Release date: May 23, 1995
Record label: Atlantic
During the 1990s, part of the approach to selling a summer blockbuster was assembling a soundtrack full of potential hit singles across a variety of genres, from rap to pop to grunge. The Batman Forever soundtrack is a great example of that push.
The third in the original Batman movie franchise started by Tim Burton in 1989, Batman Forever was the beginning of the end. Joel Schumacher (Flatliners, Falling Down) took the reins and turned what was previously a dark but ridiculous series into something so hammy, you just felt bad for everyone involved. Especially folks like Val Kilmer, who has the camera basically travel up the crack of his ass during one shot of the new Batsuit; Tommy Lee Jones, an incredible actor who, as Two-Face, is asked to chew more scenery than any single body hold; and Nicole Kidman, who plays a character named Dr. Chase Meridian. This is a joke, and no one is laughing.
But let me tell you about something that isn't a joke: "Kiss From a Rose" by Seal. In 1995, hearing him mush-sing through those opening ba-da-da-da-das was the equivalent of Future imploring you to "turn up" in 2013. And then the chorus—which makes no sense from a words perspective—modulates, and you find out that you've just proposed to the person sitting closest to you. This is powerful music.
The soundtrack also includes songs from Nick Cave, Massive Attack, Method Man, PJ Harvey, the Flaming Lips, Sunny Day Real Estate, and lot of other acts who shouldn't legally be allowed to share a billing together. We'll never have another Batman Forever, Music From the Motion Picture. —RS