If This Isn’t Your Sort Of Thing, ‘Flight Of The Conchords’ Have A New Album Out, But You’ll Have To Pay Actual Money For That.

I’ve written at length before about my love for the work of Jim ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ Steinman, and I’m pretty sure that I’ve touched on my fondness for Batman, so you can probably imagine the double-surge of fanboy glee I experienced this weekend when I found this, a site about the started-but-never-produced Batman musical.

Steinman was booked to write the songs for the musical, and as ridiculous a pairing as that might sound, I think it’s pretty much perfect; not just because of his experience of writing songs with the word ‘Bat’ in them, but because Steinman pretty much specialises in wildly operatic and overblown (he tends to use the word ‘engorged’) songs about damnation and the like. Seriously, I think it would have been a perfect pairing, and of course Steinman has experience of writing for stage musicals (‘Whistle Down The Wind’ in London, and ‘Tanz Der Vampire’ in Germany).

For whatever reason, it didn’t happen – but thanks to the wonders of the internet, and the hosting skills of Madhatterster, various details are available – but even more importantly, demos of songs which Steinman wrote for the musical can be downloaded, for free. For a perfect example of the kind of insanely overdone stuff I love so much in Steinman’s work, I’d point you towards the song ‘Gotham City / The Graveyard Shift’. Those of you who, like me, have followed Steinman’s stuff for a long time will recognise a number of themes (in terms of both lyrics and music) which he’s used before, but I find that oddly reassuring.

And if you don’t care for any of it, fair enough; despite what the pages of NME might have you believe, the world’s big enough for us to have differing opinions on music (though I’m right).

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5 Comments

  1. Great stuff! We are kinded spirits when it comes to Steinman’s musical and lyrical grandiloquence and general over-the-top-ness. I was thrilled when I discovered his girlie project PANDORA’S BOX – criminally overlooked by many supposed music historians – but miffed when half the songs turned up on BOOH3 with Mr Loaf attempting to hit the high notes. The Batman musical is something I’d heard of but never heard any of so this was a terrific find. All together now!

    ‘CAN’T YOU HEAR THE CHOIR NOW?
    LISTEN TO THE ANIMALS SING! CAN’T YOU HEAR THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE BELLS?
    IN THE LAND OF THE PIG, THE BUTCHER IS KING! IN THE LAND OF THE PIG, THE BUTCHER IS KING!’

  2. Ah, Pandora’s Box! Probably because of it running at something like 75 mins and thus being on thin tape, my cassette of it wore out due to repeated playing (I was a student when it came out and couldn’t afford a CD player, let alone the discs).
    Have you heard Jim’s solo album ‘Bad for Good’? Most of the songs have been recycled elsewhere, and his singing voice isn’t really suited to that range (he admits as much on his rarely-updated blog), but it’s as overblown and ridiculous as you might expect.
    Various bits are pretty much repeated in the Batman stuff, such as ‘We’re Still The Children’ taking what I think is the piano line from ‘Surf’s Up’ (itself later covered by Mr Loaf).
    A lot of people class this stuff as ‘guiilty pleasures’, but I feel no guilt or shame about it at all – despite the sneers such a stance invariably elicits from my more ‘muso’ (their word, not mine) friends.
    J

  3. I have Steinman’s album somewhere. I also have PANDORA’S BOX if you want some MP3s. Elaine Caswell, who’s singing on ‘Pig’ was one of the Pandoras if my ailing memory is correct.

  4. I’ve got them both on CD now, but appreciate the offer. By way of reciprocation, do you have the two Steinman songs (‘Nowhere Fast’ and ‘Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young’) from the (ahem) cult film ‘Streets of Fire’? If not, I do, nudge nudge wink wink…
    I’m sure you’re right about Elaine Caswell – if my questionable memory serves, the Clash Song ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go?’ was about her or one of the other Pandoras; I also seem to recall reading somewhere that one of the members was actually a mix of vocals from a number of different singers, which seems so odd that I hope it’s a myth.
    J

  5. Nope. The rumours are true. The bizarrely named ‘Deliria Wilde’ was actually the combined vocals of Laura Theodore, Holly Sherwood and Laurie Sargent. Apparently.

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