Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, August 5th

On this day in 1984: Bruce Springsteen played the first of ten nights at the Meadowlands in New Jersey to mark the homecoming of the Born in the USA Tour.

On this day in 1989: Prince went to #1 on the U.S. singles chart with “Batdance.” it would spend one week in the top spot.

“Batdance” is from the 1989 Batman Soundtrack. Helped by the film’s popularity, the song reached #1 in the US, becoming Prince’s fourth American #1 single and his first since his chart topper “Kiss”.

“Batdance” was a last-minute replacement for a brooding track titled “Dance with the Devil”, which Prince felt was too dark. Incidentally, although “Dance with the Devil” remains unreleased, some of the lyrics appear in the album’s liner notes.

“Batdance” is almost two songs in one—a chaotic, mechanical dance beat that changes gears into a slinky, funky groove before changing back for the song’s conclusion (except on the single version in which it eliminates the guitar solo before the middle section, then goes straight to the mechanical Joker laughter from the end of the movie and an earlier movie sound byte of Michael Keaton saying “Stop”). The track is an amalgam of many musical ideas of Prince’s at the time. Elements from at least seven songs (some unreleased) were incorporated into “Batdance”: “200 Balloons”, “We Got the Power”, “House in Order”, “Rave Unto the Joy Fantastic” (later released on the album Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic), “The Future”, and “Electric Chair”. Some of these were mere snippets, and other segments showed up only in remixes of the track. The song was also loaded with dialog samples from the film.

Here’s a look at the Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1989:

1 2 BATDANCE –•– Prince – 8 (1)
2 5 ON OUR OWN –•– Bobby Brown – 9 (2)
3 4 SO ALIVE –•– Love And Rockets – 12 (3)
4 10 RIGHT HERE WAITING –•– Richard Marx – 5 (4)
5 1 TOY SOLDIERS –•– Martika – 12 (1)
6 8 ONCE BITTEN TWICE SHY –•– Great White – 13 (6)
7 7 LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME –•– Bon Jovi – 10 (7)
8 9 I LIKE IT –•– Dino – 13 (8)
9 13 COLD HEARTED –•– Paula Abdul – 7 (9)
10 6 IF YOU DON’T KNOW ME BY NOW –•– Simply Red – 14 (1)

11 3 EXPRESS YOURSELF –•– Madonna – 10 (2)
12 11 CRAZY ABOUT HER –•– Rod Stewart – 13 (11)
13 18 SECRET RENDEZVOUS –•– Karyn White – 11 (13)
14 24 DON’T WANNA LOSE YOU –•– Gloria Estefan – 5 (14)
15 19 I’M THAT TYPE OF GUY –•– L.L. Cool J – 9 (15)
16 14 DRESSED FOR SUCCESS –•– Roxette – 11 (14)
17 26 HANGIN’ TOUGH –•– New Kids On The Block – 4 (17)
18 20 HEY BABY –•– Henry Lee Summer – 12 (18)
19 22 FRIENDS –•– Jody Watley with Eric B. & Rakim – 8 (19)
20 21 NO MORE RHYME –•– Debbie Gibson – 8 (20)

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