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Pop Culture News

CD review: Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Superhero (Winthrop Records)

Twenty-seven years before Spidey crossed over from comics onto the big screen to entertain millions and rake in zillions, he crossed over into rock'n'roll and least several dozen comics geeks who weren't cool enough for Led Zep or silly enough for Kiss.

"Rock Reflections of a Super-Hero" is a camp time capsule full of very 70s "rock" music interspersed with deadpan narration by Spidey creator Stan Lee. It's a concept album (remember those)--a musical examination of Spidey's tortured psyche. In tunes that touch on various musical styles (jazz, hard rock, light rock, doo wop, reggae), we hear about Peter Parker's daily struggles as both high school geek and super-hero. Songs include "Peter Stays and Spider-Man Goes," "No One's Got a Crush on Peter," "Gwendolyn" (a doo-wop dedication to Spidey's girlfriend Gwen Stacy) and the two-part "Dr. Octopus," which verges on prog rock.

The album doesn't include that catchy "Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can" theme. That was from the 60s Spidey cartoon, an entirely different project altogether.

Taken for what it is--an extended bit of well-intentioned silliness that's very much a piece of its time--this reissue on CD is a lot of fun. The packaging even includes "Jazzy" John Romita's cover art, which includes illustrations of all the "backup musicians," such as Silver Surfer on keyboards, the Fantastic Four on background vocals, Captain America on tambourine and a remarkably restrained Incredible Hulk on drums. In reality those roles were filled by anonymous studio musicians. The only familiar name on the credits is that of Dave Sanborn, who went on to fame as a pre-Kenny G. jazz lite saxophone star.

More news

Site added: Exploitika Radio

CD Review: Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Super-Hero

CD Review: Sons of the Pioneers: The Ultimate Collection

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Rhino Records co-founder launches new retro label

Metamorpho the Element Man among new action figures from DC Direct

Newspaper column celebrate's Jack Kirby's "Kamandi"

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Bond cars and gadgets go on display in London exhibit

Shatner to host cult film show on Sci-Fi

G.I. Joe "Sinbad" figures (with Kung-Fu Grip!) slated for 2003

"Alias" companion book and novelisations in the works

"Alias" action figures reportedly on the way

"Kirby Monsters" and "Marvel Comics Handbook" sites added

Jewish Week posts nice profile of comics great Will Eisner

Fox posts official "Firefly" site

"Outer Limits" coming on DVD

Civilization's end nigh: Talk of a Wonder Twins movie surfaces

Hear Stan Lee and Jack Kirby interviews online

No "Buffy" movie for Sarah Michelle

Toy Biz launches "Marvel Select" action figures

"Indiana Jones" sequel plans firming up

Garner suited up and kicking butt in "Daredevil"

Page added: "Alias"

"Scorpion King" baddie to perpetrate evil in "X-Men" sequel

"Spider-Man" DVD will include comics

Lena Olin coming aboard as Sydney's mom on "Alias"

Wally Wood's "T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents" to be featured in hardcover comics collection

Rhino DVD to release "Ed Sullivan's Rock'n'Roll Classics" and "Elvis: The Great Performances"

New book covers history of underground comix

Rolling Stones catalog set for remastering on SACD

Sites added: Bios of Windsor McKay, Alex Raymond, Walt Kelly and other comic strip greats

"X-Men 2" to feature Nightcrawler

Site added: Superhero Hype

New York Review of Books nicely sums up the Silver Age of comics in "Spider-Man" review

"Mad" mag's Dave Berg passes away

New opening date and more skinny on "Daredevil"

Music stars gather for Ramones tribute CD

Marvel's "Ghostrider" moviebound

Site added: Daredevil--The Man With No Fear

Site added: Comics Worth Reading

Rhino reissues a cryptful of creepy classics on DVD

Rhino boxes up a batch of 80s music

Restoration of Chaplin films for DVD underway

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