Way Out Wednesday: “Songs and Stories About the Justice League of America”

Written by Music, Way Out Wednesday

The Justice League of America…singing? It must be time for another installment of Tony Redman’s Way Out Wednesday!

jla_recordcover(tifton)Here’s another album to go with the Superman and Batman ones I talked about earlier. Although they aren’t credited, these songs are most likely performed by the Merriettes again. This album features the entire Justice League. Unlike the Superman and Batman albums, this actually has songs and stories on it, but since we’re all about the music here, let’s take a listen to the songs.

We’ll start things off with the Justice League’s song. The line-up here is Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, Metamorpho, and Plastic Man. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that this particular incarnation of the Justice League never existed. In fact, I don’t think Plastic Man was ever in the League until a few years ago. I really like this song’s swinging organ accompaniment. Listen for the Justice League roll call: Wonder Woman sounds like a guy speaking in falsetto and Batman sounds like an old Jewish man!

The Theme of the Justice League of America

This album also features a song about each of the individual heroes (except for Batman and Superman who, as you know, had their own records). Here’s the song about the Flash. Many of these songs seemed to work from a checklist: give the hero’s true identity, explain his power, and mention something special about him. The first verse is about how fast the Flash is; the second verse covers his real name (Barry Allen), that he works for the police, and that he keeps his Flash costume in a ring on his finger. What else do you need to know?

The Flash

The next song is about the “King of the Sea,” Aquaman. Unfortunately, the info on him is sketchier. He can swim fast, he lives under the sea, and his queen is named Mera. Even back then he didn’t have a good publicist!

Aquaman

Plastic Man’s song does a better job of talking about him, even mentioning his goggles, his red suit, and his belt “that’s a beaut”! I like this quickie retelling of his origin: “He was a crook, but he reformed and then he reformed and reformed and reformed again!” However, despite what the song says, he can’t “bounce the moon like a basketball.” A quick note about Plastic Man: If you’re like me (and who isn’t?) you might have wondered how he got the name Plastic Man instead of something more like Elastic Man or even Rubberband Man. The reason is because when Plastic Man was created plastic was seen in America as a miracle material that could be made into just about anything. Likewise, even though Plastic Man could stretch his body, he often used his power to form himself into many different objects (albeit bright red ones with a yellow and black striped belt).

Plastic Man

Metamorpho the Element Man isn’t as well known as the rest of these guys, so his song goes into his origin in detail. Soldier of fortune Rex Mason finds a glowing meteorite in an Egyptian pyramid. The meteorite zaps him with cosmic rays and then, as the song says, “There Yeah! There Yeah! There Yeah yeah yeah! There… stood the Element Man!” The song also sensitively portrays Metamorpho as being “strong as iron, homely as sin’. I guess it’s all right though when you find out the song’s big surprise ending.

Metamorpho the Element Man

I don’t know what to say about Wonder Woman’s song. Everybody else gets these bouncy, exciting songs while she’s stuck with this “Town without Pity” reject. “Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman, how I wonder ‘bout the wonder (The wonder, the wonder, the wonder) of you,” the lovestruck singer states. There’s not much in the song about her, other than she’s magic and she’s beautiful. You could have pretty much sung the same song about Samantha on Bewitched.

Wonder Woman

If you’d also like to hear stories featuring these heroes, you can get the entire album here. This album was reissued a few years later and, as a bonus, here’s the cover as drawn by comics great Neal Adams.

jla_recordcover(power_records)