I’ve Seen The Future and It Works: A Cultural Examination of Prince’s Batman

In 1989 everything about Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie was a risk: the director, the casting, the Batman property itself, and Prince’s soundtrack. A singular spike in a catalog filled with unique offerings, the Batman soundtrack helped propel the film’s success, and stands as Prince’s most dedicated effort in aid of someone else’s vision.

Elements of the Batman soundtrack confounded longstanding fans but roped in scores of new ones. More, the album didn’t come out in a vacuum, and stands as a showcase of his ability to consume, process and compose work of the time, drawing in elements of popular musical forms of the day. All this Prince accomplished laboring under a company theme, creating a work bordering on a traditional musical, all while maintaining his sonic palate, philosophical agendas, and production values.

This presentation will dissect the songs, film production, and musical environment at the time of the album’s release, outlining how Batman represented a continued pursuit of Prince’s interrogation of image, and the need for professional comeback, and was a scion of the musical landscape of the time.

Scott Woods

Scott Woods is the author or editor of two poetry collections (Urban Contemporary History Month, 2016, and We Over Here Now, 2013) and a collection of essays (Prince and Little Weird Black Boy Gods, 2017), and is the award-winning organizer of Holler: 31 Days of Columbus Black Art (2017). He has been featured multiple times in national press, including multiple appearances on National Public Radio. He was the president of Poetry Slam, Inc., is the co-founder of the Writers’ Block Poetry Night and has founded and curated numerous other events. In April of 2006, he became the first poet to ever complete a 24-hour solo poetry reading, a feat he bested seven more times without repeating a single poem.

Prince and Little Weird Black Boy Gods: Prince Essays