Batman is the eleventh studio album by American recording artist Prince and is the soundtrack album to the 1989 filmBatman. It was released on June 20, 1989 by Warner Bros. Records. As a Warner Bros. stablemate, Prince's involvement in the soundtrack was designed to leverage the media company's contract-bound talent as well as fulfill the artist's need for a commercial (if not critical) revival. The result was yet another multi-platinum successful cross-media enterprise by Warner Bros., in the vein of Purple Rain. The album was No. 1 on the Billboard album chart for six consecutive weeks. It has sold over eleven million copies worldwide.
- 2 Ownership complexities
- 3 Unreleased song information
- 4 Track listing
- 5 Personnel
- 6 Chart positions
- 7 Singles and Hot 100 chart placings
- 8 References
The album was quickly recorded in six weeks—from mid-February to late March 1989—and Prince used three tracks recorded earlier: "Electric Chair", "Scandalous", and "Vicki Waiting" (originally known as "Anna Waiting", named for his then-girlfiend, Anna Garcia). Originally, the songs " 1999" and "Baby I'm a Star" from earlier albums were slated to be used in the film, but Prince, extremely interested in the project, recorded an entire album's worth of material with Batman samples and lyrics. It was also originally planned to be Prince performing the funk songs, whilst Michael Jackson would perform the love ballads; this plan was unfruitful. The album was performed entirely by Prince, with a few exceptions;Sheena Easton duets with Prince on "The Arms of Orion", "Trust" features a sampled horn part by Eric Leeds and Atlanta Bliss, and "The Future" features strings by Clare Fischer sampled from the (then-unreleased) 1986 track "Crystal Ball" and samples of the Sounds of Blackness choir. "Batdance" includes a sample of Prince's technician Matthew Larson, and "Partyman" features the vocal performance of then-girlfriend Anna Garcia (credited as Anna Fantastic). All dialogue sampled on Prince's Batman album is taken directly from a workprint of Batman and therefore lacks ADR and foley. This is especially noticeable in the beginning of the first track, "The Future", with dialogue of Michael Keaton speaking as Batman.
In the album's liner notes the lyrics of each song are associated with one of the characters in the film.
The album also marked a change in Prince's appearance; he switched out frilly polka dots, lace, and controversial attire for a much darker and simpler attire, usually donning dark blue/black clothing and "Batman" boots. The artist's hair was also completely straightened from wavy curls, as shown in the Batdance video. Overall, the tone of the era was darker than previously.
Ownership of the Batman franchise is notoriously complex. Prince had to agree to sign the publishing rights to the songs used in the movie over to Warner Bros.; therefore, Prince's hit singles from this album were not permitted to appear on any of his hits compilations, only the B-side singles "200 Balloons", "Feel U Up" and "I Love U in Me". Even on the concert T-shirts, which listed all of Prince's album titles to date, the song "Scandalous!" appeared in place of the album Batman. Despite this, Prince has performed a number of the album's tracks in concert over the years. A 2005 special edition DVD of the Batman movie contains Prince's related videos as a bonus feature (although "Partyman" is still edited down from the original longer version, much to the chagrin of fans). Wedged between Lovesexy and Graffiti Bridge, the soundtrack serves as Prince's final album contribution of the 1980s.
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One of the main songs slated for inclusion on Prince's Batman album was the 7:54 "Dance with the Devil". The song was pulled at the last minute and replaced with an edited version of the chaotic "Batdance", reportedly because Prince deemed "Dance with the Devil" to be too dark. "Dance with the Devil" samples Jack Nicholson's dialogue as The Joker, as well as the sound of falling rain. "Dance with the Devil" is officially unreleased; however, it is circulating amongst tape traders.
An alternate, 8:55 version of "Batdance" is also circulating within amongst tape traders. The song is notable for showcasing scenes with dialogue cut from the final version of Batman. Some radio stations played a version of the song mixed with dialogue from the 1960s Batman television series.
|3.||"The Arms of Orion" (with Sheena Easton)||Prince, Sheena Easton||5:02|
|8.||"Scandalous!"||Prince, John L. Nelson||6:15|
- Prince - all other vocals and instruments
- Eric Leeds - saxophone (6)
- Atlanta Bliss - trumpet (6)
- Sounds of Blackness - choir (1)
- Sheena Easton - co-lead vocals (3)
- Clare Fischer - orchestration (1)
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||4|
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||3|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||3|
|Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)||1|
|New Zealand Albums (Recorded Music NZ)||4|
|Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)||2|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||2|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||1|
|UK Albums Chart||1|
|US Billboard 200||1|
|US Billboard R&B Albums||1|
- "Batdance" (#1 US, #1 US R&B, #2 UK)
- "Batdance" (edit)
- "200 Balloons"
- "Batdance" (The Batmix) (maxi-single)
- "Batdance" (Vicki Vale Mix) (maxi-single)
- "Partyman" (#18 US, #5 US R&B, #14 UK)
- "Feel U Up"
- "The Purple Party Mix" (maxi-single)
- "Partyman" (music mix) (maxi-single)
- "Partyman" (video mix) (maxi-single)
- "The Arms of Orion" with Sheena Easton (#36 US, #27 UK)
- "I Love U in Me"
- "Scandalous!" (US) (#5 US R&B)
- "When 2 R in Love"
- "The Crime" ("The Scandalous Sex Suite" maxi-single)
- "The Passion" ("The Scandalous Sex Suite" maxi-single)
- "The Rapture" ("The Scandalous Sex Suite" maxi-single)
- "Sex" "The Scandalous Sex Suite" maxi-single
- "The Future" (UK/Germany)
- "The Future" (Remix)
- "Electric Chair" (Remix)