of time.
Tracks 08-15: The Forgotten – Shirley Walker
“Down into the City” starts off this episode. It is very twangy, and clearly western in the beginning. Which is so awesome. Batman and the Wild Wild West just seem to go hand in hand very well. In “Bruce Becomes Homeless / Bruce Is Blackjacked” Shirley Walker really makes great use of putting the BTAS theme elements under the mysterious music of Bruce becoming homeless. “The Oven” might be my most favorite track out of all the BTAS soundtracks that have been released. Has such a great vibe to it. It adds in the twang and then deepens the tone as it goes along. Then there is “Bruce s Family Flashback” this track is very intriguing, because it has elements of the BTAS theme, as well as an emotionally awesome tune in the beginning. Then we get to another of my all time favorite pieces of music in “Sweatbox Breakout / Trapped in the Canyon”. This track starts off with that upbeat twangy music that has been featured throughout this episode. Then it goes into some crazy awesome chase music. I feel like Garth Brooks should create a song based on these tones. It has a very country music kinda feel to it. We end with “Master Bruce” as the final track here, and for only 33 seconds… it’s awesome. Overall “The Forgotten” is still and will always be one of my favorite BTAS episodes, and I’m so glad I finally have the music!!
Tracks 16-27: Be A Clown – Michael McCuistion
Finally a Joker episode!!!! The coolest thing about this score are the four source cues that are included! After an episode like “The Forgotten” it was kinda nice to get some really fun music in “Be a Clown”! This episode was always weird to me. Simply because it’s the Joker kidnapping a kid. I never really think of the Joker doing these simple kind of crimes. DO NOT misunderstand what I’m saying here. Kidnapping is bad, as is any crime, but when it comes to the Joker I expect more. The music reflects on the story of whom the Joker has snatched though, as it was Mayor Hill’s son Jordan. The Joker does it in such a comical and obvious way though. In the track “Jekko the Magnificent / You, You, You” we have some very fun circus music, which is interesting. Interesting because even though the Joker is a clown I never associate him with the circus. The overall clown-circus themes are carried into the next track “Pure Dynamite / Dynamite Birthday Cake” These are very fun listens as I’ve gone along in this review. When I first added Disc 2 in my iTunes library I had listened to the “Be a Clown” tracks and felt the same way I do now. They are fun sinister tracks, that bring you into the story. McCuistion is one of my #1 favorite BTAS composers. He has worked on several of my most favorite episodes. So it makes sense that he is doing the awesome work here on this episode’s score.
Tracks 28-32: Dreams in Darkness – Todd Hayen
Talk about some DARK music. Todd Hayen really has outdone himself here! This set of 5 tracks kicks off with “Dreams in Darkness / Batman Guesses Wrong /Batman Cracks Up” just in this first track you can definitely tell how dark this episode is going to be. I love the tones in the opening track, and then we get to the third track “Batman Tries to Escape / Mass Madness” This one has some great horns in it, although it seems too short. Still I enjoy the pacing of it. In the next track “Batman’s Delusions” we get to hear music based on the inside of Batman’s brain. This is always interesting to me as far as what kind of music they’ll use to depict what’s going on in Bruce’s head.
Tracks 33-40: The Underdwellers – Lars Clutterham & Stuart Balcomb
Ahh “The Underdwellers” again some fun music, but this isn’t one of my most favorite episodes. I do like that it shines a bright light onto people who exploit children like this, but still…. creepy as all hell in this episode. The composers here are Lars Clutterham and Stuart Balcomb. Stuart’s work I know from “Almost Got’im” However this is the first time I’ve seen Lars’s name. They do great work with the music here, and there are several very chilling tracks. One of them is “Blinded by the Light / Batman Saves Frog”. I say it’s chilling, because well it is. There are tones of mystery, danger, and more here! Then there is “The Sewer King” theme. Which really gives off a whodunnit kinda feel. Even though we all know who the villain is after he is revealed. The theme for him though is very well done.
Tracks 41-47: Terror in the Sky – Shirley Walker
Terror in the Sky! I’m pretty much done with Man-Bat plots. I will say between “On Leather Wings” and this episode it was a very nice follow up. Continuing Langstrom’s story. Shirley Walker kills is with the music here! With tracks like “Batman Looks Through Files / March Confesses” and “Woman-Bat Wrecks the Plane / Langstrom out the Door” this episode’s score really has those epic tones you are used to hearing in the series. Shirley also adds in a few dramatic cues when it comes to Kirk and Francine’s storyline. These are nice touches, as it signals to us the listener and viewer of the turmoil that this couple has been through. The track I just mentioned has some great chase music, and some wonderfully inspired horns in it. Head on over to the next page for the discs 3 and 4 review!