If you grew up in the 1970’s or ’80s, chances are your first exposure to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the other DC characters wasn’t comic books, live-action television shows, or even movies. It was the Saturday morning cartoon phenomenon Super Friends. Created by Hanna-Barbera and running from 1973-1986 (and then for years in weekday afternoon syndication), the show introduced an entire generation to these superheroes for the first time.
Super Friends was crudely animated, filled with nonsensical plots and silly characterization, and littered with mistakes. But if you were in the target demographic of 4 to 8-year-old children, then Super Friends was the coolest thing ever, and hearing that theme song got you pumped like nobody’s business. And there’s a good chance that it’s what led you to pick up a comic book featuring those characters when you were older, and finding out that the Justice League were even cooler in their original medium.
Another phenomenon of the ’70s that can’t be understated was disco music. From about 1974-1979, disco ruled the radio airwaves, and the world was gettin’ down on the dance floor. There were disco versions of just about everything that was huge in pop culture at the time. Disco Star Wars? Check. Disco Mickey Mouse? Check. Sesame Street Fever? Check. And it turns out that in France, the Super Friends got their own disco album as well, titled Let’s Dance With Super Friends, which thankfully has showed up on YouTube, at least in part, thanks to a user name Otomokik.
The main Super Friends theme song is delightfully weird, and features a roll call of characters by French performers doing their best to sound like stoic American do-gooders and failing miserably (although it’s nice that Black Canary gets a shout out, despite never appearing on the Super Friends show or even the cover of the record). Based on images on the back album cover, the album also featured disco versions of the John Williams Superman theme and the Wonder Woman TV theme, as well as songs named Sound from Krypto [sic], Gotham City, You’re A Wonder, and Shazam The Magic Word.
You can listen to the disco Super Friends song in the video above, and if anyone out there reading this has access to this record and can upload those other songs on to YouTube, you will have this DC fanboy and kitsch aficionado’s eternal gratitude.
IMAGES: DC Comics/Warner Brothers