Batman (album)

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For the Danny Elfman musical score, see Batman (score).
Batman
Prince Batman.jpg
Soundtrack album / Studio album by Prince
Released June 20, 1989
Recorded June 1988 – March 1989
Paisley Park Studios
Genre Rock, pop, funk, soul, synthpop, minimal, orchestral, dance
Length 45:52
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Prince
Prince chronology
Lovesexy
(1988)
Batman
(1989)
Graffiti Bridge
(1990)
Batman soundtrack chronology
Batman (score)
(1989)
Batman (album)
(1989)
Batman Returns
(1992)
Singles from Batman
  1. "Batdance"
    Released: June 8, 1989
  2. "Partyman"
    Released: September 15, 1989
  3. "The Arms of Orion"
    Released: October 16, 1989
  4. "Scandalous!"
    Released: November 28, 1989
  5. "The Future"
    Released: May 18, 1990 (Europe only)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly B–[2]
IGN 7.7/10[3]
Mojo (favorable)[4]
MusicHound woof![5]
Q 4/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars[7]

Batman is the eleventh studio album by American recording artist Prince and the soundtrack album to the 1989 film Batman. 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 albums chart for six consecutive weeks. It has sold over eleven million copies worldwide.

Production[edit]

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-girlfriend Anna Fantastic). Originally, the songs "1999" and "Baby I'm a Star" from earlier albums were slated to be used in the film, but Prince instead 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, and 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).[8] 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 clothing, 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 complexities[edit]

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". On 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 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.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Future"   Prince 4:07
2. "Electric Chair"   Prince 4:08
3. "The Arms of Orion" (with Sheena Easton) Prince, Sheena Easton 5:02
4. "Partyman"   Prince 3:11
5. "Vicki Waiting"   Prince 4:52
6. "Trust"   Prince 4:24
7. "Lemon Crush"   Prince 4:15
8. "Scandalous!"   Prince, John L. Nelson 6:15
9. "Batdance"   Prince 6:13

Personnel[edit]

Source: PrinceVault.com[9]

Singles and Hot 100 chart placings[edit]

  1. "Batdance" (edit)
  2. "200 Balloons"
  3. "Batdance" (The Batmix) (maxi-single)
  4. "Batdance" (Vicki Vale Mix) (maxi-single)
  • "Partyman" (#18 US, #5 US R&B, #14 UK)
  1. "Partyman"
  2. "Feel U Up"
  3. "The Purple Party Mix" (maxi-single)
  4. "Partyman" (music mix) (maxi-single)
  5. "Partyman" (video mix) (maxi-single)
  1. "The Arms of Orion" with Sheena Easton (#36 US, #27 UK)
  2. "I Love U in Me"
  1. "Scandalous!"
  2. "When 2 R in Love"
  3. "The Crime" ("The Scandalous Sex Suite" maxi-single)
  4. "The Passion" ("The Scandalous Sex Suite" maxi-single)
  5. "The Rapture" ("The Scandalous Sex Suite" maxi-single)
  6. "Sex" ("The Scandalous Sex Suite" maxi-single)
  1. "The Future" (Remix)
  2. "Electric Chair" (Remix)

Charts[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[10] 4
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[11] 3
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[12] 1
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[13] 3
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[14] 4
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[15] 2
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[16] 2
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[17] 1
UK Albums Chart[18] 1
US Billboard 200[19] 1
US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[19] 1
Chart (2016) Peak
position
US Billboard 200 61

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[20] 3× Platinum 300,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[21] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[22] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Prince: Batman" at AllMusic. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  2. ^ Browne, David (21 September 1990). "Purple Products". Entertainment Weekly. No. #32 (Time). ISSN 1049-0434. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Spence D. (24 July 2008). "Prince – Batman Motion Picture Soundtrack". IGN. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  4. ^ Simmons, Sylvie (1996). "Prince: The Best of the Patchy Years" (free registration required). Mojo (Bauer Media Group). ISSN 1351-0193. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds.) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide (2nd ed.). Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 897. ISBN 1-57859-061-2. 
  6. ^ a b "Batman Soundtrack CD Album". cduniverse.com. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Prince: Album Guide". rollingstone.com. Archived from the original on 20 March 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  8. ^ Alex Hahn (2003). "Possessed: The Rise And Fall Of Prince". Billboard Books. 
  9. ^ http://princevault.com/index.php/Album:_Batman
  10. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Soundtrack / Prince – Batman". Hung Medien.
  11. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Soundtrack / Prince – Batman" (in German). Hung Medien.
  12. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Soundtrack / Prince – Batman" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  13. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH.
  14. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Soundtrack / Prince – Batman". Hung Medien.
  15. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Soundtrack / Prince – Batman". Hung Medien.
  16. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Soundtrack / Prince – Batman". Hung Medien.
  17. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Soundtrack / Prince – Batman". Hung Medien.
  18. ^ "Batman (OST)". chartstats.com. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  19. ^ a b "Batman: Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums" at AllMusic. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  20. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Prince – Batman". Music Canada. 
  21. ^ "British album certifications – Prince – Batman". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Batman in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  22. ^ "American album certifications – Prince – Batman". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Flowers in the Dirt by Paul McCartney
UK number one album
July 1, 1989 – July 7, 1989
Succeeded by
Velveteen by Transvision Vamp
Preceded by
The Raw & the Cooked by Fine Young Cannibals
Billboard 200 number-one album
July 22, 1989 – September 1, 1989
Succeeded by
Repeat Offender by Richard Marx