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Peter Axelrad Explains His Picks for ‘Music of DC Comics: Volume 2’

Music of DC Comics: Volume 2 is out now on CD and digital formats. The double LP vinyl release will be coming soon and recently we featured in-depth coverage of the record. Executive album producer Peter Axelrad has now provided us with a track by track analysis on why he chose each of these themes and songs. His notes are illuminating and very detailed, and we couldn’t be happier to present this exciting Fandom exclusive.

The Superman Tracks

What Are You Going To Do When You Are Not Saving the World? from Man of Steel by Hans Zimmer (2013)
“The two opening notes capture the innocence and aspiration of Superman and build into an expression of strength and heroics. This song is a great representation of Superman’s story as he grows from the innocence of Smallville into a Hero.”

Baby From Krypton from Superman Radio Show by Bud Collyer (1940)
“This is the opening narration from the 1940’s Superman radio serial. It was early in Superman’s mythos and he was much less powerful than he is today. He could only jump an eighth of a mile into the air. A quarter of a mile may have been too unbelievable at the time.”

Superman Ruby Spears Cartoon by John Williams (1988)
“Never-before-released. The theme from 1978’s Superman: The Movie introduces the character with narration inspired by the 1940’s – 1950’s radio and TV shows. “Truth, Justice and the American Way!”

Superman The Animated Series Theme by Shirley Walker (1996)
“This theme perfectly evokes the optimism, hope and heroics of Superman’s character in this series.”

The Flying Sequence / Can you read my mind? (feat. Margot Kidder) from Superman: The Movie by John Williams (1978)
“Superman takes Lois Lane flying over Metropolis. The score and narration evoke themes of romance and the awe of flying with a god.”

Lex Luthor’s Lair by John Williams (1978)
“It’s clearly a villain’s theme, but the approach is light-hearted and fun reflecting the tone of 1978’s Superman: The Movie.”

Supergirl Theme by Blake Neely (2015)
“Never-before-released. Produced specifically for this album by composer Blake Neely. The melody captures the character’s innocence and heroism while the rhythm reflects the show’s great action sequences.”

Fight Night from Batman vs Superman by Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL (2016)
“This track is tribal, aggressive, and epic. You can feel the struggle between these two icons.”

The Batman Tracks

Why Do We Fall? from Dark Knight Rises by Hans Zimmer (2012)
“The slow build and ultimate triumph of this song reflect overcoming a great obstacle and never giving up. These are core character traits of The Batman.”

Batman Theme by Neal Hefti (1966)
“The main title as it played in the TV show, complete with horn stabs representing Batman and Robin punching villains…Sock! Pow!”

Batman the Animated Series by Danny Elfman (1996)
“This is a variation on the Batman Theme composed by Danny Elfman for Tim Burton’s 1989 film Batman.”

The Ballad of Batman from Batman The Brave and the Bold by Kristopher Carter (2002)
“Never-before-released. From Batman the Brave and The Bold: Season 3 Episode 4: “Night of the Batmen”. Cowboy-themed character Vigilante strums his guitar and sings an ode to the ‘Man from Gotham Who Wore the Grey and Blue’.”

Theme from Batman and Robin by Mischa Bakaleinikoff (1949)
“Never-before-released. From the 1949 Columbia Pictures serial Batman and Robin. In this series the home of Bruce Wayne was in the suburbs of Gotham City and the Batmobile was a convertible parked in the driveway. I’m sure the neighbors never suspected a thing.”

Christmas with the Joker / Jingle Bells Batman Smells (feat. Mark Hamill) by Shirley Walker (1996)
“Never-before-released. From Batman the Animated Series Season 1 Episode 38: “Christmas With The Joker”. Mark Hamill’s work as The Joker is always amazing. In this song, he sings the classic playground anthem “Jingle Bells Batman Smells” in Arkham Asylum.”

Joker is Wild by The Sensational Guitars of Dan and Dale: Sun Ra and the Blues Project (1966)
“The harmonica riff and jaw harp evoke the madness of The Joker. Sun Ra: Hammond B-3 Organ, Al Kooper: Organ, Steve Katz: Guitar, Danny Kalb: Guitar, John Gilmore: Tenor Sax, Marshall Allen: Alto Sax, Pat Patrick: Bass, Andy Kulberg: Bass, Roy Blumenfeld: Drums”

Penguin Makes Moves from Gotham by Graeme Revell and David E. Russo (2015)
“Never-before-released. The first commercial release of music from the TV Show Gotham: Season 1 Episode 7: “Penguin’s Umbrella”. Penguin leads a group of henchmen in an assault on a drug warehouse. The score fits perfectly with Penguin’s awkward limp and sinister plans.”

Penguin’s Umbrella by The Sensational Guitars of Dan and Dale: Sun Ra and the Blues Project (1966)
“The organ and guitar perform a call and response leading into some excellent guitar solos. Sun Ra: Hammond B-3 Organ, Al Kooper: Organ, Steve Katz: Guitar, Danny Kalb: Guitar, John Gilmore: Tenor Sax, Marshall Allen: Alto Sax, Pat Patrick: Bass, Andy Kulberg: Bass, Roy Blumenfeld: Drums”

The Justice League Tracks

The Flash vs Arrow by Blake Neely (2015)
“This is a great blending of The Flash and Arrow themes from the first crossover show in the DC TV Universe.”

The Flash TV Series Theme by Danny Elfman (1990)
Danny Elfman’s theme perfectly captures the tone of this series which mixes the tough and gritty streets of Central City with campy bright colors and extra baggy 90’s fashion.”

Challenge of the Super Friends by Hoyt Curtin (1978)
“Never-before-released. From the third series of Super Friends cartoons in 1978. In this series Lex Luthor assembles a team of 13 villains called the Legion of Doom. They build their headquarters in a murky swamp and pledge to wipe out the Super Friends. The song opens introducing the villains and then launches into the heroic theme of the previous Super Friends cartoons to introduce the Justice League of America.”

Theme of The Justice League of America by Arthur Korb (1966)
“Out of Print since 1960’s. The song opens with a roll call for the Justice League. It is common for Batman to add bass and grit to his voice to instill fear in criminals and hide his secret identity. However, in this tune he has the least threatening, most whiney voice in the league…..and Wonder Woman is voiced by a dude.”

Robin’s Theme by The Sensational Guitars of Dan and Dale: Sun Ra and the Blues Project (1966)
“A funky soul jam with an amazing vocal line: “I said Robin, Yeah!” Sun Ra: Hammond B-3 Organ, Al Kooper: Organ, Steve Katz: Guitar, Danny Kalb: Guitar, John Gilmore: Tenor Sax, Marshall Allen: Alto Sax, Pat Patrick: Bass, Andy Kulberg: Bass, Roy Blumenfeld: Drums”

Wonder Woman by Arthur Korb (1966)
“Out of Print since 1960’s. This is a pleading love song to Wonder Woman….but it’s clear the guy has no chance.”

Wonder Woman TV Show Season 3 Theme by Charles Fox and Norman Gimble (1978)
“Never-before-released. The Season Three theme remixes the previous seasons’ themes into a dancefloor-filling disco jam.”

Additional DC Tracks

Mischief (Harley Quinn’s Theme) from Infinite Crisis by Matthew Harwood (2015)
“This song captures both the carnival antics and criminally insane intentions of Harley Quinn.”

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Theme by Blake Neely (2016)
“Never-before-released. Produced specifically for this album by composer Blake Neely. This theme opens with tension and builds into a heroic anthem reflecting the volatile nature yet heroic aspirations of the team.”

Metamorpho by Arthur Korb (1966)
“Out of Print since 1960’s. “This is the story of the Element Man, Starts out in ole Egypt Land.” After one listen, you’ll be singing the hook for weeks. “Metamorpho! Metamorpho!”

Get Your Cape On from DC Superhero Girls by Matter Music (2015)
“Never-before-released. A 3-minute version of the theme from DC Superhero Girls. A female empowerment anthem about drawing on one’s own inner courage and strength and with a great chorus.”

The Adventures of Superpup (1958)
“Never-before-released. This was a pilot for a planned spinoff of the popular 1950’s TV show Adventures of Superman. It opens with a drum roll and a pitch to advertisers “Your product, the best of its kind in the world!” There was no music budget, so the score was William Tell Overture which was in the public domain. The show takes place in a world of talking dogs who walk like humans. The cast consists of little people in dog costumes to achieve this effect.”


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