One of the unexpected results of searching far and wide for Spider-Man music is that I have noticed that though the official Marvel Comics spelling is “Spider-Man” everyone has their own preference of how to spell it, often wrong. As I write about Spider-Man songs, I will do my best to honor the spelling preference of each artist I list.
It’s also made me think about something I never really considered it. When I first became aware of Spider-Man, he had probably only been around less than 10 years. And that’s just the comic book. I had seen the cartoon series if not first run, not too far afterward.
So Spider-Man was a young character when I encountered him. That youth — both in the character and in the product — gave Spider-Man a certain hipness that there was no way Superman had, and the only way to give it to Batman was to play it corny. Those two were authority figures. Spider-Man, even to a six-year-old, was like me.
Which makes it surprising he did not infect music very much back then. Most of the tracks I found in my songs about Spider-Man journey are recent, or at least in the last decade or two. I suppose that’s because of the movies. When I was a kid, there was just the cartoon show, though that theme did make a cultural impact similar to the Batman theme, and there are plenty of cover versions of that. The Ramones’ version gets a lot of traction, but there are so many more, and I plan on covering them later on. I think people like it because unlike the Batman theme, it has fun, goofy lyrics.
One thing that hadn’t occurred to me, though, is that there were other Spider-Man cartoons in other parts of the world and that these versions would have their own themes. This led me to …
Captain Memo – Spider-Man el Hombre Araña
This happy little song is from the 1981 album Superbanda, which may or may not have been recorded by a band named Superbanda, which is also responsible for a number of other albums. I’m also a little confused as to whether Captain Memo is a member of Superbanda or if Superbanda is just a fake name on top of a fake name for him, since his real name is Memo Aguirre and he is from Chile. He is renowned in Latin America for singing the songs featured in popular animated shows, and Spider-Man is one of those — this song seems to have been the theme to “El Hombre Araña en América Latina,” which translates to The Spider-Man in Latin America. Or maybe this other song from the same record was the theme. I’m guessing this disco song from the album, “Spider Power,” was not. I don’t know. Just enjoy the song. Enjoy the whole album for that matter, whether it’s by Superbanda or Captain Memo or whoever.
Themes aside, the thing about many of the songs about Spider-Man that I’ve found is that even decades after my own childhood, a lot of them seem to written by people who identify with him. He’s still seen as someone for young people, and maybe that has something to do with the fact that he’s not just Peter Parker anymore, there seem to be several versions, each speaking to a different and newer audience, and often from the screen.
Here are a few more Spider-Songs to discover:
Black Lips – Spidey’s Curse
This garage band from Atlanta, Georgia, delivers an almost perfect retro-60s song starts right up front urging Peter Parker that he has every right to retaliate against his bullies now that he has spider powers. It’s very sympathetic and implies some stuff about magic, too. Buy it here or stream it on Spotify.
Boyfriend Material – Normie(Spider-Man)
The riff sounds a little like the theme to The Kids in the Hall, which is actually a song by Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet called “Having an Average Weekend,” but that’s fine. This song specifically refers to a “Spider-Man trashcan under my head” and some guy who goes by a nickname for Norman, and it’s some catchy music from Gainesville, Florida. The whole EP is pretty good! Buy it here.
The Clintons – Spiderman
This catchy 2003 power pop song takes advantage of a person who wasn’t paying attention to make some claims about Spider-Man’s appearance that may or may not be true. We’ve all done it. My hot take: This is a horrible name for a band, which is too bad because I like the song. Buy it here or stream it on Spotify.
Fielfraz – Spider-Man
Is the first line of the song actually “Spider-Man spies a fruit on the table”? This 90s Danish band sure does deliver a brooding version of Spider-Man, sung from the perspective of someone who Spider-Man has in some way wronged. Wronged emotionally. Like a girlfriend or the Green Goblin. English definitely seems like a second language here. Buy it here.
Filthy Blonde – Spider Man Crazy Legs
This loud garage noise is coming from Knoxville, Tennessee, and it’s ready for the party. A great call and response built around a bunch of nonsense and Spider-Man noticing some legs he likes. A lot. Buy it here.
Hell in the Club – I Wanna Swing Like Peter Parker
Straight to the point Italian metal that becomes something else entirely half-way through. I’m not even going to pretend that I can follow the lyrics here, but I totally absorbed the big band refrain and the words “garbage can.” Buy it here or stream it on Spotify.