The year was 1981, and a music legend in the making, Prince was slowly crafting his musical royalty legacy. Before releasing his fourth album, Controversy, Prince introduced the band The Time to the world with their self-titled debut album.
Slow Jam Saturday : Prince, Scandalous
While the latest big-screen incarnation of the Caped Crusader continues to rake in the moolah at the box office, I wanted to travel back to that magical summer of 1989. I was eight years old when Tim Burton’s Batman arrived in theaters and had a blast seeing the film on the big screen in Lubbock, Texas, at South Plains Mall, Cinema 4.
One of the biggest things about the 1989 film version of Batman was the merchandising, and the film’s soundtrack was a key component. Warner Bros., the studio that released the film, had an ace up its sleeve given that Prince, one of the decade’s biggest music stars, was on the label as well. Therefore, if you have not already guessed, Prince and his song “Scandalous” is the week’s Slow Jam Saturday Pick.
Similar to Jamie Starr’s first soundtrack, Purple Rain, the soundtrack for Batman featured nine songs, of which two were ballads. The first ballad on this soundtrack was a duet with Sheena Easton titled “The Arms of Orion”. However, something about “Scandalous” artistically alludes to sensuality.
From the moment the first chord of the song begins up until Prince utters the first lyric 41 seconds later, the listener knows their ears are about to experience a musical euphoria. Set to an almost haunting instrumental, Prince creates an atmosphere where satin sheets are in place, and the aroma of Jasmine Candles fills in the air. Even in just reading the lyrics, you can tell that whomever Prince was singing about (popular theory is Kim Basinger) that he means every note.
Feel what you’ve been dyin’ for
Don’t be afraid, baby
Touch it and explode
Understand, understand that I love you
Oh, but more than that, I want you
Everybody always told me
Good things come to those who wait
But I’ve got so much on the menu
I just can’t, I just can’t, I can’t wait baby
I can’t wait baby
I can wrap my legs all around you girl
‘Cause sugar, you know you’re just the kind of lover
That I’ve been looking for
Tonight why don’t we skip all the for play, mama
And just get down here on the floor”.
Serving as the album’s fourth single, “Scandalous” is easily one of Prince’s most popular slow jams. One of the most fantastic trivia facts about this song is that Prince recorded the song during a day off from the “Lovesexy” Tour. The original version appears on the album, but this is Prince. So naturally, he had more plans for the song. In the late fall of 1989, Prince would release The Scandalous Sex Suite, a three-part suite of 19 minutes of the song, with the parts titled ‘ “The Crime,” “The Passion,” and “The Rapture.”
Thirty-three years after its release, “Scandalous” is not only one of the best songs from any Batman soundtrack but a song better than the entire catalogs of some artists who made their record industry entrances in the years that followed.
Final Grade: A +
“Scandalous” from the Batman soundtrack is available on all streaming platforms.
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