Tim Burton’s Batman is 25 years old this week, which means Prince’s Batman soundtrack is also 25 years old! I’ve said it before, and it might be blasphemous to admit, but Batman is my favorite Prince album. While most knowledgeable Musicologists might scoff, it’s true. The main reason is likely because I was too young to really appreciate Prince’s earlier catalog and Batman was my in. I still contend it’s one of his better records, and not just because of the Batman association — even though it has barely anything to do with the movie.
There’s another Prince album celebrating a landmark anniversary this week. Thirty years ago, the Purple Rain album was released — a full month before the movie hit theaters — and the history of pop music was changed forever. Since no one at the NOC wanted write about the Batman album, I figured we’d celebrate that other landmark with one of my favorite pieces of Cliff Chiang art.
Cliff’s “12-Inch Remix” series — in which he uses superheroes to re-imagine 1980s iconography — is some of the best stuff on the internet. Really, if you haven’t seen these, I suggest you head over to Cliff’s website now. Better yet, find him at a convention near you and buy a print or several. His Wonder Woman and other DC heroines as Joan Jett and the Runaways is displayed above my computer as we speak.
The piece de resistance of the 12-inch collection, though, is the one that started it all. Instead of Prince astride his purple motorcycle, you have Yvonne Craig’s Batgirl (and Adam West’s Batman in the Apollonia role). Honestly, I couldn’t think of a more fitting Prince tribute during Bat Week.