The Clique – Superman


The Clique


Listen – Superman – MP3

Greetings all.
I hope all is well on your end.
I just finished reading Paul Drummond’s outstanding biography of the 13th Floor Elevators (highly recommended). I’ll be posting some more Elevators vinyl – with a longer essay – in the coming weeks, but first a detour to one of their fellow Texas groups, that just happened to have recorded probably the earliest cover version of a 13th Floor Elevators tune (Splash1), the Clique.
To most people, the Clique are best known as the band that recorded the original version of today’s selection ‘Superman’, which R.E.M. resurrected and made a hit in 1986.
The Clique – who played under a few different names before settling on the Clique in 1967 – played all over East Texas, including many of the same beach resorts as the groups whose members would form the Elevators, the Spades and the Lingsmen. They recorded their cover of ‘Splash 1’ at the Andrus Studio (where the Elevators also recorded) in 1967. The record was first released on the local Cinema label, and after charting all over Texas it was picked up for national distribution by Scepter.
The Clique signed to White Whale records in 1968 and recorded their eponymous LP that year. They had a Top 40 hit in the summer of 1969 with a cover of Tommy James & the Shondells ‘Sugar on Sunday’ and hit the upper reaches of the Top 100 a few times, including with that song’s B-side ‘Superman’.
The band stayed together until 1972, and would likely be remembered only by record collector types, had not one particularly well connected collector – one Peter Buck – brought the tune to his band R.E.M.
The Clique’s version of the song is – aside from their cover of ‘Splash 1’ – the finest thing they ever did, especially compared to the more lightweight pop offerings on their LP. Reportedly, only the Clique’s lead singer Randy Shaw appears on the album, backed mainly by LA studio pros. The Clique LP has been reissued, but sadly the ‘Splash 1’ 45 was not included.
I hope you dig it.


PS if anyone out there has a line on a copy of the ‘Splash 1′ 45, please drop me a line…

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  1. Just recently found your Funky16 blog and then this one. Great stuff! Love this Superman song…”I am, I am superman…”!

    Keep up the good work, Neil, UK

  2. This has been in the devil’s stable for many a year now!
    I’m still in awe of the African Beavers!
    Nice as always!

  3. […] The Clique – Superman […]

  4. Love Funky16, it’s amazing. Now this? You are too good to us. Thank you thank you thank you.

  5. Hi Larry,

    for some info on the US Male, check


  6. Man, i’ll have to have look around for the Clique’s version of Splash 1. That tune floored me(bad pun intended) first time i heard it. Beautiful.

    Lookin’ for some musical biographies so will give that a checkout — seems to be the only form of literature i motivate myself to get through these days. From what little i know of them, they sound freakin’ nuts, which sounds like it’d make for some great stories.

    Can’t wait to check out this track — one of my fave REM tracks too (think it was a hidden track at the end of Fables wasn’t it??). Roll on 5 o’clock world!

    Hope you & the family had a good Holiday, Lar!

  7. Interestingly, the Clique was also the first group to record “Hallelujah,” a tune from tha same album that Sweathog would take into the Top 40 in 1971. (I recently posted a version of the same tune by Chi Coltrane of “Thunder & Lightning” fame.) Nice post!

  8. I’ m gonna seek out the Bio next time I’m @ the Book Store
    Would it be wrong to say I like it better over here then your Funky Corners ; )

  9. Jen
    Nothing wrong about that. Diff’rent Strokes and all that!

  10. thank you for this one – i have always thought it was a rem song !

  11. same here, I never thought hard enough about it to wonder whether it was a cover. i always really loved the song. in fact i might get my band to cover it, if i can manage the harmonies. . .
    thanks for all your hard work in 2007 on both your blogs. It’s much appreciated here in the UK where interesting records are harder to come by. At least i find it so, but then i am not a fanatical digger, just a fan who keeps his eyes open and doesn’t want to spend a lot.

  12. The Clique’s newest CD: “The Clique, Sugar On Sunday, The Definitive Collection” is available on and B& It has every recording done by The Clique, including “Splash 1″. The Clique, along with Edgar WInter, was inducted into the Texas’ Museum Of The Gulf Coast Music Hall Of Fame on Jan. 19, 2008 in Port Arthur, TX, USA – hometown of Janis Joplin. The reunion concert on Jan. 19 included 10 members of The Clique from 1965 to 1972.

  13. John
    I stand corrected. Thanks for checking in.

  14. Hi,
    I’m writing from the Hartford Advocate, the arts/alt weekly in CT. We ran a story on CT garage rock from the 60s that I thought you and your readers would appreciate. Lots of little-known and forgotten bands featured on a Sundazed comp. called Don’t Press Your Luck!

  15. Thank you for this post, very informative

  16. […] place that would have them before transitioning into the Sand Pipers, and finally, the Clique. As others have told their story in greater detail, we’ll focus on the Numero connection and let you search out their fantastic White Whale […]

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