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#ThrowbackThursday: Batman Forever Soundtrack

Batman Forever Soundtrack Atlantic Records

By Craig Clizbe

This week we join the rest of the world and celebrate the release of one of the summer’s most anticipated blockbusters, Suicide Squad. The film, which, stars Will Smith, Jared Leto, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and Scott Eastwood opens tomorrow (August 5, 2016) worldwide. It has had people talking about it since it’s famously leaked 2015 Comic Con trailer, which promised to take fans new places in Warner Bros/DC Entertainment’s developing DC Extended Universe. That still young universe which began in 2013 with Man Of Steel, and continued in March of this year with Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is about to introduce the world to new characters in a new and exciting way. As Suicide Squad’s story stars some of Batman’s most famous villains, who are secretly recruited by the government to fight a bigger threat, it provides a perspective rarely seen in a superhero film.

One of the things that helps make this film stand out from other previously released Batman/DC Comics related films of the past is Suicide Squad’s uniquely fun soundtrack. That compilation which will also be released tomorrow by Atlantic Records features a wide variety of Alternative, Hip Hop, and Pop acts as diverse as the Squad characters themselves. As we previously reported the album boast big names like Skrillex, Rick Ross, Grace, Twenty One Pilots, Imagine Dragons, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Skylar Grey, Panic! At The Disco, Eminem, Creedence Clearwater Revival and many others. Since eagle-eyed fans can look at the trailers for Suicide Squad and see that they confirm the not so well kept secret that Ben Affleck reprises his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne in the film, we though this week’s Throwback Thursday is a good opportunity to explore another time when the Pop/Rock music world had an impact on Batman’s.

In doing this it is impossible to not move forward without acknowledging the iconic sounds coming from both Danny Elfman’s score, and Prince’s groundbreaking Batman: The Album connected to Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) Both those albums have become a part of the character’s legacy and continue to be referenced as milestones of his role in pop culture. However since Suicide Squad: The Album was produced by Atlantic Records President of Film & TV and Grammy Award-winning soundtrack producer Kevin Weaver (Furious 7, Boardwalk Empire, The Fault In Our Stars, CREED, Girls Volumes 1 & 2, True Blood Volumes 1 & 2) and Creative Officer of Warner Music Group and CEO of both Artist Publishing and Partner Groups, Mike Caren, We thought we would shine the spotlight on the first time Atlantic Records masterfully crafted a compilation centered around the caped-crusader.

Like David Ayer’s Suicide Squad differs in tone in the same universe as Zack Snyder’s darker-themed Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice today, in 1995 Warner Bros was attempting to move away from Tim Burton’s gothic tone seen in Batman Returns, (1992) for a more family friendly feel in Batman Forever. They achieved this by not only replacing Burton with Joel Schumacher as director, and introducing the character of Robin/Dick Grayson for the first time in a theatrical release, but they also crafted a more fun soundtrack to help make the film have more of a “pop” feel according to producer , Peter MacGregor-Scott .

The Batman Forever soundtrack featured a variety stars from genres ranging from Alternative Rock, Pop/Rock, R&B and Hip Hop. It was released on May 23, 1995 via Atlantic Records, only weeks away from the film’s release by Warner Bros on June 16, 1995. It helped take the movie’s anticipation to new heights by becoming a massive hit. It included 6 singles, all which performed well on the charts for their genres. Those hits were, “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me By U2, “Kiss From A Rose, by Seal, “The Riddler” by Method Man, “Where Are You Now” by Brandy, “Smash It Up” by The Offspring, and “Nobody Lives Without Love” by Eddi Reader. Among those singles, two of them became chart-toppers. U2’s “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” topped the Modern Rock chart and received heavy rotation on MTV.

The biggest of these hits to help elevate the compilation to classic status came from the popularity of “Kiss From A Rose,” a song never originally intended to be included on the soundtrack. The track was originally released by Seal in July of 1994 from is second album, which is also his second self-titled album, Seal. It was that album’s second single following “Praying For The Dying.” However, “Kiss From A Rose” was given new life and introduced the Australian singer to a worldwide audience thanks to Batman Forever. The track had fallen off the charts after it’s initial release, but it was then when Joel Schumacher asked Seal’s permission to use the song for Batman Forever. Seal explained on a May 2010 episode of The Brian McKnight Show that Schumacher originally intended to include the song in a love scene between Val Kilmer’s Batman, and Nicole Kidman’s Dr. Chase Meridian. While the song was eventually not included in the scene, it was used during the end credits, and had a Batman-themed music video to help promote the film and soundtrack that was also directed by Schumacher.

It helped Seal become an international superstar as “Kiss From A Rose” topped the Billboard Hot 100 in August of 1995. It’s success helped give the soundtrack an element of acclaim, as Seal took home The Grammys for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance At the 38th Annual Grammy Awards in 1996. Just like Suicide Squad today, Batman Forever became the blockbuster of the summer, becoming the most financially successful Batman film until 2005’s Batman Begins with a box office total of 336 million. The Batman Forever soundtrack also sold over 2 million copies in the US, nearly as much as Prince’s original Batman: The Album. So before you buy your ticket to go to the movies and cheer on Batman’s bad guys in Suicide Squad, journey with us back to June of 1995 with the Batman Forever Soundtrack enjoy!

Seal 

“Kiss From A Rose” 

From Batman Forever Soundtrack/Seal (1994)

Atlantic Records 

U2 

“Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me,” (Clip)

From Batman Forever Soundtrack 

Atlantic Records 

U2 

“Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me,” (Full Audio)

From Batman Forever Soundtrack

Atlantic Records 

 Method Man 

“The Riddler”

From Batman Forever Soundtrack

Atlantic Records 

Brandy

“Where Are You Now?”

From Batman Forever Soundtrack

Atlantic Records 

The Offspring

“Smash It Up”

From Batman Forever Soundtrack

Atlantic Records 

Eddi Reader

“Nobody Lives Without Love”

From Batman Forever Soundtrack

Atlantic Records 

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Batman Forever (1995 Trailer)

Warner Bros. Pictures

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Suicide Squad (Remix Soundtrack Trailer 2016)

DC Entertainment/Rat Pac-Dune/Atlas Entertainment/Warner Bros Pictures/Atlantic Records

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Suicide Squad (2015 Comic Con Trailer )

DC Entertainment/Rat Pac-Dune/Atlas Entertainment/Warner Bros Pictures