Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Kiss From a Rose": Seal's Majestic Pop Classic

"Kiss From a Rose" is a beautiful and elegant romantic ballad by British soul singer Seal. His warm, soulful voice and lavish harmonies elevate the song to greatness. It is superbly arranged and orchestrated and has a baroque quality that distinguished it from other Top 40 tracks. It's one of the best pop songs of the 1990s. I just recently learned that Seal wrote it.  I've been seriously underestimating this dude all these years.  I always knew he had a great voice but wasn't aware of his other talents. In addition to being a singer, he's also a talented songwriter and plays the guitar and bass. He has written or co-written a number of his other songs, including hits "Crazy" and "Prayer For the Dying."

"Kiss From a Rose" was originally on Seal's self-titled second album, which was released in 1994.  The song reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was re-released in 1995 and included on the soundtrack for the blockbuster film Batman Forever.  After the film opened, the track blew up. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart and climbed to #4 on the UK Singles Chart. The song also held the top spot on the U.S. Adult Contemporary charts for 12 weeks. And it did extremely well in other parts of the world, charting in the Top-10 in Australia, France,  Norway, Austria, Sweden, the Netherlands and Switzerland. For a while, you couldn't get away from the track; however, it's such a powerful song that it never gets stale even after multiple plays, well for me anyway.

Seal wrote "Kiss From a Rose" in tribute to folk-rock supergroup Crobsy Stills & Nash while he was living in a squat in Kensal Green, London. The tracked earned the singer three Grammys at the 38th Annual Grammy Awards in 1996 in the following categories:  Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Male Performance. It's cool that this song was given a second life upon its re-release in '95. It would have been a crime for such a great song to have been overlooked.

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