Superman music

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The various film and theatre appearances of the Superman character have been accompanied by musical scores.


Radio, cartoons, early films[edit]

Television and Broadway[edit]

  • The TV theme for the 1950s series Adventures of Superman, starring George Reeves, had the unusual lead-in of a harp playing a kind of stringed "drumroll" as the camera moved through space, segueing into a dramatic brass triad accompanied by cymbals, drums, etc., at the moment when a shooting star explodes on the screen and the title card appears. A variation on the classic "Faster than a speeding bullet..." was rendered by deep-voiced actor Bill Kennedy. Three of the main characters from the show utter the famous lines "Look, up in the sky!" "It's a bird!" "It's a plane!". They are actors Robert Shayne, who played Inspector Henderson, George Reeves himself and Phyllis Coates who played the first Lois Lane. The actors just happened to be in the studio when the recording was being made.

The opening and closing theme, as well as a number of recurring underscore themes from the first season (the "Phyllis Coates episodes"), were released in 2000 on the CD Adventures of Superman: The Original 1950s TV Series from Varèse Sarabande Records. The liner notes make the point that although series musical arranger Leon Klatzkin is conventionally credited with composing the theme, that credit is in some doubt. The use of the Superman theme in the show became ingrained in viewers' minds because the same section of music was played nearly every time the scene cut to Superman flying. The episodes themselves were tracked with existing "library music." One particularly notable instance was a cue called "Tumult and Commotion," extracted from Miklos Rozsa's "Theme, Variations, and Finale," Op. 13, from 1933. Rozsa was one of Hollywood's leading composers during the 1950s, but he had no involvement in this repurposing of his music.

Jones' music for this series was released in its entirety on its own CD as part of the 8-disc collection Superman: The Music (1978-1988), issued by Film Score Monthly in 2008.

The films[edit]

The most widely available and well-known Superman music is from the four Christopher Reeve films (1978–1987) and the remainder of this article focuses on these, plus the 2006 film, starring Brandon Routh.

Williams' "Superman Theme", which is first heard during the opening credits to the film Superman, has been reused (with varying arrangements) as the opening music for every Superman film except for Superman III, in which Ken Thorne employed a lighthearted, somewhat comical cue to represent 'the streets of Metropolis.' It is also referenced in Jerry Goldsmith's score to the 1984 film Supergirl during a scene in which the title character sees a poster of Superman.[1]

Director Zack Snyder's 2013 reboot of the series, Man of Steel, is scored by Hans Zimmer, and is the first Superman film not to use any of Williams' themes.

In the 2017 film, Justice League, Danny Elfman is reusing Williams' Superman theme, as well as his themes from Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns for the new incarnation of the character.

Principal leitmotifs[edit]

A leitmotif is a melody associated with a particular character or story element in any mode of drama in which music is employed, such as a musical play, opera, ballet, or film.

Leitmotifs introduced in Superman[edit]

  • "Superman Fanfare". A short triad-based motif, played just before the "Main Theme", or as a standalone when Superman appears in a quick-cut on-screen. Also restated many times in the "Superman March".
  • "Superman March" or "Superman Main Theme". Used over opening and closing credits. It consists of two sections, an "A" theme which is the main part of the melody and a "B" theme which is a bit lighter in mood and which often connects the "March" to the "Fanfare."
  • "Can You Read My Mind" or the soaring "Love Theme".[2] Typically used when Lois and Superman (or sometimes Clark) find themselves alone together. A portion of is introduced as an interlude in the midst of the "Superman March". Lyrics for the melody were written by longtime John Williams collaborator Leslie Bricusse, for the purpose of having a song during the film's extended "flying sequence." Margot Kidder, who plays Lois Lane, speaks the lyrics in the film, but cover versions of the song have been recorded by Maureen McGovern, Shirley Bassey and others.
  • "Krypton fanfare". Used as the viewer zooms in on Krypton, and again with the self-construction of the Fortress of Solitude.
  • "Krypton crystal" motif or the "Secondary Krypton" motif. Mysterious-sounding theme associated with the physicality of the planet Krypton, both the crystals sent by Jor-El to Earth with his son and the radioactive kryptonite which is deadly to Superman.[citation needed]
  • "Personal" motif. A melody related to the duality of Superman and Clark Kent which musically connects the "Fanfare" to the "Love Theme".[citation needed]
  • "Smallville" or "Leaving Home Theme". A Coplandesque, Americana melody used during the Smallville sequences which in some ways is a simpler or undeveloped version of the March's "A" theme.[citation needed] It bears a similarity to a theme written by John Williams for the 1972 John Wayne western film The Cowboys.[citation needed]
  • "The March of the Villains" or "Lex Luthor theme". A comedic Prokofiev-inspired[citation needed] march associated with the villain Lex Luthor and his henchman Otis.

Leitmotifs introduced in Superman II[edit]

Composer/arranger Ken Thorne was mandated to reuse the first film's themes for Superman II.[citation needed] He based the music for the Kryptonian villains on the Williams material associated with Krypton and the Fortress of Solitude. He also added a descending three-note motif for the villains and a briefly heard ominous melody[citation needed] associated with General Zod.

Leitmotifs introduced in Superman III[edit]

Ken Thorne was given a freer hand in the scoring of Superman III in accordance with the series' change in direction and more comedic tone. His new thematic material consisted of related themes for Gus Gorman and a general theme for computers, plus an ominous "Supercomputer" theme heard in the latter part of the score. Thorne also supplied a love theme for Lana Lang and Clark Kent, based on a melody written for the film by Giorgio Moroder. Lois Lane's theme is not present in the score because she only appears in the film briefly.

Leitmotifs introduced in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace[edit]

John Williams composed three new themes for Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, attaching to three new characters.

  • "Lacy's Theme," also known as "Someone Like You," is a sultry, sexy melody for the daughter of the new owner of the Daily Planet, who has eyes for Clark Kent.[citation needed]
  • "Jeremy's Theme" is a light, lyrical melody for the young boy who appeals to Superman to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
  • "Nuclear Man Theme" is a driving action theme used for Superman's battle with the villain created when Lex Luthor places Superman's genetic material on a nuclear warhead detonated by the sun.

Alexander Courage adapted Williams' themes for the film, integrating the three new ones with all of the existing themes from Superman. He also supplied two new themes of his own: a "missile" motif for when nuclear arms are shown or discussed, and a "Russian" motif, a minor mode march used when Soviets and their weapons appear. Courage completed a 100-minute score for a version of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace that ran over two hours. It had been long rumored that a version of the film previewed in Orange County, California, in late June 1987 ran 134 minutes. Screenwriter Mark Rosenthal recalls a version of that length on his DVD commentary for the film, but existing documentation suggests that the film was actually 10 minutes shorter than that when previewed. In any event, as a result of negative audience response to the preview, the picture was cut down to a length of 89 minutes for U.S. release. At the urging of visual effects supervisor Harrison Ellenshaw, two action scenes were reinstated for the international version, which ran 92 minutes and was later shown on U.S. television. As a result of this cutting of running time, much of the music was not heard and "Jeremy's Theme" in particular was virtually undetectable in the final version. No music from the film was released for over twenty years until Film Score Monthly issued an 8-CD box set called Superman: The Music (1978-1988) which presents the complete score to Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.

Leitmotifs introduced in Superman Returns[edit]

Three new themes were composed for Bryan Singer's 2006 film, a "Bad Hat Harry" production, which loosely followed the continuity of the first two Reeve films: a personal theme for Superman, a motif for Lois and her son, and a darker theme for Lex Luthor. Singer's favorite composer, John Ottman, also incorporated several themes from the first film, such as Williams's "Superman March," Lois Lane's love theme ("Can You Read My Mind"), the "Smallville" theme, and the "Krypton" theme. A reprise of "The Fortress of Solitude" from the original 1978 soundtrack is heard at the end of the airplane rescue sequence as Superman is re-introduced to the public after Lois Lane sees him for the first time.

Diegetic (source) music[edit]

This refers to music which originates within the narrative of a film, i.e. the characters in the story are aware of the music.

Superman: A selection of existing songs were featured in Superman, not included on any version of the soundtrack albums, but readily available elsewhere:

  • "Rock Around the Clock", by Bill Haley & His Comets, was playing on the radio of the "Woodie" being driven by some of Clark Kent's high school classmates. The song seems out of context, as it was presumably 1964 at that point in the narrative, yet this song debuted in 1955. (It is later established that Kal-El's ship crashed in 1951, and in Superman III it is established that Clark graduates high school in 1965.) However, coincidentally (or not) the song introduces Glenn Ford's final scene in the film. Ford starred in the 1955 film Blackboard Jungle, in which that song was prominently featured. Incidentally, this song was not used in the television versions of the film, which instead used an original John Williams source cue composed and recorded for the film, called "Kansas Kids".
  • "Only You", by The Platters, is playing on the teenage Clark's bedside radio when he is awakened by the sound that leads him to the discovery of his spacecraft beneath the barn. This song was also not heard in the television cuts, which instead used only radio static.
  • Ten seconds of Supertramp's 1977 song, "Give a Little Bit" from the album Even in the Quietest Moments, were heard on Lois Lane's car radio just prior to the climactic earthquake scene. The song was a then-recent hit. Its appearance in the film seems to be for no obvious thematic reason, though there could be a subtle message or two: The group having "Super" in its name; and the words heard on-screen, "Give a little bit... [I'll] give a little bit of my life for you."

Source music written for the film: A Hawaiian-themed cue called "Luthor's Luau," heard in the background in Lex Luthor's secret hideaway the day after Superman's debut around the city was composed by John Williams, who also wrote additional pieces of source music that were not used in the film. In some cases these were replaced by the existing songs listed above. However, some of Williams' versions were used in the extended television broadcast versions of the film in place of these.

Superman II:

  • "Pick up the Pieces", by Average White Band, can be heard in the East Houston sequence. This replaced a piece called "East Houston Café" composed by Ken Thorne, which was not used. Thorne had been asked by director Richard Lester to write a "sound-alike" version of "Pick Up the Pieces," but this was used for the scene in Don's Diner at the end of the film. Thorne wrote a few other pieces for various radios as well as "Honeymoon Hotel," a piece played as Clark Kent and Lois Lane are shown around a tacky hotel suite at Niagara Falls.

Superman III:

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace:

  • "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" by Jerry Lee Lewis can be heard in Lenny Luthor's car when he's about to release his uncle, Lex Luthor, from prison. Paul Fishman, head of the 80s rock group Re-Flex, was commissioned to write original songs for the film, but only one of these, "Workout," was used in the released version of the film, when Clark and Lacy are seen at the Metropolis Fitness Center. Some of Fishman's other songs were intended for a deleted Metro Club discothèque sequence. "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," Fishman's "Workout," "Headphone Heaven" and "Revolution Now" (the latter two were for the deleted scene) would have all appeared on the cancelled soundtrack album.[3] All songs except for Lewis' are included on 'Superman: The Music (1978-1988).

Concert suites[edit]

These are regularly performed in symphony and pops concerts, including those by composer John Williams, and have also been featured in re-recordings for various CD compilations.

  • "The March of the Villains" (Superman).
  • "Love Theme from Superman" (Superman).
  • "Theme from Superman" (Superman). This suite includes "Superman Fanfare", "Superman March" and the "Love Theme".

Original recording information[edit]

Superman II[edit]

The score was composed, conducted and orchestrated by Ken Thorne (from original material composed by John Williams) Because of budget restrictions, the score was recorded by an orchestra of contract players rather than the London Symphony Orchestra. Recording took place on March 25, 26, 27, 29, April 17, 18, 25, and May 2, 1980, at CTS Studios (The Music Centre) in Wembley, Middlesex, England. The recording engineer was John Richards, assisted by Tim Pennington and James Abramson, and the music editor was Bob Hathaway.[citation needed]

Superman III[edit]

The score was composed, conducted and orchestrated by Ken Thorne (with original Superman themes by John Williams). Recording took place on February 14, 15, 16, March 7, 8, 9 and 18, 1983 at CTS Studios (The Music Centre) in Wembley, Middlesex, England. The recording engineer was John Richards. The music editor was Bob Hathaway.[citation needed]

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace[edit]

The score was adapted and conducted by Alexander Courage (from music by John Williams). Recording took place from May 11–18, 1987 at the Bavaria Studios in Munich, Germany, performed by Symphony-Orchestra Graunke. Recording engineer was Peter Kramper. Additional recording took place May 23-June 2, 1987, at CTS Studios (The Music Centre) in Wembley, Middlesex, England, performed by the National Philharmonic Orchestra. Recording engineer was Dick Lewzey, assisted by Steve Price and Jonathan Ruttley. Orchestrations were by Frank Barber and Harry Roberts, and the music editor was Bob Hathaway. Jack Fishman was musical advisor. Songs by Paul Fishman were recorded in September 1986 in Hampstead, London, England.[citation needed]

The soundtracks[edit]


Original release[edit]

  • December 20, 1978: 2-LP set from Warner Bros. Records.
Warner Bros. Records track listing[edit]
Side 1[edit]
  1. "Theme from Superman (Main Title)" (4:24)
  2. "The Planet Krypton" (4:45)
  3. "Destruction of Krypton" (5:58)
  4. "The Trip to Earth" (2:23)
  5. "Growing Up" (2:34)
Side 2[edit]
  1. "Love Theme from Superman" (5:00)
  2. "Leaving Home" (4:48)
  3. "The Fortress of Solitude" (8:29)
Side 3[edit]
  1. "The Flying Sequence/Can You Read My Mind" (recitative vocal by Margot Kidder) (8:10)
  2. "Super Rescues" (3:24)
  3. "Lex Luthor's Lair" (2:52)
  4. "Superfeats" (5:00)
Side 4[edit]
  1. "The March of the Villains" (3:33)
  2. "Chasing Rockets" (7:33)
  3. "Turning Back the World" (2:01)
  4. "End Title" (6:24)

Total Time: 79:21

This album was released on CD in 1987[4] and is still in print, but it is missing the tracks "Growing Up" and "Lex Luthor's Lair". The Japanese issue, which was released in 1990, presents the full program, but is out of print and rare.

Varèse Sarabande re-recording[edit]

This release is a re-recording of Williams' score, conducted by John Debney and performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, including the first release of additional music from the film in any form. As detailed in the liner notes, the project was hampered when it was discovered that the existing scores and parts for the Superman: The Movie score had been lost. When extensive efforts to locate them failed, a team of orchestrators reconstructed the music from John Williams' 8-12 stave composer sketches—thus there are subtle differences which may be noted in a number of the cues when compared to their original counterparts.

The tempo of the cues in this re-recording are generally rather slower than in the original recording—possibly because the recording was made in the highly resonant acoustic of Glasgow City Hall.

Varèse Sarabande track listing[edit]
Disc 1[edit]
  1. "Prologue & Main Title" (5:31)
  2. "The Planet Krypton" (4:35)
  3. "The Destruction of Krypton" (5:27)
  4. "Trip to Earth" (2:38)
  5. "Growing Up" (2:05)
  6. "Jonathan's Death" (4:09)
  7. "Leaving Home" (4:46)
  8. "The Fortress of Solitude" (8:22)
Disc 2[edit]
  1. "Helicopter Rescue" (6:16)
  2. "The Penthouse" (1:50)
  3. "The Flying Sequence" (4:16)
  4. "The Truck Convoy" (1:54)
  5. "To The Lair" (2:18)
  6. "March of the Villains" (3:56)
  7. "Chasing Rockets" (5:12)
  8. "Pushing Boulders" (2:24)
  9. "Flying to Lois" (2:58)
  10. "Turning Back the World" (2:01)
  11. "The Prison Yard and End Title" (6:27)
  12. "Love Theme from Superman" (5:01)

Expanded release[edit]

  • February 15, 2000: 2-CD set from Rhino

This release combines the master for the original album with what were believed at the time to be the only surviving elements to reconstruct the full length of the original Williams recording. This release went out of print in 2005, but may still be available online through many internet music services.

Rhino track listing[edit]
Disc 1[edit]
  1. "Prelude and Main Title March" (5:29)
  2. "The Planet Krypton" (6:39)
  3. "Destruction of Krypton" (7:52)
  4. "Star Ship Escapes" (2:21)
  5. "The Trip to Earth" (2:28)
  6. "Growing Up" (2:34)
  7. "Death of Jonathan Kent" (3:27)
  8. "Leaving Home" (4:49)
  9. "The Fortress of Solitude" (9:17)
  10. "Welcome to Metropolis" (2:11)
  11. "Lex Luthor's Lair" (4:48)
  12. "The Big Rescue" (5:55)
  13. "Super Crime Fighter" (3:20)
  14. "Super Rescues" (2:14)
  15. "Luthor's Luau" (source music) (2:48)
  16. "The Planet Krypton" (alternate) (4:24)
  17. "Main Title March" (alternate) (4:38)

Total Time: 75:18

Disc 2[edit]
  1. ""Superman" March" (alternate) (3:48)
  2. "The March of the Villains" (3:36)
  3. "The Terrace" (1:36)
  4. "The Flying Sequence" (8:12)
  5. "Lois and Clark" (0:50)
  6. "Crime of the Century" (3:24)
  7. "Sonic Greeting" (2:21)
  8. "Misguided Missiles and Kryptonite" (3:26)
  9. "Chasing Rockets" (4:56)
  10. "Super Feats" (4:53)
  11. "Super Dam and Finding Lois" (5:11)
  12. "Turning Back the World" (2:06)
  13. "Finale and End Title March" (5:42)
  14. "Love Theme from Superman" (5:06)
  15. "Can You Read My Mind" (Alternate) (performed in recitation by Margot Kidder) (2:56)
  16. "The Flying Sequence/Can You Read My Mind" (album version) (performed in recitation by Margot Kidder) (8:12)
  17. "Can You Read My Mind" (alternate: Instrumental) (2:56)
  18. "Theme from Superman" (concert version) (4:24)

Total Time: 73:38

Restored complete score release[edit]

  • February 29, 2008: part of Superman: The Music (1978-1988) 8-CD set from Film Score Monthly.

This release restores the complete score from newly discovered high quality original masters and includes previously unreleased material. Discs 1 and 2 of this 8 disc set present music from the film. Additional material is presented on disc 8.

FSM track listing[edit]
Disc 1[edit]
  1. "Theme From Superman" (4:23)
  2. "Prelude and Main Title" (5:02)
  3. "The Planet Krypton" (6:36)
  4. "Destruction of Krypton" (7:53)
  5. "The Kryptonquake" (2:24)
  6. "The Trip to Earth" (2:30)
  7. "Growing Up" (2:32)
  8. "Jonathan's Death" (3:23)
  9. "Leaving Home" (4:48)
  10. "The Fortress of Solitude" (9:18)
  11. "The Mugger" (2:07)
  12. "Lex Luthor's Lair" (4:48)
  13. "Helicopter Sequence" (5:55)
  14. "The Burglar Sequence/Chasing Crooks" (3:18)
  15. "Super Rescues" (2:16)
  16. "The Penthouse" (1:31)
  17. "The Flying Sequence" (8:10)
  18. "Clark Loses His Nerve" (0:46)

Total Time: 78:36

Disc 2[edit]
  1. "The March of the Villains" (3:35)
  2. "The Truck Convoy/Miss Teschmacher Helps" (3:24)
  3. "To the Lair" (2:18)
  4. "Trajectory Malfunction/Luthor's Lethal Weapon" (3:24)
  5. "Chasing Rockets" (4:57)
  6. "Superfeats" (4:54)
  7. "Pushing Boulders/Flying to Lois" (5:21)
  8. "Turning Back the World" (2:03)
  9. "The Prison Yard/End Title" (6:37)
  10. "Love Theme From Superman" (4:58)
  11. "Prelude and Main Title" (original version) (3:46)
  12. "The Planet Krypton" (alternate) (3:16)
  13. "The Dome Opens" (alternate) (2:30)
  14. "The Mugger" (alternate) (1:24)
  15. "I Can Fly" (Flying Sequence segment) (2:01)
  16. "Can You Read My Mind" (film version) (3:02)
  17. "Trajectory Malfunction" (alternate) (1:01)
  18. "Turning Back the World" (alternate) (2:16)
  19. "The Prison Yard/End Title" (film version) (5:44)

Total Time: 67:27

Disc 8[edit]
  1. "Prelude and Main Title" (film version) (5:19)
  2. "The Flying Sequence" (album version) (8:11)
  3. "Can You Read My Mind" (original version) (2:51)
  4. "Can You Read My Mind" (non-vocal version) (3:02)
  5. "Kansas High School" (source) (1:56)
  6. "Kansas Kids" (source) (1:49)
  7. "Lois Car Radio" (source) (2:02)
  8. "Luthor's Luau" (source) (2:43)

Total Time: 28:13

40th Anniversary Remastered Edition[edit]

  • On February 22, 2019, La-La Land Records released a 40th Anniversary Remastered Edition of the complete score. In the intervening years between the release of the FSM 8-CD set and this release, the original 24-track tapes from the recording sessions had been found, with La-La Land Records using these tapes as the source of the remaster. The result is increased dynamic range compared to previous releases. In addition, a new alternate version of "The Fortress of Solitude" was included on Disc 2 and a reconstructed and remastered version of the original album on Disc 3.
La-La Land Records Track Listing[edit]
Disc 1[edit]
  1. Prelude And Main Title (5:06)
  2. The Planet Krypton And The Dome Opens (6:39)
  3. Destruction Of Krypton (Extended Version) (7:57)
  4. The Kryptonquake (2:27)
  5. The Trip To Earth (2:33)
  6. The Crash Site (0:39)
  7. Growing Up (2:01)
  8. Jonathan’s Death (3:28)
  9. Leaving Home (4:52)
  10. The Fortress Of Solitude (Extended Version) (9:24)
  11. The Mugger (2:11)
  12. Lex Luthor’s Lair (Extended Version) (4:56)
  13. The Helicopter Sequence (5:59)
  14. The Burglar Sequence And Chasing Crooks (3:21)
  15. Cat Rescue And Air Force One (2:18)
  16. The Penthouse (1:35)
  17. The Flying Sequence (Instrumental Version) (8:14)
  18. Clark Loses His Nerve (0:51)
Disc 2[edit]
  1. The March Of The Villains (3:39)
  2. The Truck Convoy Sequence (3:27)
  3. To The Lair (2:22)
  4. Trajectory Malfunction (1:21)
  5. Luthor’s Lethal Weapon (2:15)
  6. Superman Rescued And Chasing Rockets (5:01)
  7. Golden Gate Bridge And The Rescue Of Jimmy (4:57)
  8. Pushing Boulders And Flying To Lois (5:29)
  9. Turning Back The World (2:08)
  10. The Prison Yard And End Title (6:43)
  11. Love Theme From Superman (5:08)
  12. Prelude And Main Title (Alternate) (3:49)
  13. The Planet Krypton (Alternate Segment) (3:18)
  14. The Dome Opens (Alternate) (2:33)
  15. The Fortress Of Solitude (Alternate Segment) (4:14)
  16. The Mugger (Alternate) (1:31)
  17. Prelude And Main Title (Film Version) (5:25)
  18. I Can Fly (Flying Sequence Alternate Segment) (2:15)
  19. Can You Read My Mind (Film Version) (3:07)
  20. Trajectory Malfunction (Alternate) (1:06)
  21. Turning Back The World (Extended Version) (2:22)
  22. The Prison Yard And End Title (Film Version) (5:48)
Disc 3[edit]
  1. Theme From Superman (Main Title) (4:29)
  2. The Planet Krypton (4:49)
  3. Destruction Of Krypton (6:03)
  4. The Trip To Earth (2:28)
  5. Growing Up (1:59)
  6. Love Theme From Superman (5:04)
  7. Leaving Home (4:53)
  8. The Fortress Of Solitude (8:34)
  9. The Flying Sequence / Can You Read My Mind (8:14)
  10. Super Rescues (3:31)
  11. Lex Luthor’s Lair (2:37)
  12. Superfeats (5:07)
  13. The March Of The Villains (3:40)
  14. Chasing Rockets (7:40)
  15. Turning Back The World (2:08)
  16. End Title (6:36)

Superman II[edit]

Original release[edit]

  • 1980 on LP from Warner Bros. Records.
WB Records track listing[edit]

Side A

  1. "Preface" (1:04)
  2. "Main Title March" (5:32)
  3. "Lift Into Space - Release Of The Villains" (1:38)
  4. "Lex Escapes" (2:09)
  5. "Honeymoon Hotel" (3:16)
  6. "Lex & Miss Teschmacher To Fortress" (2:07)
  7. "Clark Exposed As Superman" (3:17)
  8. "Lover Fly North" (0:52)

Side B

  1. "Mother's Advice" (1:56)
  2. "TV. President Resigns - Clark To Fortress" (2:48)
  3. "Aerial Battle - Superman Save Spire" (2:51)
  4. "Sad Return" (1:43)
  5. "Ursa Flies Over The Moon" (2:28)
  6. "Clark Fumbles Rescue" (2:11)
  7. "End Title March" (4:16)

Total Time: 38:08

This album and the original album for Superman III were combined for an out-of-print Japanese CD release.

Restored complete score release[edit]

  • February 29, 2008: part of Superman: The Music (1978-1988) 8-CD set from Film Score Monthly.

This release restores the complete score, which is presented on disc 3 of the 8 disc set, with additional music presented on disc 8.

FSM track listing[edit]
Disc 3[edit]
  1. "Preface/Villains in Zone/ Main Title March" (8:18)
  2. "Superman to Paris/ Lois Climbs Tower" (2:47)
  3. "Walkie-Talkies/Gelignite Bangs/ Superman Saves Lift" (2:08)
  4. "Lift Into Space—Releasing the Villains" (1:32)
  5. "Orange Juice/Prison Intro/ My Little Black Box" (1:48)
  6. "Ursa Flies Over Moon/Spacecraft Wrecked/Moon to Earth" (4:04)
  7. "Lex Escapes" (2:03)
  8. "Sleeping Arrangements/Relaxing at Niagara/Looks Familiar/Superman Saves Boy" (3:31)
  9. "Lex and Miss Teschmacher to Fortress/Lex Plans Partnership" (2:35)
  10. "Suspecting Lois Takes the Plunge/ Clark Fumbles Rescue/Villains Land by Lake" (3:33)
  11. "Clark Exposed as Superman" (3:11)
  12. "Sheriff and Duane Meet Villains/ Lovers Fly North" (2:21)
  13. "Daddy's Rise and Fall/Flight for Flowers/East Houston Battle" (3:03)
  14. "Lovers at Dinner Table/ Zod Meets General" (1:35)
  15. "Mother's Advice" (1:49)
  16. "To Bed—Mount Rushmore— Sweet Dreams" (1:32)
  17. "President Kneels Before Zod" (1:53)
  18. "Fight in Diner" (1:04)
  19. "TV President Resigns— Clark to Fortress" (2:42)
  20. "Return of the Green Crystal/Bored Zod" (2:16)
  21. "Non Wrecks Office" (1:27)
  22. "Aerial Battle/Zod Throws Slab/ Superman Saves Spire" (4:49)
  23. "Superman Saves Petrol Tanker/ Superman Fights Zod/Superman Flies Off" (4:29)
  24. "Villains Take Lex and Lois to Fortress/School Games" (3:11)
  25. "Superman Pulls Big Switch/Superman Triumphs Over Villains" (1:56)
  26. "Sad Return" (1:38)
  27. "Lois Forgets" (1:46)
  28. "Happy Lois Back to Normal/ Superman Replaces Stars and Stripes/End Title March" (5:34)

Total Time: 79:46

Disc 8[edit]
  1. "Honeymoon Hotel" (3:11)
  2. "Country & Western" (2:07)
  3. "East Houston Café" (2:13)
  4. "Car Radio for Ride Back" (0:56)
  5. "Diner Jukebox #1" (2:14)
  6. "Diner Jukebox #2" (2:16)

Total Time: 13:17

Superman III[edit]

Original release[edit]

  • 1983 on LP from Warner Bros. Records.
WB Records track listing[edit]

Side A

  1. "Main Title" (5:23)
  2. "Saving The Factory - The Acid Test" (6:09)
  3. "Gus Finds A Way" (0:59)
  4. "The Two Faces Of Superman" (2:50)
  5. "The Struggle Within - Finale" (4:16)

Side B

  1. "Rock On - Marshall Crenshaw" (3:35)
  2. "No See, No Cry - Chaka Khan" (3:18)
  3. "They Won't Get Me - Roger Miller" (3:20)
  4. "Love Theme - Helen St. John" (3:14)
  5. "Main Title March" (4:20)

Total Time: 37:24

Superman III was the first of the films to have a score and song soundtrack combined on the same release, a common trend in the mid-1980s. Side A presented 19 minutes of Ken Thorne's score, while Side B contained music composed and produced by pop mogul Giorgio Moroder. These included three sung versions (with lyrics by Keith Forsey) of songs heard as source music in the film, plus Moroder's love theme for Clark Kent and Lana Lang (used by Thorne as the basis for his own theme), and ending with a completely synthesized version of the Superman II main title march.

This album and the original album for Superman II were combined for an out-of-print Japanese CD release.

Restored complete score release[edit]

  • February 29, 2008: part of Superman: The Music (1978-1988) 8-CD set from Film Score Monthly.

This release restores the complete score, which is presented on disc 4 of the 8 disc set, with additional music presented on disc 8.

FSM track listing[edit]
Disc 4[edit]
  1. "Main Title (The Streets of Metropolis)" (5:27)
  2. "Gus on Computer After the Cents" (1:06)
  3. "Saving the Factory—The Acid Test" (6:11)
  4. "Pay Day for Gus/School Gym—Earth Angel/Vulcan" (1:37)
  5. "Lana and Clark in Cornfield/Clark Rescues Ricky" (2:27)
  6. "Gus Shows the Booze/Gus Finds a Way" (1:20)
  7. "Montage" (3:10)
  8. "Colombian Storm" (1:30)
  9. "Kryptonite/Gus Down Building/Searching for Kryptonite" (2:16)
  10. "Lana and Clark on Telephone/Kryptonite Sting/Superman Affected by Kryptonite/Superman Too Late" (1:48)
  11. "Tower of Pisa/What Will It Do for Me" (1:58)
  12. "Superman and Lorelei on Statue/Superman Ruins Tanker" (2:19)
  13. "Boxes in Canyon/Drunken Superman" (3:22)
  14. "The Two Faces of Superman" (2:52)
  15. "The Struggle Within" (2:27)
  16. "The Final Victory" (2:15)
  17. "Preparing Balloons/Superman Coming/Computer" (3:02)
  18. "Rockets/Video Games/Big Missile" (3:11)
  19. "Superman Confronts Ross/Computer Takes Over/ Gus Fights Ross" (2:13)
  20. "The Computer Comes Alive/Superman Leaves Computer Cave" (2:32)
  21. "Metal Vera/Computer Blows Up" (2:55)
  22. "Gus Flying With Superman" (1:19)
  23. "Diamond Sting/Thank You Superman/Superman Gus/Clark Gives Lana Diamond Ring" (1:40)
  24. "End Credits" (4:28)

Total Time: 64:18

Disc 8[edit]
Score outtakes[edit]
  1. "Main Title (The Streets of Metropolis)" (alternate) (5:26)
  2. "Pay Day for Gus" (alternate) (0:40)
  3. "Colombian Storm Part 1" (1:05)
  4. "Olympic Parade" (0:25)
  5. "Après Ski" (1:04)

Total Time: 8:57

Yes, Giorgio: Songs[edit]
  1. "Rock On" - Marshall Crenshaw (3:35)
  2. "No See, No Cry" - Chaka Khan (3:18)
  3. "They Won't Get Me" - Roger Miller (3:20)
  4. "Love Theme" - Helen St. John (3:14)
  5. "Main Title March" (4:20)

Total Time: 18:00

Adventures of Superman: The Original 1950s TV Series[edit]

Released by Varèse Sarabande in 2000.

  1. "Main Title"
  2. "The Slap"
  3. "Violin Scream"
  4. "Brawl"
  5. "Tympani Beat Tension"
  6. "Delirium"
  7. "Build to Sting"
  8. "The Skeleton"
  9. "Last Reel Fight"
  10. "Creeping Misterioso"
  11. "Murder Will Out"
  12. "Spectral Thumps"
  13. "Mounting Drama"
  14. "The Fight"
  15. "Hit and Run!"
  16. "A Nightmare"
  17. "Quiet Tension"
  18. "Spreading Misterioso"
  19. "Blood And Thunder / Just In Time"
  20. "Beating Heart"
  21. "The Battle"
  22. "Brutal Regiment I"
  23. "Moleska's Plight II"
  24. "Tender Secret III"
  25. "Cue For String Orchestra IV"
  26. "Tragic Tension V"
  27. "June Waltz"
  28. "La Tengo"
  29. "Smallville Pastorale I"
  30. "Years Go by II"
  31. "He Was a Good Father III"
  32. "Mother's Farewell, A IV"
  33. "Shadows on the Wall"
  34. "Revenge!"
  35. "Superman End" - (long version)
  36. (Untitled) - (hidden track)

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace[edit]

  • Complete score release, February 29, 2008: part of Superman: The Music (1978-1988) 8-CD set from Film Score Monthly; reissued in 2018 as a stand-alone 2-CD set from La-La Land Records.

Although an album release for Superman IV: The Quest for Peace was produced in 1987, it was aborted when the film was shortened shortly before release. As with Superman III, it was to contain several songs (by Paul Fishman of Re-Flex) and a small sampling of the score by Alexander Courage (adapting John Williams' themes). In 2008, the 8-CD box set Superman: The Music (1978-1988) premiered the entire score for Superman IV: The Quest for Peace as composed for the long version of the film. Also included were all of Paul Fishman's songs created for the deleted Metro Club disco and other scenes in the film. Tracks in italics were intended to be released on the cancelled soundtrack album (Jerry Lee Lewis's "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On," heard in the film, would also have been included).

FSM track listing[edit]

Disc 5[edit]
  1. "Fanfare/Space Saver" (1:48)
  2. "Main Title/Back in Time" (5:40)
  3. "Pow!/Good Morning" (2:45)
  4. "Smoke the Yokes/Nefarious" (1:04)
  5. "To Work/Train Stopper" (2:06)
  6. "Someone Like You (Lacy's Theme)" (3:17)
  7. "Jeremy's Theme" (2:13)
  8. "For Real/The Class" (1:43)
  9. "Hair Raisers" (0:59)
  10. "Lacy/The Visit" (2:27)
  11. "First Nuclear Man" (5:24)
  12. "Nuke 1 Fight/Ashes" (3:45)
  13. "Headline" (2:48)
  14. "Fresh Air" (4:33)
  15. "United Nations/Net Man" (4:42)
  16. "Sunstroke/Enter Nuclear Man 2" (5:25)
  17. "Flight to Earth/Introducing Nuclear Man 2" (3:27)
  18. "Lacy" (disco version) (2:13)
  19. "Lacy's Place" (5:23)
  20. "Ear Ache/Confrontation/Tornado" (8:09)
  21. "Volcano" (2:18)
  22. "Statue of Liberty Fight" (3:44)

Total Time: 76:44

Disc 6[edit]
  1. "Nuclear Man Theme" (2:45)
  2. "Down With Flu" (3:12)
  3. "Two-Faced Lex/Missile Buildup" (1:39)
  4. "Persuader/Awakened" (3:13)
  5. "Abducted/Mutual Distrust" (4:43)
  6. "Metropolis Fight/Lift to the Moon" (3:36)
  7. "Moon Fight/Goodbye Nuke" (5:06)
  8. "Come Uppance/Lifted/Quarried/Flying With Jeremy/End Credits" (9:34)
  9. "Fresh Air" (album version) (4:35)
  10. "Someone Like You (Lacy's Theme)" (slow version) (3:33)
  11. "Red Square Band" (0:52)
  12. "Superfly Guy" (4:11)
  13. "Headphone Heaven" (3:23)
  14. "Revolution Now" (4:26)
  15. "Saxy Sadie" (4:47)
  16. "Krypton Nights" (4:44)
  17. "Life's Too Dangerous" (3:14)
  18. "Workout" (2:27)
  19. "Lois Love" (4:56)

Total Time: 75:44

Tracks 12-19 of this disc are songs and source music by Paul Fishman. This same content was replicated for the 2018 La-La Land CD reissue.

Superman: The Ultimate Collection[edit]

A 1999 Varèse Sarabande album conducted and arranged by Randy Miller based in various Superman versions for cinema, shorts and TV.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "The Adventures of Superman" (Adventures of Superman (TV series) theme)
  2. "Superman: The Movie" (Main theme by John Williams)
  3. "The Trip To Earth" (from Superman: The Movie)
  4. "Leaving Home" (from Superman: The Movie)
  5. "Superfeats" (from Superman: The Movie)
  6. "Love Theme" (from Superman: The Movie)
  7. "Superman: The Columbia Serial" (Main theme from 1948 serial with Kirk Alyn)
  8. "It's Superman" (from musical Broadway "It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman!")
  9. "Fanfare and Clark Screws Up" (from Superman II)
  10. "Love theme and Flying" (from Superman II)
  11. "Phantasmagoria" (from musical Broadway "It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman!")
  12. "Honeymoon Hotel" (from Superman II)
  13. "March of the Villains" (from Superman: The Movie)
  14. "Supergirl" (Main theme by Jerry Goldsmith for Supergirl)
  15. "The Streets of Metropolis" (from Superman III)
  16. "Superman - The Max Fleischer Cartoons" (Main theme for 1941 shorts)

Superman 1988's series[edit]

  • Complete score release, February 29, 2008: part of Superman: The Music (1978-1988) 8-CD set from Film Score Monthly.

FSM track listing[edit]

Disc 7[edit]
  1. "Main Title"
  2. "Drone / Blown Drone" - from "Destroy the Defendroids"
  3. "Talk with Lex" - from "Destroy the Defendroids"
  4. "Trouble in the Park / Fire Rescues" - from "Destroy the Defendroids"
  5. "Supe Quits / Fake Quake" - from "Destroy the Defendroids"
  6. "Saved From Lava / Plans" - from "Destroy the Defendroids"
  7. "Super Defendroid / Operation Nugget" - from "Destroy the Defendroids"
  8. "Droid Wars / Warning" - from "Destroy the Defendroids"
  9. "Superman's Family Album: The Adoption" - from "Destroy the Defendroids"
  10. "Main Title Alternate"
  11. "Alien Discovery" - from "Fugitive From Space"
  12. "The Suit" - from "Fugitive From Space"
  13. "Daily Planet Mystery Play-On / Jimmy and Chief" - from "Fugitive From Space"
  14. "Kyroni Encounter" - from "Fugitive From Space"
  15. "The Planting / Ship's Log" - from "Fugitive From Space"
  16. "Something's Up #2 / Bad Guy Dialogue #1" - from "Fugitive From Space"
  17. "Trouble in Metropolis" - from "Fugitive From Space"
  18. "Aliens Take Over the World" - from "Fugitive From Space"
  19. "Superman's Family Album: The Supermarket" - from "Fugitive From Space"
  20. "Superman Theme" - from "Fugitive From Space"
  21. "China Play-On / Nukua's Theme" - from "By the Skin of the Dragon's Teeth"
  22. "Saboteur" - from "By the Skin of the Dragon's Teeth"
  23. "Transition #3 / Bad Guy Dialogue #6 / Dragon's Treasure" - from "By the Skin of the Dragon's Teeth"
  24. "Prankster's Theme / Game Montage / No Baseball" - from "Triple-Play"
  25. "Superman's Family Album: The First Day of School" - from "Cybron Strikes"
  26. "Library Suite #1"
  27. "Library Suite #2"
  28. "Aliens Take Over the World" (alternate #1 -- orchestra only)
  29. "Library Suite #3"
  30. "Library Suite #4"
  31. "Library Suite #5"
  32. "Aliens Take Over the World" (alternate #2 – strings / synth only)
  33. "Library Suite #6"
  34. "Library Suite #7"
  35. "End Title"

Superman Returns[edit]

June 27, 2006: on CD from Warner Sunset/Rhino Records.

  1. "Main Titles" (3:47)
  2. "Memories" (3:05)
  3. "Rough Flight" (5:11)
  4. "Little Secrets/Power of the Sun" (2:47)
  5. "Bank Job" (2:19)
  6. "How Could You Leave Us?" (5:47)
  7. "Tell Me Everything" (3:11)
  8. "You're Not One of Them" (2:20)
  9. "Not Like the Train Set" (5:10)
  10. "So Long Superman" (5:29)
  11. "The People You Care For" (3:25)
  12. "I Wanted You to Know" (2:54)
  13. "Saving the World" (3:10)
  14. "In The Hands of Mortals" (2:09)
  15. "Reprise/Fly Away" (4:17)

Total Time: 54:59

Expanded release[edit]

  • December 3, 2013: 2-CD set from La-La Land Records.
La-La Land track listing[edit]
Disc 1[edit]
  1. "As Time Goes By/The Planet Krypton" (1:22)
  2. "Main Titles" (2:44)
  3. "Dying Wish" (2:41)
  4. "Homecoming/Tell Me Everything/Stars in the Sky" (5:52)
  5. "Memories" (3:15)
  6. "Put Here for a Reason/The World Keeps Spinning/Closet Case/Daily Planet" (2:22)
  7. "Things Have Changed/Chip Off the Old Block" (1:41)
  8. "Genesis Project/Like Sea Monkeys" (1:42)
  9. "A Drop in the Bucket/Is It Rite?" (3:09)
  10. "Boosters Non-Responsive/Rough Flight/Home Run" (6:54)
  11. "He's Back!" (1:37)
  12. "Superman Scoop/Eavesdropping" (1:19)
  13. "To Lois' House/You're Not One of Them" (2:52)
  14. "Bank Job" (3:23)
  15. "Kitty Decoy" (3:38)
  16. "Supermania" (1:07)
  17. "Kryptonite" (0:34)
  18. "Little Secrets" (1:06)
  19. "How Could You Leave Us?" (7:05)
  20. "They're Gone/Bad Idea/They Make Great Chandeliers/Beach Front Property/Lineage?" (3:35)
  21. "Not Like the Train Set" (5:48)
  22. "We Have to Go/Who to Save?" (3:00)

Total Time: 67:28

Disc 2[edit]
  1. "Metropolis Mayhem" (4:03)
  2. "Out to Sea" (5:55)
  3. "So Long Superman" (7:12)
  4. "Saving Superman/Power of the Sun" (5:29)
  5. "Saving the World" (6:22)
  6. "In the Hands of Mortals" (1:16)
  7. "Family Unit/I Wanted You to Know" (5:15)
  8. "Lex's Paradise/Change of Heart/Parting Words" (4:55)
  9. "Reprise/Fly Away" (4:15)
  10. "End Titles" (3:55)
  11. "Return to Krypton" (synth mockup) (5:05)
  12. "Prelude/Main Titles" (original extended version) (4:01)
  13. "Daily Planet" (alternate) (0:21)
  14. "GDIATFH Medley" (source) (0:44)
  15. "Heart and Soul" (source) (0:39)

Total Time: 60:01

Man of Steel[edit]

June 11, 2013: on CD from WaterTower Music.

Disc 1 – Flight[edit]

  1. "Look to the Stars" (2:58)
  2. "Oil Rig" (1:45)
  3. "Sent Here for a Reason" (3:46)
  4. "DNA" (3:34)
  5. "Goodbye Son" (2:01)
  6. "If You Love These People" (3:22)
  7. "Krypton's Last" (1:58)
  8. "Terraforming" (9:49)
  9. "Tornado" (2:53)
  10. "You Die or I Do" (3:13)
  11. "Launch" (2:36)
  12. "Ignition" (1:19)
  13. "I Will Find Him" (2:57)
  14. "This Is Clark Kent" (3:47)
  15. "I Have So Many Questions" (3:47)
  16. "Flight" (4:18)

Disc 2 – Experiments from the Fortress of Solitude[edit]

  1. "What Are You Going to Do When You Are Not Saving the World?" (5:27)
  2. "Man of Steel" (Hans' Original Sketchbook) (28:16)
  3. "Are You Listening, Clark?" (2:48)
  4. "General Zod" (7:21)
  5. "You Led Us Here" (2:59)
  6. "This Is Madness!" (3:48)
  7. "Earth" (6:11)
  8. "Arcade" (7:25)

Total Time: 1:58:18

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice[edit]

March 18, 2016: on CD from WaterTower Music.

Disc 1[edit]

  1. "Beautiful Lie" (3:47)
  2. "Their War Here" (4:34)
  3. "The Red Capes Are Coming" (3:32)
  4. "Day of the Dead" (4:01)
  5. "Must There Be a Superman?" (3:58)
  6. "New Rules" (4:02)
  7. "Do You Bleed?" (4:36)
  8. "Problems Up Here" (4:25)
  9. "Black and Blue" (8:30)
  10. "Tuesday" (4:00)
  11. "Is She With You?" (5:46)
  12. "This Is My World" (6:23)
  13. "Men Are Still Good (The Batman Suite)" (14:03)

Disc 2[edit]

  1. "Blood of My Blood" (4:25)
  2. "Vigilante" (3:53)
  3. "May I Help You, Mr. Wayne?" (3:27)
  4. "They Were Hunters" (2:45)
  5. "Fight Night" (4:20)

Total Time: 1:30:27


General references[edit]

  • Superman: The Music (1978-1988), 2008, liner notes.
  • Ken Thorne, Film Score Monthly, February 2008, vol. 13, no 2.
  • Superman: Serial to Cereal, Gary H. Grossman, Popular Library, 1976.

Inline citations[edit]

  1. ^ Supergirl soundtrack review. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  2. ^ Burlingame, Jon (2000). Sound and Vision: 60 Years of Motion Picture Soundtracks. Watson-Guptill. p. 188. ISBN 0-8230-8427-2. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
  3. ^ Superman: The Music (1978-1988); "The Quest For An LP," p. 135 of liner notes
  4. ^ "John Williams (4) - Superman The Movie (Original Sound Track)".