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Thread started 03/12/17 6:17am

ChrisLacy1990

Appreciation Thread: “The Future” (1989)

Batman’s album opener descends into the corridors of Gothic Pop, coming off as the dance-floor-ready sister to “Sign O’ the Times.”

To a bouncy, synth-driven bassline and a haunting Sounds of Blackness choir, Prince narrates the surrounding threats: “Yellow Smiley offers me X / Like he’s drinking 7-Up / I would rather drink six razor blades / Razor blades from a paper cup / He can’t understand, I say ‘Too tough’ / It’s just that I’ve seen the future, and boy it’s rough.”

While some people are quick to label Batman as a fall from grace, “The Future” is a stunning fusion of synthpop, funk, and social commentary.

princetf7F.jpg

[Edited 3/12/17 6:19am]

[Edited 3/12/17 6:20am]

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Reply #1 posted 03/12/17 6:58am

bluegangsta

avatar

ChrisLacy1990 said:

Batman’s album opener descends into the corridors of Gothic Pop, coming off as the dance-floor-ready sister to “Sign O’ the Times.”

To a bouncy, synth-driven bassline and a haunting Sounds of Blackness choir, Prince narrates the surrounding threats: “Yellow Smiley offers me X / Like he’s drinking 7-Up / I would rather drink six razor blades / Razor blades from a paper cup / He can’t understand, I say ‘Too tough’ / It’s just that I’ve seen the future, and boy it’s rough.”

While some people are quick to label Batman as a fall from grace, “The Future” is a stunning fusion of synthpop, funk, and social commentary.

Good to see you here, Chris!

I must say, The Future is never a track I'm drawn to listen to, but when I do I'm as blown away as each time I listen to it's sister. I was at a Prince party recentl here in Melbourne, and every one danced their asses off to it!

I will say that I think the track is a victim of poor mixing. The bass should have way more bottom end to it and really bring out the funk! Sadly, this isn't something that can be rectified by EQing the original two-track. It's also incredibly remixably (mostly due to it's very rhythmic vocal), however the William Orbit mix doesn't really do it the justice I'm sure it could have had.

Always cry 4 love, never cry 4 pain.
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Reply #2 posted 03/12/17 7:07am

todesm

I love the original as much as this remix. One of my all time favorite track.
[Edited 3/12/17 7:08am]
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Reply #3 posted 03/12/17 7:59am

OldFriends4Sal
e

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This has always been my favorite song from the album. Love the smoldering vide and the tone.

#ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
if you ever try the lotus position
Try it while you're being strangled
Do U understand what I'm saying?

#IDEFINEME
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Reply #4 posted 03/12/17 8:06am

OldFriends4Sal
e

avatar

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Image result for the future by Prince

#ALBUMSSTILLMATTER
if you ever try the lotus position
Try it while you're being strangled
Do U understand what I'm saying?

#IDEFINEME
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Reply #5 posted 03/12/17 8:14am

NorthC

Excellent opener of the album and Electric Chair was the perfect follow up. They set the tone for a dark and serous but funky album and then... Bam! He destroys everything with the awful syrupy-sweet Arms of Orion. Talk about a tall from grace! Nothing that came after could make me recover from that shock because nothing was as good as those first two tracks.
Thing went a little better when The Future was also the opener of the Nude Tour and once again, it worked perfectly.
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Reply #6 posted 03/12/17 10:46am

Shockedelicus

Say what you will about Batman, The Future/Electric Chair fucking slam. The opening one-two punch sets a moody tone that the rest of the album sadly never follows up on. If only Love U in Me was on the album in place of Arms of Orion to carry the mood for another track. Oh well.

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Reply #7 posted 03/12/17 3:19pm

paraded

Have always considered this one of his absolute best songs - and man, is it prophetic: "systematic overthrow of the underclass/Hollywood conjures images of the past/new world needs spirituality that will last." What an incredible lyric...

It's one of his sparsest too, so that when the orchestra part comes in, it's really shocking.

I've always hungered for a version without the film soundbites...would love to hear only those eerie synth notes at the beginning, and then the beat just slam out of them. Hopefully one day this will be released...

Actually, looking on princevault, I noticed that it says a version without the film samples was placed on the March, 1989 version. Has anyone ever come across this?

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Reply #8 posted 03/12/17 4:41pm

Marrk

avatar

bluegangsta said:

ChrisLacy1990 said:

Batman’s album opener descends into the corridors of Gothic Pop, coming off as the dance-floor-ready sister to “Sign O’ the Times.”

To a bouncy, synth-driven bassline and a haunting Sounds of Blackness choir, Prince narrates the surrounding threats: “Yellow Smiley offers me X / Like he’s drinking 7-Up / I would rather drink six razor blades / Razor blades from a paper cup / He can’t understand, I say ‘Too tough’ / It’s just that I’ve seen the future, and boy it’s rough.”

While some people are quick to label Batman as a fall from grace, “The Future” is a stunning fusion of synthpop, funk, and social commentary.

Good to see you here, Chris!

I must say, The Future is never a track I'm drawn to listen to, but when I do I'm as blown away as each time I listen to it's sister. I was at a Prince party recentl here in Melbourne, and every one danced their asses off to it!

I will say that I think the track is a victim of poor mixing. The bass should have way more bottom end to it and really bring out the funk! Sadly, this isn't something that can be rectified by EQing the original two-track. It's also incredibly remixably (mostly due to it's very rhythmic vocal), however the William Orbit mix doesn't really do it the justice I'm sure it could have had.

Oh Noooo. I love the remix so much, always have. William Orbit deserves a lot of credit. I seem to remember it was a German only release. I picked it up on import. Have to say the Batman 12 inch singles greatly improve the Batman era for me.

Yeah, we'll, we'll try to imagine what silence looks like.
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Reply #9 posted 03/12/17 7:28pm

214

Love this song, sounds like a prophetic song, it fits great with SOTT.

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Reply #10 posted 03/14/17 2:35am

milesb

Agree with the sentiment that this is the best song on the album. Hit me immediately when I first put that album on at the tender age of 14. It was something completely new. First new album he brought out after I became a fan. Means a lot, especially this track

My password is what
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Reply #11 posted 03/14/17 4:28am

BoraBora


If I'm not wrong "The Future" was remixed by Mark Moore and not William Orbit.

I think he did a great remix, givin' the track an even darker edge.

WO remixed "Electric Chair" (in a way I didn't like that much, too stripped down).

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Reply #12 posted 03/14/17 5:24am

mistertonymac

milesb said:

Agree with the sentiment that this is the best song on the album. Hit me immediately when I first put that album on at the tender age of 14. It was something completely new. First new album he brought out after I became a fan. Means a lot, especially this track

Yes to all of this. I too was the same age and had just fallen in love with Lovesexy.

The Future is a total classic. In fact the whole Batman album has a special place in my heart because i was just starting out on my Prince journey.

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Reply #13 posted 03/14/17 9:57am

kygermo

THEE very definition of an "overlooked" track. I always think to myself how much I love it when I'm listening to Batman. Clever lyrics, sparse but effective arrangement, and definitely one of the stand-outs on the album. Vicki Waiting is another extremely overlooked track, and that's one of my very favorites. Holds one of his best vocal performances ever IMHO. Overall, Batman isn't exactly a great Prince record, but man there's some GREAT shit on it, but obviously we all know that.

Gary shoulda steered clear of that Blind Dog Bourbon

When I can (or when the mood strikes), I write stuff on a blog I've created. Mostly music-related. Site link here: rockhardinafunkyplace.wordpress.com
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Reply #14 posted 03/14/17 11:52am

mtlfan

I'd been a Prince fan a few years before I heard Batman. By that point, I had heard the album sucked a whole bunch of times, and my expectations were low.

Four beats into "The Future" and I was sold. "Electric Chair?" Motherf.....

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Reply #15 posted 03/14/17 11:57am

NorthC

mtlfan said:

I'd been a Prince fan a few years before I heard Batman. By that point, I had heard the album sucked a whole bunch of times, and my expectations were low.



Four beats into "The Future" and I was sold. "Electric Chair?" Motherf.....




Okay, and what about the rest of the album?
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Reply #16 posted 03/14/17 1:05pm

mtlfan

Not his best, not his worst, obviously a step down from Lovesexy. Say what you want about Batdance but it topped the charts, it's innovative, the guitar solo crushes. Scandalous is third date magic, I'll never understand why Trust isn't an underground favourite. The rest I can take or leave, and yeah, it would be better with "I Love You in Me" and "Dance with the Devil," even then it would be a great collection of songs rather than a masterpiece. But how many masterpieces does a guy need?

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Reply #17 posted 03/14/17 8:15pm

lakerlaker52

ChrisLacy1990 said:

Batman’s album opener descends into the corridors of Gothic Pop, coming off as the dance-floor-ready sister to “Sign O’ the Times.”

To a bouncy, synth-driven bassline and a haunting Sounds of Blackness choir, Prince narrates the surrounding threats: “Yellow Smiley offers me X / Like he’s drinking 7-Up / I would rather drink six razor blades / Razor blades from a paper cup / He can’t understand, I say ‘Too tough’ / It’s just that I’ve seen the future, and boy it’s rough.”

While some people are quick to label Batman as a fall from grace, “The Future” is a stunning fusion of synthpop, funk, and social commentary.



princetf7F.jpg


[Edited 3/12/17 6:19am]

[Edited 3/12/17 6:20am]



Classic song, recording, and performance. First two tracks on the album are up there with any two openers in his discography.

It's based on some arrangement ideas first found in "The Line" (which is one of the tragically unreleased classics still in the vault).

Side note: if I'm not mistaken, the photo here from the single cover (and other pics from the same shoot) are the only ones from Prince's career where he is completely facial hair-free.
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Reply #18 posted 03/14/17 10:07pm

mbdtyler

This is one of the few Prince songs I can remember listening to at an early age. I would play various CDs in my dad's collection and was always drawn to the Batman soundtrack for some reason (probably because my 5 year old self loved Batman lol ). I got a kick out of "Electric Chair" and "Batdance" and had never heard anything like those songs before, but this one always intrigued me in a different way. It seemed cold, dark, and mysterious, and I had no clue what he was singing about... but I liked it.

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Reply #19 posted 03/16/17 6:35pm

ChrisLacy1990

kygermo said:

THEE very definition of an "overlooked" track. I always think to myself how much I love it when I'm listening to Batman. Clever lyrics, sparse but effective arrangement, and definitely one of the stand-outs on the album. Vicki Waiting is another extremely overlooked track, and that's one of my very favorites. Holds one of his best vocal performances ever IMHO. Overall, Batman isn't exactly a great Prince record, but man there's some GREAT shit on it, but obviously we all know that.



I've read your work on Sputnikmusic a few years ago (big fan!). Your appreciation for Sign O' the Times is very similar to mine. I'll check out your website and thanks for visiting my thread.
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Reply #20 posted 03/16/17 7:17pm

ChrisLacy1990

bluegangsta said:



ChrisLacy1990 said:


Batman’s album opener descends into the corridors of Gothic Pop, coming off as the dance-floor-ready sister to “Sign O’ the Times.”

To a bouncy, synth-driven bassline and a haunting Sounds of Blackness choir, Prince narrates the surrounding threats: “Yellow Smiley offers me X / Like he’s drinking 7-Up / I would rather drink six razor blades / Razor blades from a paper cup / He can’t understand, I say ‘Too tough’ / It’s just that I’ve seen the future, and boy it’s rough.”

While some people are quick to label Batman as a fall from grace, “The Future” is a stunning fusion of synthpop, funk, and social commentary.




Good to see you here, Chris!

I must say, The Future is never a track I'm drawn to listen to, but when I do I'm as blown away as each time I listen to it's sister. I was at a Prince party recentl here in Melbourne, and every one danced their asses off to it!

I will say that I think the track is a victim of poor mixing. The bass should have way more bottom end to it and really bring out the funk! Sadly, this isn't something that can be rectified by EQing the original two-track. It's also incredibly remixably (mostly due to it's very rhythmic vocal), however the William Orbit mix doesn't really do it the justice I'm sure it could have had.



Thanks for taking the time to read my work, bluegangsta! I always value your perspective on Prince's music.
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Reply #21 posted 03/17/17 10:24pm

Sydney

For a long time I felt that Batman was not of the quality of ealier 80's Prince albums. Maybe it isnt but in recent years I have enjoyed listening to this one as much as his classics. I agree with earlier comments about the great opening two tracks, amazing! Most suprising for me is that over time I now actually LIKE Arms Of Orion next - it's sugary optimism and theatrical (but exceptional) singing work for me. From there the amazing Vicki's Waiting, Partyman, Batdance and the magnificent Scandalous. The period is also fascinating for me with Prince's dark, mysterious looks, great B - sides and really fabulous extended versions which are still on par with his other amazing 80's 12". I have also heard some of the un-released 12"s like Trust and Batdance and these are great and adventurous too! I just wanted to say this cause Prince's passing brought me back to a lot of his albums after shelving them for many years and Batman has been wonderful to re-discover.

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Reply #22 posted 03/19/17 10:37am

fortuneandsere
ndipity

I think Batman may be his last 10/10 album, albeit only just. Genuinely, and I have a scoring system to rate albums accurately, or at least as I see them. wink

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Reply #23 posted 03/19/17 3:30pm

jdcxc

Shockedelicus said:

Say what you will about Batman, The Future/Electric Chair fucking slam. The opening one-two punch sets a moody tone that the rest of the album sadly never follows up on. If only Love U in Me was on the album in place of Arms of Orion to carry the mood for another track. Oh well.



True
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Reply #24 posted 03/28/17 6:35am

kygermo

ChrisLacy1990 said:

kygermo said:

THEE very definition of an "overlooked" track. I always think to myself how much I love it when I'm listening to Batman. Clever lyrics, sparse but effective arrangement, and definitely one of the stand-outs on the album. Vicki Waiting is another extremely overlooked track, and that's one of my very favorites. Holds one of his best vocal performances ever IMHO. Overall, Batman isn't exactly a great Prince record, but man there's some GREAT shit on it, but obviously we all know that.

I've read your work on Sputnikmusic a few years ago (big fan!). Your appreciation for Sign O' the Times is very similar to mine. I'll check out your website and thanks for visiting my thread.

Wow! Thanks for the kind words. Very sorry I'm late in getting back to you. For a while there, I was pumping out the reviews, but sadly i stopped pretty much because of the other users. Besides a select few that said some great things about those albums, a lot of those elitist pricks on there simply attacked Prince, his album covers, and whatever else they could. For a website dedicated to the appreciation of music and literature, Prince and his Prince-ness REALLY intimidated some of those people, and they used insults to hide their insecurites. You should have seen the comments for Lovesexy. Some of it was edited out by the mods, but a little is still on there. After I wrapped up SOTT, I said enough was enough with the Prince stuff on there. I'm due for a new Faith No More review (my other absolute favorite band in the world besides P). And thank you again for the kind words. You're the very first person on here that's commented on anything I've written, and that made me feel great. Haven't written in a while, but what you said may have kicked me back into gear. Take care!

Gary shoulda steered clear of that Blind Dog Bourbon

When I can (or when the mood strikes), I write stuff on a blog I've created. Mostly music-related. Site link here: rockhardinafunkyplace.wordpress.com
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