Maxwell Davis

Batman and Other Themes

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Initially issued in 1966 on exploito imprint Crown, Batman and Other Themes channels the biff-bang-pow essence of Neal Hefti's original Caped Crusader theme to create a series of go-go instrumental knockoffs that straddle pop music and pop art. Maxwell Davis' candy-colored melodies and arrangements boast all the camp appeal of the Batman TV show, even though none of his music actually appeared in the series itself. With their dizzying brass and smoldering Hammond grooves, cuts like "Creepy Crawlers" and "Harry Danger" are as cinematic as their titles portend, drawing on influences ranging from John Barry's James Bond scores to AIP's no-budget grindhouse fare. [BGP's 2006 reissue features three bonus tracks, including a version of Al Hirt's immortal "Green Hornet Theme" credited to Maxwell & the Mexicali Brass (from an obscure Herb Alpert cash-in LP) and a cover of Ennio Morricone's spaghetti Western landmark "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."]

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