Last week’s Spanish TV theme for Spider-Man sent me looking a little further into Marvel Comics representations in that market and I was delighted to find this single by a Spanish children’s group from the 1980s that exist as sort of a footnote in the bigger page dominated by bands like Menudo, who actually found an audience outside of the Latinx market, and others who were huge within that market but never pierced it.
Regaliz – Spiderman
This Spanish kids’ group from the 1980s proclaim “Spiderman es mi amigo!” on this chipper song. It’s bouncy and cheesy and I cannot bring myself to dislike it, and besides it gets bonus points for dressing up band members in Spidey suits on the cover. Looking over their brief discography, I was really disappointed to find out that “Tom Sawyer” from the same album is NOT the Rush song, though it does have a pleasing “What if Abba had kids and raised them in Spain?” vibe to it. More importantly, they did a cover of the Village People’s “Can’t Stop The Music.”
The band’s name translates to “Licorice” and the band’s creation was in response to their label, Belter, having an earlier succes with an all-kid group called Parchis. Regaliz starred in two movies — La Rebellion de Pajaros and Buenas noches, señor monstruo — and appeared in a couple others. The band dissolved after a few years thanks to puberty and the elusiveness of commercial success, but they did record the song “Batman” under the name Super Babys and I found this TV appearance in 2009 by band member Astrid Fenollar though she isn’t wearing a Spidey suit. Buy it here or stream it on Spotify.
Obviously there are other countries that have gotten Spidey fever and here are a few more examples.
Big Youth – Spiderman Meets the Hulk
Jamaican musician Manley Augustus Buchanan delivers a reggae song that should have a pretty straightforward narrative, but I can’t actually say I pick up any narrative about the big battle itself, just something about Disneyland and Spider-Man talking in a “rub a dub style,” which you can read all about here. Buchanan himself is pretty interesting though, and despite the fact this song is an oddity to us, it’s just a small portion of a wider contribution to the Jamaican reggae scene.
I’ve seen mention that he is considered one of the earliest reggae artist to be upfront and public about his Rastafarian beliefs, which I thought was a just an understood thing, but research reveals it is not. He was raised by a Christian preacher mother and a cop father in Jamaica, so becoming a Rastafarian wasn’t a popular decision in his family. His first hit was in 1972 with “Ace 90 Skank” and it seems to pretty well represent his influential pre-hip hop rapping style. He and Johnny Rotten did a lot of hanging out when Big Youth toured England in 1977 — and there are pictures to prove it! And as near as I can tell, he’s still at it. Buy it here.
edo. – Spider-Man
Brooding and creepy song by French singer/songwriter edo. He is actually singing about Spider-Man and if you’re trying to find out more about him, he’s almost as elusive, but feel free to check out his Bandcamp page. Buy it here.
Giorgio Vanni – Spider-man
This Italian singer and former member of a 80s band called Tomato is best known these days for writing and performing songs for Italian-dub cartoons, his first being for Pokemon in 1995. He’s maintained his own “serious music” career all along, but it’s his animation dubs that have become his bread and butter. As near as I understand, this is the Italian theme to Spider-man Unlimited. The English translation of the lyrics includes gems like “always with agility / come up with skill / Because you’re never afraid /you throw the web and go!” Buy it here or stream it on Spotify.
Ciro D’Amico – Spider-Man
The Italian version of the 1981 Spider-Man cartoon had a special theme too. It’s easy going and bouncy and friendly, so I felt bad leaving it out. I’ve found no proof that Ciro D’Amico is a real person, however.