My History With The Superman Soundtrack

My History With The Superman Soundtrack

The late 70s was an interesting time for me.

I was 8 years old when Star Wars was released in 1978, but I was living in Germany as an Army Brat with my family.

Because of the way on-post film releases worked back in those days, I wasn’t able to see the film until 1979 – and even then, I had to watch it with German audio at an off-post theater.

But I knew quite a bit by then about “A galaxy far, far away…” because of a bootleg copy of “The Story of Star Wars” my father had recorded to cassette from an 8-track tape. This meant I had to endure an insane amount of track changes interrupting my listening time.


Unfortunately, this post isn’t about The Story of Star Wars, but it was important to mention it because that tale sets the stage for the real story – the soundtrack to Superman: The Movie.

While in Germany, we had to drive almost two hours on the Autobahn to find an American shopping center, so our trips were limited to just a few times a year. Gasoline rationing also kept those trips to a minimum. But once we arrived, I was always amazed at the stuff that had been going on in popular culture back in the United States.

By late 1978, I had seen the movie trailer for Superman, but my friends and I had already asked the theater manager about it and were told it wasn’t going to be shown locally for at least two years after it premiered in the states. If you remember watching the trailer for the first time yourself, you really could believe a man could fly…
[Via] The Trailer Gal

A few weeks after seeing the trailer, we took one of our shopping trips to the center of our American universe at the time – Kelley Barracks in Stuttgart. It was there that I saw the album cover for the Superman soundtrack and was struck silent by the cover.

Superman the Movie soundtrack

“Mom..! I have GOT to have this record..!” I begged. It was a double album and came with a hefty price tag to match. My weekly allowance at the time was $1 and this record would blow my future income to pieces.

“You don’t need it,” she said.

I tried to explain to her how the film wasn’t coming to our theater for a million years and I just HAD to get the record because that’s how I would know all about the movie – just like my Story of Star Wars recording had enlightened me in the past.

This conversation lasted the better part of the morning and spilled over into lunch. I even offered to forgo my usual toy gift that my brother and I normally received on these trips in exchange for a copy of this vinyl masterpiece.

I also agreed to never, ever ask for anything else again. I know for a fact that I uttered these exact words because almost 40 years later, my father constantly reminds me of them.

I guess I finally wore my parents down because I rode home with a copy of the Superman soundtrack in my hands and read every name and description found inside.

Somewhere between Stuttgart and home, I began to have a panic attack. Detailed reading of the record jacket and back cover had me silently gasping for air in the back seat of my father’s red Impala. I had just realized that I purchased two records of the movie’s symphonic score led by composer John Williams – not the scripted audio drama I had experienced with my Story of Star Wars cassette.

Superman Soundtrack Liner

I think I listened to that soundtrack twice. Once because I thought it might have some spoken script hidden inside. And once again just to be sure of my failure.

Years later, I purchased the CD re-mastered version of the soundtrack and fell in love with it. My younger self may have overlooked the work of John Williams, but as an adult, it became a constant addition to my driving playlist.

If you have only heard the film’s score while watching Superman, I highly recommend giving it a try.

[Via] Disco Channel

Close Menu