Scandalous

Adel Gabot

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11:32AM

One last thing about dear departed Prince.

You may think I’m an odd duck for this, but to me, Prince’s best song is not I Would Die 4 U, When Doves Cry, Kiss or even the iconic Purple Rain.

For me, his best song was this virtually unknown one he wrote for the soundtrack of the 1989 Tim Burton film Batman called Scandalous.

Few people remember it, or I think even heard it, it’s so obscure.

It’s part of an album of songs Prince wrote for the movie, and it’s separate and distinct from the original soundtrack album written by Danny Elfman. It’s just nine tracks all in all.

Most of the songs Prince wrote were hardly included in the film, and just a few snippets were incorporated into the film, notably The Arms of Orion, and a bit of Partyman and Lemon Crush. I think Batdance was in the closing credits.

I don’t even really remember hearing Scandalous in the actual film, save for, I think, one or two lines. I’d better rewatch the movie and make sure.

Batman was an interesting film, but it didn’t really capture my idea of the hooded hero. I bought the CD in 1989, thinking it was the Danny Elfman album, and was at first unpleasantly surprised. But as I continued to listen to Prince’s tracks, I grew to like them, particularly Scandalous. (I bought the Elfman album eventually, but it’s long forgotten now, unlike Prince’s.)

I don’t know what it is about the song, but it somehow spoke to me, with its haunting refrain and arresting verses, and I grew to love it. Yes, I love his other mainstream hits of course, but nothing matched Scandalous, at least for me. Prince’s tortured yet elegant falsetto and the repetitive slow rhythm caught my ear.

I think it’s fantastic, and an underappreciated and underrated gem from the man. That’s why I’ve played it several times since yesterday, the day of Prince’s death.

And I guess, why I will continue to play it intermittently for years to come.

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EDIT: April 24, 11:25AM – I watched Batman again, and I was wrong. It wasn’t Batdance at the end credits. It was actually the entirety of Scandalous, right after Elfman’s Main Theme that played through half the credits. Hmm. Memory can play strange tricks on you.  27 years will do that.

 


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