Superman (Black Lace song)

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"Superman"
Single by Black Lace
from the album Party Party
B-side "Teardrops in Your Eyes"
Released 1983
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
Recorded 1983 at Woodlands Studio, Normanton
Genre Pop, novelty, synthpop[1]
Length 3:35 (album/single version)
4:56 (12" version)
Label Carrere Records (France)
Flair Records (UK)
Writer(s) Claudio Cecchetto, Claudio Simonetti
Black Lace singles chronology
"Mary Ann"
(1979)
"Superman"
(1983)
"Hey You"
(1983)

"Superman" (also titled "Gioca Jouer"[1]) is a 1981 novelty song[2][3] written by Italian musicians Claudio Cecchetto and Claudio Simonetti,[1] most famous for the 1983 recording by Black Lace.[4]

The UK single's B-side, "Teardrops in Your Eyes", was an original composition by Black Lace's Alan Barton and Colin Routh.[1]

Overview[edit]

The original version of the song was played in Spanish discos, where John Wagtaff (head of Flair Records) heard it while looking for a style of music that would be popular in the United Kingdom.[5] When translated into English, "Gioca Jouer" became "Superman".[6]

The song featured a number of dance gestures that acted out the lyrics – including walking, swimming, skiing, spraying deodorant, sounding a horn, ringing a bell, flexing muscles as a "Macho Man" and flying like Superman.[7] These dance moves were detailed on the record sleeve.[3]

On the Black Lace recording, the intro drum fill was played by Wakefield drummer Barry Huffinley; the remaining rhythm was programmed using a sequencer.[5] The song was recorded at Woodlands Studio in Normanton, West Yorkshire.[5][8]

In 1987, Colin Gibb released an alternative version of the song with explicit lyrics, entitled "Supercock".[9]

Reception[edit]

The single was released in the UK in September 1983;[4] its first UK chart appearance was on 10 September, when it was ranked #94.[10] It peaked at #9 on 22 October, and was last on the chart at #73 on 21 January 1984, having spent 20 weeks in the top 100.[10]

The song was released in 1984 on the group's debut album, Party Party,[11] which reached #4 on the UK Albums Chart.[12]

The song has become a staple of many children's parties in the UK, and the subject of many covers, mainly for children.[13]

Analysis[edit]

Some analysts (including Paul Simpson and The Guardian's Will Dean) draw parallels between the song and Friedrich Nietzsche's Übermensch concept.[14][15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Black Lace – Superman (Gioca Jouer)". Discogs. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  2. ^ Deregibus, Enrico (2006). Dizionario Completo Della: Canzone Italiana. Milan: Giunti Editore. p. 107. ISBN 88-09-75625-8. 
  3. ^ a b "Black Lace – Superman". Discogs. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Evans, Richard; Fry, Martin (2009). Remember the 80s: Now That's What I Call Nostagia!. London: Anova Books. p. 63. ISBN 1-906032-12-2. 
  5. ^ a b c Dobson, Terry (2009). And Then Came Agadoo. AuthorHouse. p. 431. ISBN 1-4389-8675-0. 
  6. ^ Mawer, Sharon. "Black Lace". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "B Listing (6)". Essential Eighties. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  8. ^ Dobson, Terry (2009). And Then Came Agadoo. AuthorHouse. p. 435. ISBN 1-4389-8675-0. 
  9. ^ "Supercock". Amazon. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Ford, Matt. "Superman (Gioca Jouer)". Chart Stats. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "Black Lace – Party Party". Discogs. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  12. ^ Ford, Matt. "Superman (Gioca Jouer)". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "Superman". YouTube. kidsmusicCYP. 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  14. ^ Dean, Will (9 July 2009). "Psychoville episode four: 'Give 'em enough rope'". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  15. ^ Simpson, Paul (2003). The rough guide to cult pop. London: Rough Guides. p. 8. ISBN 1-84353-229-8.