When director Tim Burton’s big-screen version of “Batman” was released way back in the year 1989, the film had its very own soundtrack featuring songs written, composed, and performed by Prince. One of the album’s many gems was the peculiar six-minute ditty “Batdance”, which, according to Wikipedia, is actually an amalgamation of seven different then-unreleased songs. Even by today’s odball standards, the song is extremely bizarre, and doesn’t fit at all with what Burton and crew were trying to achieve with their highly-anticipated reimagining. Had this thing been released around the same time as Joel Schumacher’s “Batman & Robin”, it would have been a match made in heaven.
So obsessed was I with “Batman” at the time that I actually owned both the soundtrack and the “Batdance” seven-inch single, which contained “200 Balloons” as the B-side. Having rewatched the video after probably two decades, it’s kind of funny how differently the franchise is handled these days. Before Nolan’s incarnation, bands such as U2 and the Smashing Pumpkins contributed songs to “Batman Forever” and “Batman & Robin”, a practice which would probably seem out-of-place with the franchise’s dead series presentation. Still, the 11 year-old boy in me keeps hoping that someone like Nicki Minaj will deliver an out-of-sync, ridiculously unnecessary “Batman”-related tie-in on iTunes. Blasphemy, I know.
“Batdance”, I still love you. If you’ve missed out on this particular slice of weirdness from Batman’s storied cinematic history, have a look at the clip below. Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises”, meanwhile, opens in theaters on July 20th, 2012.