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