There’s bad and then there’s gloriously bad. Superman and other Disco Hits falls into the latter category. It’s as if a truckload of cruddy collided with the bad taste train.
Where to even begin? Let’s start with the record label. Pickwick was a no budget label that specialized in the quick cash-in. They’d look for a hot trend and then whip up an album using studio musicians and, allegedly, high school students for the album cover art. Pickwick released a lot of sound-alikes, albums that contained popular songs but not the original artists, like this Watkins Glen record, for example. This allowed them to avoid the legal hassles of securing rights to the original recordings, and it also meant that they didn’t have to pay royalties to the original musicians (just the copyright holders).
One can almost hear the planning session in Pickwick’s office sometime in late 1978:
“What’s hot right now?”
“The kids love the Superman and the Star Wars.”
“Great. What else?”
“Disco. Kids love disco.”
“There it is, people. Let’s knock out a disco Superman/space movie record.”
“Okay, chief. What do we call the band?”
“Hell, I don’t know. Something spacey.”
“How about the Doctor Exx Band?”
“Good enough. Let’s go to lunch.”
The result was a kitsch classic. I’ll listen to this track all day long without a hint of smirk or irony:
If you want your own copy of Superman and other Disco Hits, keep an eye on your local charity shops and yard sales, where it’s a quarter record. If you just can’t wait, expect to pay around five bucks online for a copy. Happy hunting.
And if you or someone you know was involved in the making of this record or worked for Pickwick, please get in touch. I’d love to talk to you.
Categories: From the Stacks