Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Batman & Robin: The Official Adventures of Batman & Robin

Review # 28
Artist: Batman & Robin
Title: The Official Adventures of Batman & Robin
Format: LP
Label: Leo The Lion Records
Year: 1966
Tracks: 3

It would be inaccurate to talk about "songs" on this record, since it's a story record not a music record. That said, it contains three separate stories with pauses between each, so I'm going to count this as three songs.

My copy of this record, unfortunately, is in terrible condition. It's scratched and has something smeared on the A-side. It's barely listenable, actually. The kid who owned this must have listened to it a lot.  But as a long-time Batman fan, I can't bear to part with it, and for the purposes of this blog, I gave it a spin.

The three stories on this record are "The Legend of Batman and Robin," which tells the "true" story of Batman and Robin's origin, "The Penguins Plunder," in which the Penguin hatches a plan to make Batman endorse his new brand of umbrellas as part of a convoluted scheme to rob a resort for millionaires, and "The Joker's Revenge," in which an escaped Joker seeks to kill the judge who convicted him by disguising himself as Commisioner Gordon. Each features a full cast, music, and sound effects. If I had had this as a kid, I would have played it over and over again, reveling in Batman and Robin's "battles against the evil forces of society."

These stories have the feel of  campy 1960s era Batman.  The stories are absurd, with the Joker story actually drawing off the plot of an episode I remember from the old TV show starring Adam West and Burt Ward, in which the Joker creates a utility belt of his own to thwart Batman. The record also employs the theme song of the old show, which was my first introduction to Batman. While the actors are different, the acting also has the feel of the television show, with lines delivered in an over-the-top melodramatic fashion. The one actor who seems somewhat miscast is the Joker, who seems to have a faint British accent. I'm not sure if this is because the actor was actually British or if this was just his dramatic annunciation, but Joker just feels a little too proper or something as a result.

For its time, this record is fairly well done. It's ridiculous, but only in the ways you would expect a children's Batman record from the 1960s to be.  It's a fun piece of comic book memorabilia, but probably not a record I'll be playing again any time soon.

Total songs listened: 335

1 comment:

cjl said...

I had that as a kid and I played it over and over again. The transformation sequence is burned into my brain forever. "I shall become... a bat!"