In honor of the late Prince Rogers Nelson, better known simply as Prince, Assistant Editor Kevin Gunn pays tribute to the musician and his eleventh studio album, The Batman Soundtrack.
The year was 1989. I turned 19 in February. My mother bought me my first CD player for my birthday. It was a boombox. Compact Discs were expensive then. My first two discs were BeBe & CeCe Winans’ Heaven and an (at the time) up and coming R&B artist named Ann G. (later changed to “Anne G.”) with an album called On A Mission. Again, disc were expensive.
In addition to being a music fan, I also loved comic books. After the Christopher Reeve Superman film franchise had ended 2 years earlier, Batman starring Michael Keaton premiered on June 23, 1989. While I was excited (a little) about a new Batman movie, I was more excited to learn that none other than PRINCE (yes, that Prince) was doing the soundtrack for the movie!
So I saved up a few coins from my part time jobs I worked while going to college, and I bought my third CD!
I loved that CD! It was your typical Prince music. Thumping, bass pounding, uptempo rhythms and sensual, melodic, baby-making harmonies. But the only difference was music was the soundtrack for the Dark Knight himself!
Batdance was the first track to be released from the CD. It was crazy, but in a great way! In the music video, Prince pulled double duty, embodying the personas of Bruce Wayne and Jack Napier/The Joker. And female backup dancers dressed in capes and cowls! In my opinion, the video still holds up today! Warning: The link below starts automatically, and may be loud, the way it was meant to be!
Batdance was one of only 4 songs released from the soundtrack. Another was the pantydropper called Scandalous! Another track was what you could call the Joker’s theme, it was simply titled Partyman. And once again, Prince donned the makeup and costume of the Clown Prince of Crime for the video.
The last track released from the album was a sweet and tender ballad called The Arms of Orion, a duet Prince performed with Scottish Pop Icon Sheena Easton. It was such a beautiful song. It still is. And all of the songs from the Batman soundtrack remind me of how multifaceted the artist Prince
was is. He recorded the album in only six weeks. If you don’t have this masterpiece in your music library or playlist, what’s wrong with you?
Rest in peace, Prince. And thank you.