The Day Prince Flew To The Top With Batman

07/22/2011
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(Gibson) On this day in 1989, The soundtrack album Batman, by Prince, started a six-week run at no 1 on the U.S. album chart. Gibson takes a look back: It was one of the strangest pairings in pop music history. On one side there was Prince, an '80s megastar of the highest elite, who seemed to create music faster than he could release it. On the other was Tim Burton, the new "it" film director (thanks to Beetlejuice), who had been given the keys to Gotham City to introduce movie audiences to a darker version of Batman.

During the editing process for Batman, Burton had used Prince's "1999" and "Baby I'm a Star" as the temporary soundtrack for a couple of scenes. Seeing as Warner Bros. was releasing Batman and that Prince was signed to Warner Bros. Records, Burton approached him about creating original material for the film. Prince agreed to watch a rough cut of the film, and found himself inspired by elements of Burton's Batman. He felt his music could be a natural fit for the movie.

Prince cancelled his vacation to Paris and put other projects (including his own Graffiti Bridge movie) on hold to write and record his Batman songs in early 1989. A month after seeing the rough version of the film, Prince presented Burton with eight finished songs all synchronized to film footage. Some he had just written and recorded, while others had been finished previously. For instance, "Vicki Waiting" was originally called "Anna Waiting" and dated from late '88, as did the rock song "Electric Chair." Burton approved of five of the songs, rejected three and asked if Prince could come up with two more. Interesting enough, those two songs (the funky pop-rockers "Trust" and "Partyman"), would end up being the only two featured in the finished film. more on this story

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