• The Amazing Spider-Man: 5 Complete Stories Record
  • Superman: The Mxyztplk-Up Menace Record
  • . The Official Adventures of Aquaman, The Flash and Green Lantern Record
  • Children's Treasury of Batman Musical Stories Record
  • Children's Treasury of Superman Musical Stories Record

Pow! Bam! Zap! A Collector’s Favourite Vintage Superhero Records

Everyone knows superhero characters, from Superman and Wonder Woman to the X-Men and the Scarlet Witch and their many incarnations. But when Batman first appeared on the TV screen in January 1966, the genre took off with increased comic sales, toys, and animation. Record albums were affected, too! Here are my top five vintage superhero-themed titles, listed in no particular order:

1. The Amazing Spider-Man: 5 Complete Stories (Power, 1974)

Marvel’s popular swinging webhead is featured in five adventure stories beginning with The Invasion of the Dragon Men, written and produced by Arthur Korb. Despite the absence of Spidey’s most formidable foes (such as Green Goblin and the Vulture), his witty quips add an entertaining twist to each story as he faces off against average villains, such as Draco the Dragon, the Mad Hatter of Manhattan, and Merlin the Magician. It’s so much fun that I often find myself speaking along with his dialogue every time I play the album.

2. Superman: The Mxyztplk-Up Menace (Power, 1975)

I admit that I was not a fan of the superhero comics as a kid (that was my younger brother’s thing), this 7″ LP started to change my perspective. Radio actor Elliott Lewis portrayed the Man of Steel and Clark Kent effortlessly as our titular hero attempts to rid Metropolis of the imp from the fifth dimension, Mr. Mxyztplk, who causes problems by having everyone speak without vowels. It may seem like a ridiculous story, but it works on audio with a talented cast, exciting background music, and sound effects. And the artwork by the late Neal Adams is a definite plus!

3. The Official Adventures of Aquaman, The Flash and Green Lantern (Leo the Lion, 1967)

I was drawn to this album by its captivating cover art. The vibrant purple background makes everything leap off the page! The album covers the origin stories of the three title characters. Among the stories is a flashback where the Flash takes center stage in a pivotal scene. As he demonstrates his powers to the public and scientists, a tornado suddenly materializes in Central City. What follows is the exhilarating sound of the Flash using his super speed to neutralize the threat. And if that weren’t enough, the album features the iconic voice talent of Peter Fernandez (known for Speed Racer) as both Aquaman and Jay Garrick (the original Golden Age Flash).

4. Children’s Treasury of Batman Musical Stories (Tifton, 1966 / Peter Pan, 1967 — reissue)

The “musical stories” of this album are regular songs, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. The opening track, Look Out for the Batman, is undeniably inspired by the Neal Hefti-penned television series theme – not to mention the following lines from the song: “He swings his mighty fist, ka-powee and ka-zoom! And thirty crooks go flying clear across the room!” The album covers 10 songs – two for each character: Batman, Robin, the Joker, the Penguin, and the Batmobile – compiled from a series of 7″ 45s with die-cut covers of the characters. Batman Musical Stories is part of my list of the top 10 albums — it’s that fun!

5. Children’s Treasury of Superman Musical Stories (Tifton, 1966)

The approach is equivalent to the title above, but this time with twelve songs. Each character has two: Superman, Lois Lane, Superboy, Mr. Mxyztplk, Jimmy Olsen, and Krypto the Superdog. Like Batman, each has a unique die-cut cover designed for the 7” 45s, although I could only locate one featuring Superman. Nevertheless, the album is another fun outing to add to this group!

And there you have it – a handful of superhero-themed discs with incredible powers. But hold on — what’s that? The signal is flashing! It’s my cue to become Record-Man (!) and use this fantastic music collection to save the world. To the turntable!