One of the highlights of the original 1989 Batman film (you know, the one that we can thank for successfully launching subsequent franchises) for me, personally, was this specific scene, when a recently transformed Jack Napier entered the Gotham Museum — causing mass hysteria in an attempt to “win over” Vicki Vale. It’s one of the more memorable moments of the movie, set to the tone of Prince’s original composition, “Partyman.”
As a whole, the entire soundtrack is stacked with goodies that requires multiple listens to fully appreciate its brilliance. The soundtrack’s closing song, “Batdance” is an experimental rock-funk fusion that, according to Wikipedia, was a “last-minute replacement” for the dark tones of an unreleased track titled “Dance with the Devil.”
Now, in the wake of Prince returning to the essence, the world is blessed with a long-lost, vaulted remix to “Batdance” featuring the one-and-only Big Daddy Kane.
Producer John Luongo explained to the LA Times that he was approached by a Warner Bros. executive while on a plane.
He came up to me and said, “I have a project for you.” When he told me it was Prince, I said yes, immediately. Prince was still in the process of working on it [the Batman soundtrack], so I had all his raw recordings. I got vocals that weren’t included in his original “Batdance” song, but that I used in my mix.
But Warner Bros. gave me all these restrictions. I couldn’t use certain lines from the Batman movie. I wanted to use little clips of dialogue, but I had to find out what lines in the movie had been cleared for usage.
On why the song never got used, Luongo reveals:
The whole thing, recording, mix and editing, took a day and a half. But I had a deadline! I remember FedEx was there waiting as I did my best to finish up, so we could make the next plane to rush it over to L.A. and Minnesota to let Warner Bros. and Prince hear what I had done. … And then Warner Bros. said they didn’t like it; it was too different. And that was it. They didn’t release it.
Listen to the song below.