The Klingonz – Spiderman
This psychobilly band is originally from Dublin and has been at it since 1988. I note that recently, and maybe still, they were performing dressed up like clowns, which I guess is appropriate because they are known for madcap stage antics, but this song is from their second album called Blurb when they were still firmly entrenched in a more punk look. This song starts out with a surf-style reprise of the cartoon theme and then bursts into a thrashabilly treatment of the same music. Buy it here or stream it on Spotify.
Katrina and the Waves – Spiderman
Katrina and the Waves are surely best known for the song “Walking on Sunshine,” which even if you’ve never heard on its own you’ve probably encountered during a movie trailer soundtrack for some comedy. Or if you used to hang out at Michele Bachman rallies. Like so many hit-making bands in the 1980s, they were never quite able to recapture the hit magic of their one signature song, at least not in the United States. The band’s first recording was in 1982, with a full album in 1983 that featured both “Walking on Sunshine” AND “Spiderman.” And then “Spiderman” was the actually the b-side to the “Walking on Sunshine” single, which sold astonishingly well and became one of the staples of the decade.
Unfortunately “Walking on Sunshine” would only hit its major heights with a 1985 rerelease in America, which didn’t feature “Spiderman” as the B-side like the British original, but “Going Down To Liverpool.” In fact “Spiderman” didn’t even make the American compilation album that was a huge seller for the band. “Walking on Sunshine,” however, still makes a million dollars a year for the publishing company that now owns it.
So “Spiderman” didn’t go much of anywhere, and neither did Katrina and the Waves for that matter. They could never replicate their success, though bizarrely in 1997, they won the Eurovision Song Contest. As for “Spiderman,” it’s a pretty brief lyric about a girl trying to win Spidey’s love by being rescued by him, because “I gone crazy about that silk and steel,” even if people tell poor Katrina that Spidey doesn’t actually exist. Buy it here or stream it on Spotify.
The Men – Do the Spiderman
Not to be confused with the Brooklyn band of the same name, this is a Swedish band called The Men who specialize in retro-60s garage rock and do it extremely well. In this 2006 release Spider-Man is a crazy dance that helps you keep a hold on your girl, a very possessive, unpredictable dance. Buy it here or stream it on Spotify.
Strange Monsters – Spider-Man
This is a bit of guitar-crunching introspection about Spider-Man learning how to look at things differently from the way he first encounters them — Mary Jane, his own persona — that is spun around as advice to whoever the song was written for. Spider-Man as a vehicle for self-actualization, I guess. The band is from Pittsburgh and one of the members, Don Strange, recorded this earlier version of the song. Buy it here or stream it on Spotify.
Veruca Salt – Spider-Man ’79
No, not the spoilt child from Willy Wonka, but the ‘90s alternative band renowned for having two frontwomen. This song has the plodding grunge musical procession that the ‘90s are so renowned for, with lyrics about being tied in a web and being on a wall. Imagine how groovy this would be if it was recorded by the spoilt child from Willy Wonka, though. Very groovy. Buy it here or stream it on Spotify.