"Kiss from a Rose"
Single by Seal
from the album Seal (Seal II)
B-side
Released18 July 1994
Genre
Length
  • 4:47 (album version)
  • 3:38 (radio edit)
Label
Songwriter(s)Henry Samuel
Producer(s)Trevor Horn
Seal singles chronology
"Prayer for the Dying"
(1994)
"Kiss from a Rose"
(1994)
"Newborn Friend"
(1994)
1995 re-release
Batman Forever soundtrack single
Licensed audio
"Kiss from a Rose" on YouTube

"Kiss from a Rose" is a song from British singer-songwriter Seal's second eponymous album (1994). The song was first released as a single in July 1994 by ZTT, Sire and Warner Bros., and included in the film The NeverEnding Story III that year. It was re-released a year later in 1995 as part of the Batman Forever film soundtrack, helping it top the charts in the United States and Australia. The song also reached the top 10 in several other countries, including Canada, France, Iceland and Norway. At the 1996 Grammy Awards, it won awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.[3]

Background

"Kiss from a Rose" was written in 1987, several years prior to the release of Seal's eponymous debut album from 1991. After writing the song, Seal felt "embarrassed by it" and "threw the tape in the corner". Seal did not present it to producer Trevor Horn until the recording sessions for Seal II. In 2015, Seal said of the song: "To be honest, I was never really that proud of it, though I like what Trevor did with the recording. He turned that tape from my corner into another 8 million record sales and my name became a household name".[4]

"Kiss from a Rose" was the second single taken from the Batman Forever film soundtrack, and topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for one week in August 1995. It also went to number four on the UK Singles Chart, where it had originally reached number 20 in 1994. It also was nominated for the MTV Movie Award for Best Song from a Movie in 1996.[5]

Seal talked about the long, strange journey that the song went through on The Brian McKnight Show season finale that aired 30 May 2010. He described how the song initially dropped out of the charts shortly after its release. Joel Schumacher subsequently called Seal, and requested use of the song to play over a love scene between the characters played by Nicole Kidman and Val Kilmer in Batman Forever.

Critical reception

Chuck Campbell from Knoxville News Sentinel felt that "fairy-tale-ish melodies and harmonies" uplift "Kiss from a Rose".[6] Ian Gittins from Melody Maker noted its "would-be butterfly sigh".[7] Another editor, Andrew Mueller, called it "a nondescript wine bar ballad".[8]

Pan-European magazine Music & Media commented, "Sealed with a kiss, here you get a ballad and a half! It's got the right pathos and the unavoidable violins. The thorn, needed to show the sincerity, comes from the razor sharp alto sax".[9]

Alan Jones from Music Week wrote, "Seal's magnificent 'Kiss from a Rose' – now subtitled 'Love Theme from Batman Forever' – is back a mere year after its first release when it reached number 19. A complex yet melodic song, it has remained a radio staple since it was first released, and is ready to explode".[10]

The song's cryptic lyrics have been the subject of debate since its release. In 2015, Seal provided verified commentary on the "Kiss from a Rose" entry on the website Genius, stating simply: "I have avoided explaining these lyrics for over 25 years. I am not going to start doing it now".[11]

Music video

Two versions of the music video were produced:

Use in media

Sung in Vacation (by Christina Applegate, Ed Helms and child actors)

Sung in Yellowjackets season 1 episode 9 Doomcoming

Track listing

Between all the formats of the single release, bonus tracks include the non-album tracks "The Wind Cries Mary" (a Jimi Hendrix cover) and "Blues in 'E'"; remixes of "Kiss from a Rose" by Adamski (who produced the original version of "Killer"); and remixes of album track "I'm Alive" by Steve Fitzmaurice and Sasha with BT.

Charts

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[51] Platinum 70,000^
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[71] Platinum 90,000
France (SNEP)[72] Gold 250,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[73] Gold  
United Kingdom (BPI)[74] 2× Platinum 1,200,000
United States (RIAA)[76]
(physical)
Gold 700,000[75]
United States (RIAA)[76]
(digital)
Gold 500,000*

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

See also

References

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