Of all the vinyl finds I’ve had lately, one of the most surreal has to be this French repressing of this Batman and Robin album, complete with the Batman theme.
Re-issued by Klimt Records years ago in France, this record brought in some serious firepower as session musicians, namely members of the Al Kooper Blues Project and the Sun Ra Arkestra including Sun Ra himself on the Hammond B3. The original album gives no clue to the super-session nature of the album, but Klimt sets the record straight with a complete roster of players on the back cover.
That roster included Sun Ra, Al Kooper, Steve Katz, Pat Patrick, Marshall Allan, Danny Kalb and others.
According to blogger Ryan Masteller at Critical Masses, at least one of those players truly hated doing the sessions. Maybe they were underpaid, or had an angry martinet type running the show, or perhaps they were forced to do the music wearing tights and cowls? We may never know.
I’d never heard of this until I spotted it in the bins a few weeks ago. I was so amazed that I had to grab one. The album is a cash-in, made during the Adam West Batman period.
What’s really funny about that to me, at least where the actual Batman theme song is concerned, is that when you watch the end credits of any Batman episode, when they get to the music portion, there is a LYRICS credit.
Yes, somebody actually got paid to come up with “Batmaaaan. Da-da da-da- da-da-da….(repeat until your face falls off)…BAT MAAAAAAANNNNNNN”
But back to the record. The musicians are credited on the cover as “Dan and Dale”. On the flip side, the French pressing reveals that it’s actually Sun Ra and various other names (something not found on the original, heh).
All things considered, this is one super-oddball find and while some uber-collectors are no doubt tapping their foot and clucking at me finding this only years after the fact, collectors be damned. You take the weirdness where you can find it. I was quite pleased to score this and nominate it for “most mind-bending vinyl find of the month”. Sun Ra and Batman. It doesn’t come any further out of left field than that.
(Side note–I do have a copy of the Sun Ra Plays Batman & Robin on auction at eBay. When it’s gone, it’s gone!)