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from the album Batman

single art for Scandalous!
Song details
Performer: Prince
First Released: 20 June 1989 - Batman album
Album(s): Batman
Writer(s): Prince and John L. Nelson
Producer(s): Prince
Live Appearances
First and last live appearance:
Performed regularly on tour:
Performed occasionally in shows:

Scandalous is the eighth track on Prince’s eleventh album Batman (the motion picture soundtrack to the Tim Burton movie Batman), and, five months after the album’s release, Scandalous! (the title containing an exclamation point) was released as the album’s fourth single. Prince’s father, John L. Nelson, is credited as a co-writer, but his input into the track is unknown. The vocals on the album are credited to a character from the movie, as if Prince is singing on their behalf. Scandalous, like The Future, is attributed to Batman.

Basic tracking took place on 17 October 1988 at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota (on a day off from the Lovesexy Tour, between stops in Greensboro, North Carolina and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). Sounds Of Blackness took part in the recording session but their contribution was not kept for the song (see trivia).

On 1 October 1989, three and a half months after the track was first released, the track was re-worked to a three-part version called The Scandalous Sex Suite; the three parts were titled The Crime, The Passion and The Rapture. Actress Kim Basinger, who played the character Vicki Vale in the movie, took part in these sessions, which were released on the Scandalous! maxi-single, also known as the The Scandalous Sex Suite EP.

In 2000, Scandalous was planned for inclusion on When 2 R In Love: The Ballads Of Prince (likely in re-recorded form, although it is possible this was planned but not executed). The album did not receive many votes by visitors at Prince: A Celebration, however, and was ultimately abandoned.

Recording Information
Recording Sessions
Date Studio Additional info
17 October 1988 Paisley Park Studios,
Chanhassen, MN, USA
1 October 1989 Paisley Park Studios,
Chanhassen, MN, USA
Reworking to create The Scandalous Sex Suite
Recording Personnel
  • Prince - all vocals and instruments
  • Kim Basinger - additional vocals on The Crime and The Rapture versions
  • Eric Leeds - saxophone on The Crime and The Rapture versions

Released Versions
Title Length Released Version Additional info
Scandalous 6:15 Batman

Scandalous! promo

Scandalous (Radio Version) 3:09 Scandalous! single Edit
Scandalous (Edit) 4:12 Scandalous! single Edit
The Crime 6:24 The Scandalous Sex Suite EP Remix a.k.a. The Scandalous Sex Suite: The Crime
The Passion 6:17 The Scandalous Sex Suite EP Remix a.k.a. The Scandalous Sex Suite: The Passion
The Rapture 6:39 The Scandalous Sex Suite EP Remix a.k.a. The Scandalous Sex Suite: The Rapture
The Crime 6:24 Scandalous! promo Remix Fade-out, not specified as an edited version
Scandalous 4:32 NPG Ahdio #9 (not available as a separate track) Live 26 March 1993, Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY, USA
Video Versions
Title Length Released Version Additional info
Scandalous 4:12 Batman 2-DVD Special Edition Promo video See Scandalous! video for details

Additional Information

See also Trivia

  • Scandalous is quoted musically in three Danny Elfman compositions for the Batman movie, also available on the companion Batman: Original Motion Picture Score - ‘Kitchen, Surgery, Face-Off’, ‘Love Theme’ and ‘Finale’. A fourth one is in an alternate version of ‘Beautiful Dreamer’, released on the 4-cd collection Danny Elfman Batman Collection, The : Limited Edition. While Danny Elfman must have heard Scandalous before its release, it is unlikely that Prince himself was involved in these three tracks (although he is credited with co-composition as a result of Scandalous’s inclusion), so they are not given full entries here.
  • This song uses the LinnDrum, the successor of the Linn LM-1 usually utilized by Prince.
  • In an article published in 2022, Sounds Of Blackness’director Gary Hines discusses the recording session of the song : “We recorded one song, which wound up being Scandalous. I say that because he remixed or reformatted what we did to where it was a whole ’nother creation. Originally, we were just going to do one song, but it was going so well. We got there probably at 7, 8 o’clock. By this time, it’s midnight. Sheila E. is actually conducting, or engineering, I should say, most of the session. Then he pulls me aside and says, "Gary Hines, I’m really happy. This is going so well, Gary Hines." I’m not exaggerating. He would do that all the time.”. In an other interview, Hines gives other details about that one and only session involving Prince and Sounds Of Blackness: "In addition to the lengthy late nights - early morning phone conversations pouring out heart and soul, then some of the projects we were blessed with him on was like the Batman soundtrack. I’ll never forget he called and said they had this really important project that he wanted us to work with him on. At the time, he couldn’t even tell us what it was, he told us afterwards. He said we probably would stay an hour or two in the studio; of course we were there all night (laugh). We had a great time! In fact, Sheila E. actually engineered; she was at the console much of the session and Prince was producing. That was on a Halloween. I will never forget that. Of course there are countless others, but those are among the standouts.".
  • Scandalous was recorded in mid-October 1988 (two weeks before Halloween), while he was working on both Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic and the Graffiti Bridge albums. Although that track is not known to have been considered for those projects, Prince’s organization was contacted by the people behind the Batman film only in mid-december 1988, two months after the recording of the song. Since their contribution was discarded from that track, and that no other recording session with Sounds Of Blackness took place, it is likely that their vocals sampled on the Batman soundtrack (the The Future and possibly Batdance) come from that session.
  • An semi-instrumental version of Scandalous was used in an alternate version of the scene in the Batman movie in which Bruce Wayne visits Vicki Vale's apartment and tries to tell her he's Batman. In this alternative scene the distinctive bell sounds that can be heard in Scandalous are synced with the ringing of Vicki Vale's door bell.

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