Superman: The Animated Series
Music from the Hit DC Animated Universe Cartoon
Superman The Animated Series score has finally been released from Lala Land Records! Shirley Walker, Lolita Ritmanis, Michael McCustion, and Kristopher Carter shape the world of Superman through music! This also includes scores from the epic three parter Batman crossover World’s Finest!! Here’s a review for that score!
FIRST OFF BEFORE I EVEN START this review I have to THANK La-La Land Records for sending this to me. I’m so stoked to hear the music from Superman The Animated Series.
SECONDLY: pay attention to the image below! If you are in the Burbank, CA area! February 8, 2014 there will be a CD signing for Brave and the Bold and STAS! Details Below:
THIRDLY: Thanks to The World’s Finest Online for the images that they grabbed of the inserts.
SUPERMAN…. SUPERMAN…..you know you wanna say that everytime you hear the main theme to this animated series. With this four disc set you get 168 tracks, a booklet filled with amazing liner notes, and great artwork for the covers, and inserts.
TWENTY complete scores! <—- READ THAT AGAIN!!! This 4 disc soundtrack score has twenty complete scores from Superman: The Animated Series. This version of Superman is one of my favorites, and it’s by far the easiest for me to get into mythology of the Man of Steel. With the stellar voice cast of Tim Daly, Kim Delaney, Michael Ironside, Clancy Brown, and more… this series holds some of my favorite Superman tales. Some of my fave eps are scored within this 4 disc set. The premiere three parter, which was aired as a movie event when the series premiered in 1996. This was of course The Last Son of Krypton. Then there is the epic World’s Finest, where Superman and Batman first met in the DCAU. After that I also love Mxyzpixilated, In Brightest Day, Apokolips… Now!, and the Legacy two part series finale. I’ll also say that the layouts for the liner of the case are awesome, as are the disc arts. Very well done!!!
I’m going to break this review down by each of the four discs, and talk about tracks I enjoy listening to from each disc.
Disc 1’s run time is 78:59, and holds the main theme, The Last Son of Krypton, Monkey Fun, Tools of the Trade, and more. With Last Son of Krypton I love the themes used in all three parts. Each episode’s score shows you where Kal-el came from, where he’s going, and what he’ll eventually become. Track 3 “Family Theme” I really enjoy this one as it shows us something we rarely ever see. Kal’s parents and the real emotion that they feel for him. Track 5 “Brainiac Confrontation” is very cool Lolita really captures the sound of what kind of music a living computer would have behind it. I mean the thematic feel to this, you can really tell what a threat Brainiac truly is. Track 6 “Jor-El Excapes Arrest/Jor-El Escapes Outside” shows us how heroic in this incarnation Kal’s father was. I love the themes behind Jor-El’s actions. Track 7: “Decision to Send Kal-El” again love the way the music is up tempo, and sad at the same time. It is also very intense and emotional. Because you see the hope in his parent’s eyes, and the sadness.
As part one ends, and part two of Last Son of Krypton begins, we see a change in the musical tone. Very high action sounds in the first few tracks. We see that Clark is finding out about his abilities, and we also hear in the music how he deals with the fact that he is the soul survivor of a now dead planet. Well soul survivor as far as we know at this point. We also hear the soft emotion in the music when Jonathan and Martha find Clark. I’ve always enjoyed the different interpretations of how the Kent’s find Clark. I love that they included the News Program and Industrial Film Source tracks, those are very awesome bits of STAS, that you hardly ever get to hear because while watching the cartoon you have the voice over and sound effects. So it’s nice to hear them here. Track 20 “Clark Recognizes Ship/Orders to Kill Lois” by Harvey R. Cohen is very well done. It brings in the main theme, and then adds even more intriguing themes as the track progresses! Finally for disc 1 I like how Carter has the regular Train Robbery track, and then an alternate take on it. Very awesome, and it’s interesting to note that the STAS Video end theme is here as well.
Disc 2’s run time is 78:59, and holds tracks from… World’s Finest, Mxyzpixilated, and Father’s Day. YES The music from World’s Finest. I have listened to these tracks over and over again since getting the set. This disc starts off with Shirley Walker’s epic Batman/Superman Adventures theme. I’ve always loved this opening, and theme song. It does well to meld the thematic cues from each of the Batman TAS and Superman TAS themes, while at the same time being something NEW and Fresh. And… HERE. WE. GO!! This disc is all about World’s Finest for me! Sure there are the tracks from Myxzpixilated and Father’s Day. However World’s Finest takes center stage! The majority of the WF tracks are all Michael McCuistion, with Lolita Ritmanis doing Track 23 “Arrival At Lab / Robots Battle Superman / Batman Gets To Lexwing”. I don’t think it’s JUST because it’s World’s Finest that I love these tracks so much, then again maybe it is. McCuistion does an amazing job, and there are musical cues I hadn’t heard before when watching the actual cartoon. Suffice it to say that I love every single track McCuistion does for World’s Finest.
With Mxyzpixilated I love track 29 “Building Battle Suit” because it has the music cues where Mxy’s Girlfriend poses for him, so she could get his attention. LOVE those music cues from Harvey R. Cohen. Father’s Day is a whole other level of epic, when it comes to the music. Simply because it’s a Darkseid tale. Track 38 “Darkseid Beams Superman” by Shirley Walker has some of the greatest compositions of any Superman theme ever. It feels dark, yet light, and it carries the weight of Darkseid’s omega beams with it! So epic and awesome.
The end credits New Batman Superman Adventures track also has a snippet from Ms. Shirley Walker herself! So very nice to hear her voice on these scores. She previously was on Music of the Bat 101 in BTAS Volume 1 set.
Disc Three which has a run time of 78:36 holds tracks from In Brightest Day, A Little Piece of Home, Livewire, and Apokolips…Now! On Disc 3 In Brightest Day and Apokolips… Now are my favorite scores. With In Brightest Day the first track is from the beginning of the ep, as Abin sends the ring off, the ring searches, and then chooses Kyle. I absolutely love the themes presented here. Especially with the part when the ring is flying theough the city. The search for the right one to wear the ring is very important. Once again Michael McCuistion does a superb job of crafting music that not only can the STAS theme fit into, but music that is unique to the Lantern Corps as well.
In A Little Piece of Home we hear home vulnerable Superman gets around Kryptonite. Nothing we disn’t already know this, but the music reflects his pain. Track 13 on this disc is from the scene where Superman fights the Dinosaur in the museum. This scene or mater of it was alays in my mind, because it’s in the opening title. Kristopher Carter does an amazing job crafting a theme for Superman to fight a T-Rex! Then we get to the LiveWire tracks. Harvey R. Choen’s “Wake Up Source” is very awesome Rock Anthemic. I almost thought it was Lobo’s theme at first. Cohen does an amazing job with LiveWire’s theme on track 22, and I really like that they are going for a harder rock edge with these scores for the LiveWire ep.
Finally on this disc we have the Apokolips… Now 2 parter scores. These are again some epic, bombastic scores. I expect that though when Darkseid is involved. His themes should always be dark and mysterious. Track 40 on this disc is “Orion To The Rescue, and Dan’s Funeral”. Very sad music to go along with a sad moment in the series. Kristopher Carter really knows how to tug at the listener’s heart strings. This disc ends with Track 41, which is the STAS twenty second promo. Again Shirley Walker has a small voice track after the music. Overall really love In Brightest Day the most here. The rest are very well done, and once I listen to them more, I’m sure I’ll like them even more.
Disc Four which as a run time of 79:00 holds tracks from Little Girl Lost Parts I and II, Feeding Time, and Legacy Parts I and II. LOVE the Supergirl themes from Little Girl Lost! Track 12 on this disc “Superman Is Captured / Kara Leaves For Apokolips” done by Lolita is a favorite. As that was the moment Kara had to step up and save her cousin! The battles she has to go through to save Clark are awesome, and Lolita really makes you hear that in the music. In track 13 “Kara Arrives On Apokolips” There’s such bravado in the drum beats, it’s perfect for Kara’s arrival theme. Then in track 14 “Kara Escapes Parademons” you can tell there are times when Kara is holding her own, but we also see her falter a few times. After all she is still learning these new powers. Then in track 15 “Superman Kneels / Darkseid’s Prediction / Get Back Home” you can really hear the desparation in the themes when it comes to Superman’s predicament. You can also hear again just how sick, evil, and twisted Darkseid is.
With Feeding Time, there are certain parts of these tracks, that I feel are very mysterious. That’s a good thing, since i never really cared for the Parasite character. however McCuistion’s scoring for the episode is very well done. Now we move onto the series finale in “Legacy” this two part finale was epic! One of the reasons why it is epic is because, Shirley Walker scored these episodes. You have a lot of BIG moments here. Darkseid’s impending invasion of Earth, taking Clark and twisting him all around, using him to destroy the planet he loves. “Supergirl Chases Robot” is a track from this 2 parter that I especially like. It gives Kara some high tempo action music. “Lex Kills Kal-El” was the perfect way to end the first part of this finale. Ms. Walker really has stepped it up with somewhat bright and upbeat tones for this. Moreso than the dark bruding tones of BTAS.
I know Superman does Brude, but the whole point of STAS was for it to be a bright upbeat series, and the music reflects that very well. The final battle between Superman and Darkseid is conveyed in the track “Superman Vs. Darkseid” NOW this is where the dark themes come in, as they should. However Shirley Walker still shows us through her composition that there is a glimmer of hope. That hope comes in the final track “Lois And Superman” Once again great themes throughout. The ending credits theme is awesome as well. I love how all these composres can craft original themes for each ep, and yet still have room to sometimes throw the main theme in there!
That’s FIVE HOURS AND FIFTEEN MINUTES of mind blowing, emotional, awesome music from Superman: The Animated Series. What I love about these La La Land Records releases is the liner notes that come with the albums. Not only do you get cool images from the project, but you also get insights from the people crafting the music. That is just a nice little addition that this soundtrack company does!!
For a volume 2 release I’d like to see tracks from:
The Main Man Parts I and II
The Late Mr. Kent
Ghost in the Machine
Brave New Metropolis
This gets a 5 outta 5 stars, because it’s just that damn great. Everything about this four disc set is wonderfully put together. From the art on the inserts, the booklet, the disc art. So happy that this has finally been released! You can get this awesome score from LA LA Land Records directly! You can also find the track listing there!