Prince & Big Daddy Kane’s 1989 “Batdance Remix” Is Finally Released (Audio)
In 1989, the Batman franchise relaunched with the title film starring Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, and Kim Basinger. For the soundtrack, Warner Bros. Records tapped Prince for an entire album companion to the blockbuster film. Led by single “Batdance,” Prince’s 11th album (and a #1 on the charts) appeared to be a fitting tie to Tim Burton’s colorful, ominous, and suspenseful take on the classic comic and TV franchise.
Prince’s final 1980s album featured appearances by Sheena Easton, and the artist/producer sampling extensively from Batman and Joker’s dialogue, theme music, and more. It was a Funk opera, and part of the sub-genre of Prince’s discography (Purple Rain, Graffiti Bridge) where soundtracks only enhanced films.
What Heads may not know is that Big Daddy Kane was initially tapped to be on the “Batdance (Remix).” Also signed to Warner (care of Cold Chillin’ Records), Kane had released Long Live The Kane a year prior, and was working on It’s A Big Daddy Thing.
This week, in the hours after Prince’s death, remix producer John Luongo spoke to The Los Angeles Times about the shelved remix. “I think [Big Daddy Kane’s] work and persona was something that Prince appreciated, too. He had a melodic quality to him, which some rappers really didn’t. You put all that together, and it made him a really attractive addition. So when he got to the studio, I gave him some specifications, but everything was all of his own creation, right on the spot.”
With a Federal Express truck outside the studio, the producer recalls wrapping the mix. “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.” Luongo says he heard Prince quite liked the remix, which was enough for him.
Since the story published on April 22, GoWhereHipHop uploaded the lost remix featuring the vocals of Prince and Kane:
UPDATE: While the Soundcloud has been removed, a slightly different version exists via YouTube:
In his career, Prince would work with Hip-Hop artists including Kendrick Lamar, Common, Questlove, and The Coup’s Pam The Funkstress, among others.
Outside of Hip-Hop collaborations, B.D.K. has worked with Quincy Jones, Patti Labelle, and Morcheeba.