By Charlie Brigden
Title: The Danny Elfman Batman Collection – Batman/Batman Returns
Composer: Um.. Danny Elfman?
The Film: Either classics of the superhero genre or overbaked puddings depending on your opinion, Tim Burton’s Batflicks are nonetheless both iconic precursors to the blockbusters of today.
The Score: Two sonic behemoths. Batman was the score that put Elfman on the map and is more of a typical action score (though no less great for that), while Returns is Mr. Elfman’s Wild Ride, with no instrument left untouched. Both are examples of the composer’s true brilliance, and while Returns may seem like the overall more accomplished work – I imagine due to more freedom – some of Batman‘s cues are worldbeaters.
Distinguishing Features: Both albums have technically been issued before and are long out of print, but while Returns is a straight reissue, Batman has been assembled from a newly-found digital master, and you can tell. I didn’t have the previous release, but I A/B’d this with the original 1989 CD and it’s like cleaning your windscreen after a snowstorm – Batman sounds truly super, and the sounds really shines.
Final Thoughts: If you want a happy holiday, buy this box set. It’s a good price considering the contents, the artwork and liners are top notch, but you need these scores in this quality – Batman is a revelation. An important work brilliantly presented.
The Danny Elfman Batman Collection is out now from La-La Land Records