Saturday, August 26, 1995

Seal hit #1 with “Kiss from a Rose”

Kiss from a Rose


Writer(s): Seal (see lyrics here)

Released: July 18, 1994

First Charted: July 30, 1994

Peak: 11 US, 11 CB, 18 GR, 18 RR, 112 AC, 16 A40, 52 RB, 35 MR, 4 UK, 2 CN, 16 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.2 US, 0.7 UK, 2.12 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 88.4 video, 355.7 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Kiss from a Rose” was written in 1987, but Seal was “embarrassed by it” and “threw the tape in the corner.” WK He eventually played it for his best friend, who then told Seal’s producer Trevor Horn about it. SF Seal presented it to Horn during the recording sessions for his second solo album. They recorded it, but Seal still nearly killed it, thinking it “was too flowery and that it didn’t fit.” SF However, Seal and Horn were convinced to include the song after friend Lynne Franks heard the album and said she liked the song. SF

Seal still insisted, “I was never really that proud of it, though I like what Trevor did with the recording. He turned that tape…into another 8 million record sales and my name became a household name.” WK The song has been interpreted as being about drugs, an expression of love, or a journey to the afterlife. SF Seal has only said there was “some kind of relationship that inspired the lyrics.” SF

Vocally, “Seal throws in every sub-Bacharach and David trick he can think of to make it fly.” TB “He opens each chorus with a highly hummable wail of ‘Bay-bee!’ that covers close to an octave in a word.” TB “The man has obviously studied the fine art of songwriting and is a master musician too.” TB

The song was initially released as the first single from his second self-titled album in 1994. That same year it was featured in the movie The Never Ending Story III and worked its way to #20 on the UK charts. However, the song’s chart history wasn’t done. Joel Schumacher, director of the upcoming film Batman Forever, contacted Seal about using the song in a love scene between stars Val Kilmer and Nicole Kidman. Schumacher eventually used it for the end credits instead. The song ended up on the soundtrack, was released as the second single, and topped the charts in the U.S. and Australia and went top 10 in multiple countries including Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. WK

The song won Grammys for Record and Song of the Year as well as Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. It was also nominated for an MTV Award for Best Song from a Movie.


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First posted 2/27/2021; last updated 4/12/2023.

On This Day in Music: The Battle of Britpop

August 26, 1995

The Battle of Britpop

1995 marked the pinnacle of Britpop in the U.K. The genre emerged from the British independent music scene in the early ‘90s and has been suggested to be the English response to the rise of grunge in the U.S.A. The form was characterized by its guitar-driven pop sound which recalled some of the country’s biggest bands from the 1960s and 1970s such as The Beatles and The Kinks. Groups from the 1980s and early 1990s such as The Smiths, The Stone Roses, and Happy Mondays were considered immediate predecessors to the movement. In the U.S., the genre was understandably less prevalent but many of the bands labeled as Britpop found homes on American alternative radio.

The genre’s two most popular bands were Blur and Oasis. In 1995, the former group was coming off the success of their highly acclaimed album Parklife while the latter band was coming off Definitely Maybe, which had set the record for the country’s fastest-selling debut album.

Both groups were prepping their follow-up albums and had grown antagonistic toward each other in the last year. By the time they were ready to release their new singles, the record companies made the most of the marketing opportunity and released the singles (“Country House” for Blur, “Roll with It” for Oasis) on the same day.

The release date, August 14, was cited by NME magazine as the day of the big chart showdown – or “The Battle of Britpop” as it was commonly referred to by the press. However, it wasn’t until the official UK chart for the week ending August 26, 1995, that an official winner could be declared. Blur debuted at #1 on the chart with 274,000 copies while Oasis’ sales of 216,000 landed them at #2. However, while Blur won the battle, Oasis won the war. Their album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? became the third-best-selling album in British history and found much greater success in the U.S. than Blur.

For more important days in music history, check out the Dave’s Music Database history page.

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First posted 8/26/2011; updated 8/24/2023.