Jan and Dean
Sometime in the last few years I grabbed the record you see before you, because, basically Jan and Dean, who made some superb, well known pop records but were also in some ways at the vanguard of studio expansion/ideas and much more interesting/creative than they are often given credit for.
That said, when I picked up the record, I assumed (mistakenly) that ‘Batman’ was a version of the famous Neil Hefti TV theme.
When I dropped the needle on the record I was surprised (pleasantly so) to discover that what Jan and Dean’s ‘Batman’ was, wasn’t the TV theme, but rather a groovy little pop art playlet, with comedic angles.
It is clearly influenced by the TV show craze, and sort-of quotes the theme (with a subtle key-shift), but goes off in unusual new directions.
‘Batman’ was actually a minor hit, skirting the outside of the Top 40 all around the country early in 1966.
The album as a whole, a collection of contemporary covers is not as interesting as it looks, some of the covers (their version of ‘Norwegian Wood’ for instance) are quite cool, indeed, and I’d go as far as to suggest that it’s worth it just for ‘Batman’.
So, I hope you dig it, and I’ll see you all next week
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