“Top Five Super-Hero Albums”
by Joe Grodensky and Steven Biscotti
If you’re like us, have exquisite taste in music, and most of your musical preferences are based on how they are rooted within super-hero films, then there are a bunch of albums and songs you probably have listened to… and own. Maybe you spent your summer crooning to “Vindicated” by Dashboard Confessional, perhaps you were too busy brooding to “The End is the Beginning is the End” by Smashing Pumpkins, or too busy bat-dancing to “Party Man” by Prince. Either way, there’s a lot of great music from and inspired by super-hero films. We took a look through our iPods and Zunes, and spent a great amount of time listening to and compiling a list of the top five super-hero albums and songs every fan should know. Here they are:
Whether or not you like Nickelback, they had a song that we all listened to during the spring and summer of 2002. “Hero” by Chad Kroeger of Nickelback, featuring Josey Scott of Saliva won the MTV Video Music Award in 2002 and went 4x Platinum in the U.S.A. and 8x Platinum in Canada. Some call it cheese. We call it Spider-Man.
There’s also a pretty great version of the Spider-Man Theme by Aerosmith. Joe Perry, coincidentally, performed the Spider-Man FOX animated series theme, as well.
Notable for many aspects, the film marked an interesting time musically for Marvel. Daredevil The Album marked the first collaboaration between Marvel and Wind-Up Records. Their follow up albums were The Punisher The Album, Elektra The Album, and Fantastic Four.
The song For You by The Calling is a stand out track on the album. It peaked at number 10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Adult top 40 tracks after its release in March, 2003. Backed by an orchestra, the band delivered a powerful song which has the formula of a superhero song. It fit the film very well seeing a blind Matt Murdock fall in love with Elektra as both discover who the other one is.
III. Spider-Man 2
For some reason everyone’s friendly neighborhood wall-crawler has a way with music. He’s monopolized the super-hero albums genre and has a storied history with Broadway. The undeniable song of the summer, which all of us belonging to a specific generation will attest to, was Dashboard Confessional’s “Vindicated.” Reminding us that “hope dangles on a string”, the song reached the Top 10 of the U.S. album charts the summer of 2004.
IV. Batman Forever
1995 was good for three things: Batman Forever glass mugs, Batman animated Happy Meal toys and the likelihood of Seal serenading us with his hit Kiss From a Rose as we enjoyed our Big Macs.
Kiss From a Rose was originally released in July 1994 as a single off the album Seal aka Seal II. In 1995, the song was re-released as part of the Batman Forever soundtrack where it took off. It reached number 1 on five international charts, four being in the U.S. It also won Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 1996 Grammy Awards.
Arguably Seal’s greatest song which will forever be associated with the greatest Batman movie ever made, it was this song that made us believe we could be Batman, drive the Batmobile (chicks dig the car) and get Nicole Kidman.
V. Sound of Superman
2006. Rhino. This compilation. Created as a music from and inspired by album and released alongside the John Ottman score for Superman Returns, Sound of Superman was a collection of 14 original and classic songs, redone by current bands. Featuring covers of classic songs such as “Superman”, “Wish I Could Fly Like Superman”, and “Sunshine Superman”; there were also new songs like “The Rescue”, “Saved”, and “Meet Me At My Window.”
If you enjoy Superman or songs celebrating themes of justice, heroism, and flight, then this is the underrated and somewhat forgotten album that every fan should have.
As you can see, the songs featured in the comic book movies and albums are as varying and colorful as the heroes themselves. Are these songs and albums on your playlist too? Are there any albums or songs that you feel should have made the Top Five cut?