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Joker Is Wild!
October 21, 2006 6:59 AM   Subscribe

In 1966 the Tifton Record Company's efforts to cash in on the popularity of the Batman TV show resulted in the release of an LP called Batman and Robin. Though the jacket credited “The Sensational Guitars of Dan and Dale”, the musicians were in fact members of Sun Ra’s Solar Arkestra and The Blues Project. The wonderful folks at WFMU have made this unlikely collaboration's wonderfully infectious music available for your downloading pleasure. Very fun, lively stuff, with a warm and rollicking sound. I've fallen in love with it.
posted by flapjax at midnite (19 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

Wikipedia links to the Batman TV show, Sun Ra and The Blues Project. Those interested in actually purchasing a CD (they do sound better than MP3, after all) can check here.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:01 AM on October 21, 2006

This is very cool. Sun Ra and his Arkestra have done some fun stuff over the years, including "Pink Elephants on Parade" which was on the Stay Awake Disney tribute CD.
posted by Eekacat at 7:42 AM on October 21, 2006

Thank you!
posted by greasepig at 8:07 AM on October 21, 2006

posted by Alex404 at 8:22 AM on October 21, 2006

Great stuff - Thanks!

The Who also does a rockin' version of the Batman theme song on A Quick One.
posted by Arch_Stanton at 8:28 AM on October 21, 2006

Now, all I need is Al Hirt's (or was it Herb Alpert's) version of the "The Green Hornet" theme.
posted by RavinDave at 8:33 AM on October 21, 2006

RavinDave - that track can be found on the Kill Bill 1 soundtrack, along with a number of other great songs.

On a related note, I used to get a bunch of weird old vinyl recordings from this BenT blog, but now it's an ugly spam site. Anyone know where it went?
posted by sudasana at 8:46 AM on October 21, 2006

Sun Ra wasn't here.
posted by odasaku at 8:50 AM on October 21, 2006

The very first song is kind of harsh and hard to listen to, but they get really good later. Great background music while surfing. I'll have to look into the CD.
posted by Malor at 8:50 AM on October 21, 2006

I listened to this record every night for years as a kid in the early '70s, through giant brown headphones. I think my mom bought it for me in Germantown, Philadelphia, probably because of the cartoon cover. I loved this record. Forgot about it for over ten years, then rediscovered it on a visit home around 1990. Holy shit, beautiful stuff, reunited with a long-lost friend! Listened to it often, and wondered who was behind it. Imagine my delight when I bought this record a couple years ago and learned the truth from the liner notes! So loose, so rockin', the wheels seem about to come off at any second. A prized possession.
posted by zoinks at 9:21 AM on October 21, 2006

Fan-freakin-tastic. Thank you so much for this.
posted by GrammarMoses at 11:40 AM on October 21, 2006

I have this on vinyl. It's really fun to scratch with over some hiphop beats.
posted by geekhorde at 1:51 PM on October 21, 2006

The Who also does a rockin' version of the Batman theme song on A Quick One.

It's covered nicely by The Jam on "In the City" as well.
posted by First Post at 2:29 PM on October 21, 2006

Thanks, this was great.

Happy, chirpy songs complete with the occasional freakout.
posted by elephantday at 6:00 PM on October 21, 2006

A fun record, but a toss-off from the Arkestra. I'm listening to Strange Strings right now, one of probably 50 Sun Ra albums more worthy of your attention, if anyone's interested.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 2:18 AM on October 22, 2006

Well, gosh, Joseph, keep us informed of what you're listening to more often, and save us all the embarassment of, you know, listening to the wrong thing...

I'm sure many (if not all) of us who've commented here are well aware of the Arkestra's enormous recorded output, but the point of this thread was to call attention to an utterly unique and very unlikely collaboration. Keep in mind it's not just Arkestra members here, but also Al Kooper/Danny Kalb and company, together with Sun Ra and company. In the history of American music, such meetings between jazz and rock musicians have been rather rare. On that basis, I'd disagree that there are 50 Sun Ra albums more worthy of attention. Worthy of attention, certainly, but not necessarily more worthy.

Are you maybe, you know, a jazz snob?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:50 AM on October 22, 2006

Yowza, touchy...

Nah, I'm not a jazz snob at all, I hardly listen to any at all these days, for whatever reason. It's just very common for Sun Ra's music to be noticed as a novelty or for its novelty properties, and I think there's much more to it than that. No offense intended, mang.

As I said, this is a fun record. I like it. Glad you do too.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:30 PM on October 22, 2006

I hear ya, Joseph. Sorry to come off a little hostile. No hard feelings!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:00 PM on October 22, 2006

I've had the 45 single of "Robin's Theme" on my jukebox for years. The unknown vocalist wails not the name of the boy wonder but rather a testimony to the joys of theivery..."Ooooh, robbin'!"
posted by bonefish at 1:20 AM on October 23, 2006

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