On this day in music history: August 5, 1989 -…

On this day in music history: August 5, 1989 – “Batdance” by Prince hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the R&B singles chart for 1 week on August 12, 1989. Written and produced by Prince, it is the fourth #1 Pop and sixth R&B chart topper for the Minneapolis, MN born singer, songwriter and musician. Prince becomes involved in the “Batman” film project after being shown a rough cut of the film by director Tim Burton, who had been using “1999” and “Baby I’m A Star” as temporary music tracks while editing the film. Cancelling a scheduled vacation, Prince flies back home to Minneapolis and begins writing music for the film. Within a month, the artist composes eight new songs (only few make the final cut) for the film. The track “Batdance” is a song collage (featuring pieces of the songs “200 Balloons” (Batdance’s non-LP B-side), “The Future”, and “Electric Chair”) written and recorded overnight, using samples of dialogue from the film. Though it is not included in the film, the song is brilliantly utilized to market both the film and album. Released as a single on June 9, 1989, it is an immediate hit. Entering the Hot 100 at #53 on June 17, 1989, it rises to the top of the chart seven weeks later.  The song is accompanied by an elaborately staged music video directed by Albert Magnoli (“Purple Rain”) and choreographed by Barry Lather (Janet Jackson, Tiffany). The clip features Prince in dual roles as himself and as a character called “Gemini”, half representing The Joker and the other half representing Batman, with the name being a nod to Prince’s own astrological sign. The music video earns an MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Video From A Film in 1990. The single is also released as a 12" with extended remixes by Mark Moore of S-Express (Batmix) and William Orbit (Vicki Vale Mix). That 12" is reissued on Record Store Day on April 22, 2017, replicating the original sleeve design. Due to Prince having to sign over his publishing rights to his “Batman” soundtrack music to DC Comics, the company that owns the Batman franchise, “Batdance” has not appeared on any other Prince albums or compilations since the release of the soundtrack album. After many years, clearances are finally obtained from DC, and the single edit of the song is included on the posthumous compilation “Prince 4Ever” in November of 2016. “Batdance” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.