Yes, that is Spock in the headphones. The year was 1979. These are some of my LPs, themed compilations, and the like.


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Monday, February 28, 2011

Meet One of My Oldest Friends

When I was ten years old and my mom bought me this record, I didn;t know it was a cheap knockoff.  I didn't know that "The Supermen" were not a real group, but a group of musical hacks or sessions men whose producer had slapped that name on their temporary assembly, just to make a few bucks off the kiddies.

It was 1966, according to the copyright tagline on the back of my record.  At least it featured an actual licensed picture of the Man of Steel, one of the iconic Wayne Boring poses from the 1950s.

Since, thank God, my mom was a voracious reader, I was aware that there was an annual anthology book, called something like Best Plays of 1965-1966 or some such.  The series was on a shelf next to the elevator at the library.  So, at ten or eleven, I checked out the book and read the play.

Wow, was it not-fun!  Not because of my unsophisticated reading skills, but because it was more about new characters (the Daily Planet publisher I think, and a dumb villain), and NOT about the stable of characters in the comic and TV Superman Family.

You see, I could read.  For example, in second grade I was reading sixth grade level stuff.  In fourth grade my mom asked the chief librarian if it was safe for me that I didn't check out kids' books any more, only adult ones. 

By the way, in the 1960s books about flying saucers were not shelved in the "001" section they are nowadays.  (This is the "unknown" ection where you will also find Bigfoot and ghosts).  No, in the 1960s I knew I could fint the saucer books at 629.13.

But back to this record ...

As you may be able to hear, I just about wore it out.  And how can you go wrong, from a record label called Spinorama!?!?

The first two songs are indeed from the 1966 musical play.  The other eight are filler!  Of course at ten I didn't know that.  In a similar way to all the knockoff spy records of the 1960s, most of the songs that aren't "authentic" are actually public-domain tunes ("Sweet Betsy from Pike," "Song of the Volga Boatmen"), rearranged and given titles appropriate to the subject matter.

At least the filler songs were given titles with a little humor!  "Curse of the Double L," and don't forget "Bizarro Boogie"!

Let me tell you a little about the origin of this blog.  I have several hundred records.  Only a handful are left from my youth; most were acquired in late high schol and college.

Wonderful Joyce (she who is my wife), for Christmas a couple of months ago, gave me an mp3 turntable.  So I have been going through those records and keeping only a handful -- 20 or so, my old friends with sentimental attachments.  Like this record!

As you may have noticed, this is not a music-theft blog.  I'm posting my own compilations or LPs that are not in CD release.  I want to share memories, not cheat somebody.

And let me tell you, "de-clicking" technology is a wonderful thing.  It couldn't make this album sound new, but it certainly helped make it listenable.

If any of you, my friends, might remember this album, let me know!  Or let me know if you at least get a smile from it.  I hope you do.

Here are the ten semi-silly tracks:

01 - It’s Superman
02 - You’ve Got Possibilities
03 - Man of Steel
04 - Kryptonite
05 - Fortress of Solitude
06 - Mr. Mxyzptlk
07 - Bizarro Boogie
08 - Curse of the Double L
09 - Clark Kent’s Secret Identity
10 - Metropolis by Night

and here is the link:

PS:  You can but this LP from an online vendor for something like $39 according to a search I did the other day.  But I really doubt that very many of you, my friends, have record players any more.

When I was ten, I could listen to the title track unironically.  Thank heavens I can still do that!  You see, I think it is a good idea to NOT MAKE FUN OF EVERYTHING by being snarky.  Or, as they say in SF, suspend your disbelief.  We don't win points by sneering at things.

Good day.


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