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Thread started 05/02/17 2:57pm

Latin

Article: Why Batman is Prince’s misunderstood masterpiece

Check out this article entitled "Why Batman is Prince’s misunderstood masterpiece". It was published by Fansided:

http://fansided.com/2017/...sterpiece/
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Reply #1 posted 05/02/17 3:33pm

zenarose

Thanks Latin!! Great article.
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Reply #2 posted 05/02/17 3:47pm

jaawwnn

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Batman is a well underrated album by the general music listening public and non Prince-scholar critics but there's no way you can talk me into believing Lemon Crush is anything beyond the most throwaway garbage.

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Reply #3 posted 05/02/17 3:58pm

luv4u

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moderator

Love the masterpiece! cool

Edmonton, AB - canada

Ohh purple joy oh purple bliss oh purple rapture!
REAL MUSIC by REAL MUSICIANS - Prince
"I kind of wish there was a reason for Prince to make the site crash more" ~~ Ben
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Reply #4 posted 05/02/17 4:32pm

2freaky4church
1

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Not so much. Side one maybe.

"2freaky is a complete stud." DJ
"2freaky is very down." 2Elijah.
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Reply #5 posted 05/02/17 4:47pm

laurarichardso
n

jaawwnn said:

Batman is a well underrated album by the general music listening public and non Prince-scholar critics but there's no way you can talk me into believing Lemon Crush is anything beyond the most throwaway garbage.

If you watch the movie all of the songs fit the film and all album have filler cuts.

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Reply #6 posted 05/02/17 4:53pm

PeteSilas

jaawwnn said:

Batman is a well underrated album by the general music listening public and non Prince-scholar critics but there's no way you can talk me into believing Lemon Crush is anything beyond the most throwaway garbage.

hey, hey, that was one of my faves.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #7 posted 05/02/17 5:05pm

PeteSilas

I don't know if the album was that good, and the writer said lovesexy was a double album, it wasn't. I liked the album, of course, but I wouldn't place it with some of his other ones. The joker/batman theme was perfect for prince though, and he had to know it as soon as he saw it. Recently I thought of how cool it would have been for Prince and MJ to have done a video for the movie. They were just like the Joker/Batman in their dynamic.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #8 posted 05/02/17 5:10pm

TrivialPursuit

Honestly, it wasn't until recent weeks that I've heard people talk shit about Batman. I've no idea why people feel that way. I've only always heard people love songs like "Vicki Waiting" or "Scandalous", but sometimes shit on "The Arms of Orion" (my favorite track). "Lemon Crush" rubs on me at times, but in general the album is a very specific and inspired set of tunes for a particular project (opposed to the quasi-compilation that became Graffiti Bridge). He'd not done that since Purple Rain, really.

Even the b-sides from this era are pretty great. "Sex", "Feel U Up", "I Love U In Me", The Scandalous Sex Suite (even with the fitting "When 2 R In Love thrown in), the "Partyman" remixes, The Future EP (I'm calling it an EP), "200 Balloons", and the Bat and Vicki Vale remixes of "Batdance". Fuck - so much fun material.

Throw in the samples of unreleased (at that point) stuff like "Rave un2 the joy fantastic", "dance with the devil" phrasing, and the re-sung "if a man is considered guilty..." line thrown in "Batdance". It's all very concentric.

For a while, I had a playlist in iTunes that listed remixes instead of studio versions if possible.

  1. The Future (remix)
  2. Electric Chair (remix)
  3. The Arms of Orion
  4. Partyman (The Video Mix)
  5. Vicki Waiting (NPGMC #2 edition, recorded Oct 22, 1995)
  6. Trust
  7. Lemon Crush
  8. Scandalous! (the Suite, but you could put in the NPGMC edition in Ahdio #9)
  9. Batdance (Bat Mix)
  10. Batdance (Vicki Vale Mix)

"Despite everything, no 1 can dictate who u r 2 other people." - Prince |
http://bit.ly/unboxingprince
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Reply #9 posted 05/02/17 5:12pm

dadeepop

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A very underrated album IMHO.

"The password is what."
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Reply #10 posted 05/02/17 5:16pm

gandorb

Good to see Batman get some love. Not one of my favorites, but definitley has a special place in his discography. Surprised the author called Lovesexy a "double album'. Not sure why someone who apparently was so into prince during that time frame would even think that.

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Reply #11 posted 05/02/17 5:34pm

kingricefan

Great article Latin! Now I wanna go get my Batman cd and play it! It's always been a favorite of mine.

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Reply #12 posted 05/02/17 5:38pm

speakeasy

I haven't read this article and I look forward to it!

Batman is a weird and cool Prince record. He was flirting with a very electronic, minimalist sound that I find so interesting and experimental. D&P and the Symbol Album almost don't feel like the same artist to me. For me--those records felt much more like he was listening to 90's radio and trying to place hits. Batman felt like he was following his own weird ass muse and making something undeniably unique. For me--this was one of the last times Prince felt like a mad wizard in the studio--particularly as he moved towards a more 'band' oriented sound in the 90's.

There was a direct evolution in his records during the 80's. Batman feels like it grows out of the LoveSexy sound. I'm not sure why--but in the 90's there was real abrupt shift in his music that didn't (for me) feel as organically evolved. There was a self-consciousnesss that emerged. Again, I think there was something in the 90's about him wanting to stay current and relevant. Whereas, in the preceding records (and decade), he really seemed to inhabit his own universe and not give a crap what anyone else was doing. I do wonder what was happening in his life after 1989 that caused this shift.

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Reply #13 posted 05/02/17 5:38pm

HatrinaHaterwi
tz

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Personally, I've always thought that "Batman" didn't get the respect it deserved because Prince himself, wasn't actually in the movie. Of course, he couldn't have been The Joker, Jack Nicholson had that on lock but Prince totally could have pulled off being The Joker's Avenger or even the introduction to The Riddler. IJS!

"Style is loving yourself 'til everyone else does too."
You certainly proved that Prince, beyond any doubt.
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Reply #14 posted 05/02/17 5:45pm

speakeasy

TrivialPursuit said:

...

Even the b-sides from this era are pretty great. "Sex", "Feel U Up", "I Love U In Me", The Scandalous Sex Suite (even with the fitting "When 2 R In Love thrown in), the "Partyman" remixes, The Future EP (I'm calling it an EP), "200 Balloons", and the Bat and Vicki Vale remixes of "Batdance". Fuck - so much fun material.


Great post! I agree. Clearly he was feeling super creative during this time!

[Edited 5/2/17 18:22pm]

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Reply #15 posted 05/02/17 5:56pm

PeteSilas

speakeasy said:

I haven't read this article and I look forward to it!

Batman is a weird and cool Prince record. He was flirting with a very electronic, minimalist sound that I find so interesting and experimental. D&P and the Symbol Album almost don't feel like the same artist to me. For me--those records felt much more like he was listening to 90's radio and trying to place hits. Batman felt like he was following his own weird ass muse and making something undeniably unique. For me--this was one of the last times Prince felt like a mad wizard in the studio--particularly as he moved towards a more 'band' oriented sound in the 90's.

There was a direct evolution in his records during the 80's. Batman feels like it grows out of the LoveSexy sound. I'm not sure why--but in the 90's there was real abrupt shift in his music that didn't (for me) feel as organically evolved. There was a self-consciousnesss that emerged. Again, I think there was something in the 90's about him wanting to stay current and relevant. Whereas, in the preceding records (and decade), he really seemed to inhabit his own universe and not give a crap what anyone else was doing. I do wonder what was happening in his life after 1989 that caused this shift.

i think hip hop had a huge impact on his decisions. they didn't play instruments so he went the other way and had all musicians, something which he more or less did for the rest of his career. I imagine after the revolution, he may have wanted a break from a band as such, musicians are always, always a headache and usually they aren't worth the trouble to have them around. so, maybe he wanted respite, or partial respite in the studio which he didn't need those guys. Live, he had no choice. After the revolution, i would think he'd just want musicians who knew they only mattered insomuch as live playing and as extensions of what Prince was trying to play. You never hear stories of creative problems with the following band that you did with the revolution. Also, financially, after telling everyone to fuck off with ATWIAD, prince sales had fallen off more and more and rumours of money problems, even being "broke" came out around 1988 so Batman was his best selling album since at least ATWIAD if not PR. Batman also poised him for another pitiful attempt at a movie with Graffiti Bridge. Anyway, long story short, i'm sure he knew it would be better to get sales up rather than be a stubborn artist so Diamonds and pearls mixed the polished musicians with hip hop and it worked, the album sold quite well and brought him back. I always thought the symbol album was an attempt to really sell well and it didn't happen, he had so much faith in himself that he thought he could actually will 5 million albums which that stupid contract dictated, when he saw he couldn't do that it fucked his head up for awhile.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #16 posted 05/02/17 6:20pm

speakeasy

PeteSilas said:

Anyway, long story short, i'm sure he knew it would be better to get sales up rather than be a stubborn artist so Diamonds and pearls mixed the polished musicians with hip hop and it worked, the album sold quite well and brought him back. I always thought the symbol album was an attempt to really sell well and it didn't happen, he had so much faith in himself that he thought he could actually will 5 million albums which that stupid contract dictated, when he saw he couldn't do that it fucked his head up for awhile.


Well said and interesting point regarding the contract. As I said above, I feel like there was a self-consciousness that crept into his music that just wasn't there before. I think the 90's were a culturally weird-ass decade in general. So when I look back at his videos or hear that music--it feels more dated than his 80's music. Does that make sense to anybody else? smile

[Edited 5/2/17 18:21pm]

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Reply #17 posted 05/02/17 6:23pm

luvsexy4all

all this love for this album..then why is it never included in his golden era?? ('80-'88)

which could be extended to '96

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Reply #18 posted 05/02/17 6:59pm

Bodhitheblackd
og

speakeasy said:

PeteSilas said:


Well said and interesting point regarding the contract. As I said above, I feel like there was a self-consciousness that crept into his music that just wasn't there before. I think the 90's were a culturally weird-ass decade in general. So when I look back at his videos or hear that music--it feels more dated than his 80's music. Does that make sense to anybody else? smile

[Edited 5/2/17 18:21pm]

Makes perfect sense to me. The earlier material still feels potent, visceral, exciting, boundary-pushing...the 90's music feels 'safer,' more homogenized, almost predictable.

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Reply #19 posted 05/02/17 7:08pm

herb4

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It's not a great album but there's some good stuff on it. The whole thing just felt forced and smelled of a cash in, like you could tell Prince had these songs laying around and quickly and haphazardly molded them into shapes that kinda sorta fit the film but not really.

Never understood the hate for 'Lemon Crush' either. I'll take it over 'Partyman', 'Arms of Orion' or 'Trust'.

Edit: Also, the article says:

"and the critical failure of his double album Lovesexy seemed to imply that the crown had grown too heavy."

I hate factual errors like this.

Also:

"“Arms of Orion”, “Lemon Crush” and “Scandalous!” counter the funkier tracks by slowing things down both in scale and attitude, but never in scope. These are introspective ballads"

How is "Lemon Crush" a ballad?

[Edited 5/2/17 19:11pm]

[Edited 5/2/17 19:14pm]

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Reply #20 posted 05/02/17 8:46pm

datdude

yeah, i was tracking with the author until that faux pas. i'm like did he mean to put Vicki Waiting there? which still isn't a "ballad" and he fails to mention it at all which is arguably the best or 2nd best track on the album. all in all, glad to see the album get some love. its definitely golden era for me! for all his success, his #1's were rare and Batdance was one of them!

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Reply #21 posted 05/02/17 8:55pm

PeteSilas

Bodhitheblackdog said:

speakeasy said:


Well said and interesting point regarding the contract. As I said above, I feel like there was a self-consciousness that crept into his music that just wasn't there before. I think the 90's were a culturally weird-ass decade in general. So when I look back at his videos or hear that music--it feels more dated than his 80's music. Does that make sense to anybody else? smile

[Edited 5/2/17 18:21pm]

Makes perfect sense to me. The earlier material still feels potent, visceral, exciting, boundary-pushing...the 90's music feels 'safer,' more homogenized, almost predictable.

some of it I guess but some of the stuff on emancipation was done with an eye to the future. Brave New World, Slave, The Human Body sound pretty fresh. I never did follow current music but it sounds to me like the music i'd hear at clubs a few years later. anyway, personally, i just wanted good songs so whether it was that era or even the last albums with updated production, if the songs were good i couldn't care less about the means of recording.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #22 posted 05/02/17 9:06pm

imprimis

'Scandalous' is certainly one of the very top, and one of the most haunting, of his love ballads.

.

Does anyone else feel that the re-recorded, late '86 'Witness' would integrate quite well with the Scandalous Sex Suite, or another maxi-single of the era, as a counterpoint to the album's 'Electric Chair'?

.

[Edited 5/2/17 21:16pm]

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Reply #23 posted 05/02/17 9:09pm

PeteSilas

that album was where it became apparent Prince's "slow jams get written off" on his own words. Even on here, if you look up those ballads by title, lots of people were brutal in their opinion. The slow songs weren't ever hits unless you cound TMBGITW but he was the best of his era in my opinion at being a real soulman. I don't know, maybe that was the reason, those songs are really too soulful for crossover.

[Edited 5/2/17 21:10pm]

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Reply #24 posted 05/02/17 9:11pm

Bodhitheblackd
og

PeteSilas said:

Bodhitheblackdog said:

Makes perfect sense to me. The earlier material still feels potent, visceral, exciting, boundary-pushing...the 90's music feels 'safer,' more homogenized, almost predictable.

some of it I guess but some of the stuff on emancipation was done with an eye to the future. Brave New World, Slave, The Human Body sound pretty fresh. I never did follow current music but it sounds to me like the music i'd hear at clubs a few years later. anyway, personally, i just wanted good songs so whether it was that era or even the last albums with updated production, if the songs were good i couldn't care less about the means of recording.

Yes PeteSilas, just as I posted my comment I regretted not mentioning Emancipation. I agree totally with your observations.

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Reply #25 posted 05/03/17 12:21am

jaawwnn

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PeteSilas said:

jaawwnn said:

Batman is a well underrated album by the general music listening public and non Prince-scholar critics but there's no way you can talk me into believing Lemon Crush is anything beyond the most throwaway garbage.

hey, hey, that was one of my faves.

bloody hell. Ok fair enough.


HatrinaHaterwitz said:

Personally, I've always thought that "Batman" didn't get the respect it deserved because Prince himself, wasn't actually in the movie. Of course, he couldn't have been The Joker, Jack Nicholson had that on lock but Prince totally could have pulled off being The Joker's Avenger or even the introduction to The Riddler. IJS!


I've always wondered if his Gemini idea wasn't something he was pitching to Tim Burton in an attempt to write himself into the film. It's like he wrote the soundtrack to a slightly different film and then made a few videos to try and shoot the damn thing himself.

[Edited 5/3/17 0:25am]

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Reply #26 posted 05/03/17 1:34am

PeteSilas

those vids were probably his best, he didn't do many lavish videos and he rarely did videos that showed him hamming it up like he did in partyman.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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Reply #27 posted 05/03/17 1:45am

BoraBora

luvsexy4all said:

all this love for this album..then why is it never included in his golden era?? ('80-'88)

which could be extended to '96



In my book, "Batman" is part of the Golden Era.

And to some extent also "Graffiti Bridge", as the closing chapter.

I think the reason "Batman" is considered a minor work is essentially because it was the first time Prince did something "commercially" instead of "artistically".

Yes, obviously it isn't in the same league of SOTT or Lovesexy but if you take away the "Batman concept" what remains is a really good "more light and less deep" album, with many tunes in line with Prince's musical evolution (all but "The Arms Of Orion" and "Batdance", the first being pop in a way P never did and the second being a bizarre creation unlike anything done before or after.... and to be clear I love "Batdance" and also like very much TAOO).

I agree that "Lemon Crush" is the worst of the songs on the album, and to me even of the entire Prince catalogue. Take away that, put in "Dance With The Devil" and the album is near perfection according to what it wants to be.

Just my two cents.


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Reply #28 posted 05/03/17 2:29am

james

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I always felt Batman was a massive dissapointment as a follow up to Lovesexy.

But I recently found that if you skip the obviously "Batman" stuff (and try to ignore the few lyrical references "Vicky Waiting", etc), and include the B-Sides, there's a great album hidden under there!

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Reply #29 posted 05/03/17 2:36am

PeteSilas

james said:

I always felt Batman was a massive dissapointment as a follow up to Lovesexy.

But I recently found that if you skip the obviously "Batman" stuff (and try to ignore the few lyrical references "Vicky Waiting", etc), and include the B-Sides, there's a great album hidden under there!

well, he could have tried to play the artist again and had worse sales. lovesexy only went gold at the time, no other megastar of that era was having flops like that.

Prince.org: With fans like these he didn't need haters.
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