The same can be said for "Electric Chair," which was meant to represent the Joker's point of view. As refreshingly under-produced as the opener, "Electric Chair" is a thumping dance/rock number. "If a man is considered guilty for what goes on in his mind/Then gimme the electric chair for all my future crimes," insists the chorus. Attributing each song to one of the movie's main characters was a nice gimmick at the time, but the quirky lyrics are all Prince. Would the Joker use a music simile such as: "You whispered something/It took my mind out/Like a G flat major with an E in the bass?" No matter, this track sizzles and features some stinging guitar work.
While the aforementioned songs both feature briefly in the movie (albeit as instrumentals), the Sheena Easton duet "The Arms of Orion" does not. Odd, because this was clearly conceived as a love theme. The vocals are credited to Vicki Vale and Bruce Wayne. Though it's often written off as a syrupy, sappy ballad (which it is, quite honestly), it's also a well-structured piece of melodic pop songwriting. Exactly the type of song that Prince seldom pulls off at this point in his career. Pretty, but not particularly passionate, "The Arms of Orion" was a Top 40 single. Why it was not featured in the movie - while a lesser ballad later on the album was - remains a mystery.
"Partyman" was spotlighted in the movie, when Jack Nicholson's Joker gleefully defaces priceless works of art in a gallery. A Top 20 hit single, I always viewed this song as Prince on autopilot. My feelings haven't changed; "Partyman" serves its purpose as a theme for the Joker without having any noteworthy elements. That doesn't keep it from being fun - much more fun than most of Prince's lightweight efforts of late. "If it break when it bend/You better not put it in," another memorable line.
Easily the most overlooked track, by me at least, is "Vicki Waiting." The lyrics are a bit strange, having existed before the Batman project as "Anna Waiting," concerning Prince and his then-girlfriend Anna Garcia. Retro-fitted for Batman, vocal credited to Bruce Wayne, it mixes fiction with (presumed) autobiography. "All is well in Gotham City/The sound of terror is all you hear," is one of the most direct movie-related lyrics on the album. More intriguing is the final verse, in which Prince ponders the possibility of becoming a father. "Talk of children still frightens me/Is my character enough to be/One that deserves a copy made," subject matter that is clearly a bit more personal than the rest. Musically "Vicki Waiting" is one of most dense productions on the album, a multi-textured soundscape that invites close listening.