Since his death last week, the spotlight has been on musical genius Prince, and his back catalogue of work. One album in particular, Batman, was highlighted as an example of the artist's ability to apply his endless creativity to any project.
Used as a marketing tool for the 1989 film of the same name, Batman went on to sell 11 million copies, and encouraged film studios to take great time and care on soundtracks to superhero movies.
Since Batman's release, there have been scores of original tracks written for films in the superhero genre. Let's take a look at the 10 most memorable tracks below:
10. R. Kelly - 'Gotham City'
Movie: Batman & Robin (1997)
R. Kelly got his bump 'n' grind on, and nurtured his smooth vocals and catchy slow-jam hooks to capture the essence of Bruce Wayne's home city in musical form.
Really, it's cheesy as hell, but, come on, the video has R. Kelly chilling on the biggest bed in the world and driving around in a Batmobile. Let's just hope he didn't leave the keys in the Ignition.
9. Drowning Pool ft. Rob Zombie - 'The Man Without Fear'
Movie: Daredevil (2003)
Long before the TV series, Ben Affleck donned the Red Suit as Matt Murdock. It's a film that was poorly received critically, but this original song featuring horror director Rob Zombie was a redeeming factor. Maybe.
8. Dashboard Confessional - 'Vindicated'
Movie: Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Originally, the band was going to include a song that they had already completed, and add it to the soundtrack for Sam Raimi's second installment in the Spider-Man franchise.
However, lead singer Chris Carrabba is a huge comic fan and negotiated a deal to watch a special advanced screening of the final movie. Feeling inspired, he wrote the song in 10 minutes, basing it on the themes running throughout the movie.
In an interview with Las Vegas Sun, he reflected on the impact the song had. He said:
"The song is our powerhouse. It’s new every night. Eleven years ago, that was the transitional moment that changed our lives, the watershed moment for our band. I can’t believe it. The crowd acts like the song just came out on the radio."
7. The Cure - 'Burn'
Movie: The Crow (1994)
The Crow had tragedy running through the production, and will always be synonymously linked with the horrific death of lead actor Brandon Lee while filming.
The tone of the comic and later the film adaptation was just as dark as real life events. Comic creator James O'Barr is a big fan of The Cure (lyrics to "The Hanging Garden" are on a page in the comic) so their inclusion to the soundtrack was a no-brainer.
The scene above shows Eric Draven transforming himself into the Crow.
6. My Chemical Romance - 'Desolation Row'
Movie: Watchmen (2009)
The band members of My Chemical Romance were fans of the original Watchmen comic, making their decision to cover Bob Dylan's song an easy one. The track was included in the closing credits of the movie.
In a blog on the Guardian, band member Gerard Way spoke of working on the song for the film. He said:
"There are quotes and references to songs sprinkled through the entire graphic novel, and that song is particularly relevant. Our version came from a desire to do something 'of its era,' which in the case of Watchmen is an alternate 1980s. I wanted the music to feel like how youth culture might feel at the time, so we approached it like an '80s new wave song."
5. Prince - 'Batdance'
Movie: Batman (1989)
The jagged baselines, deluge of funk and voice clips from the movie have all the hallmarks of a classic '80s, cheesy-themed soundtrack.
Prince, who tragically died this month, recorded the entire album — with each single fitting a theme for popular characters in Gotham City.
It's hard to believe the release — which sold over 11 million copies — was actually a result of a contractual agreement between Prince and Warner Bros. to market the movie.
4. Chad Kroeger - 'Hero'
Movie: Spider-Man (2002)
We're really warming up now. The Nickelback singer Kroeger fronted a team of well known musicians to produce the track for the original Spider-Man movie.
The video shows the band on a rooftop in New York, performing the song, intercut with clips from the movie. The video won an MTV Video Music Award in 2002 for the Best Video from a Film.
3. Soundgarden - 'Live To Rise'
Movie: The Avengers (2012)
Although the song isn't as well know as others on the list, "Live to Rise" was the first release from Soundgarden after their reform in 2010, and gave the movie that kick-ass edge.
In an interview with Blabbermouth, lead singer Chris Cornell reflected on the song's release:
"I think a film like this appeals to little kids all the way to old people because it's an action film, it's comic book characters, but it's also pretty witty dialog and accomplished actors doing it. So it had to be somewhat open to all of that. But also first and foremost it has to be a Soundgarden song."
2. Seal - 'Kiss From A Rose'
Movie: Batman Forever (1995)
Baya aa buh duh da da dah duh bayeeeyaa.. Ahh, Seal. It's one of the most memorable songs of the '90s, let alone the niche of superhero soundtracks. Believe it or not, the recording artist wasn't actually a fan of the song, and refused to feature it on his debut album.
After the initial release flopped, Seal's manager submitted it to be used in Batman forever, and the rest is history. In an interview with the Guardian, he said:
"I still didn't like it, and I convinced Trevor that it wasn't any good and we took it off the album. I thought it was too flowery and that it didn't fit. And 7m albums later, I owe my career to Joel Schumacher."
1. U2 - 'Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me'
Movie: Batman Forever (1995)
Yep, it's another tune from Joel Schumacher's superhero flick, this time produced by global superband U2.
The song is arguably one of the best made for cinema, even Bono bashing fans can't deny this is a pretty good tune. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the soundtrack to the movie sold extremely well.