The singer was initially too embarrassed by the song to play it for anyone
Friday is Seal’s birthday, so to honor the man who brought us the defining Batman-related love song of our time, we’re rounding up entirely more information about the song than you knew was really necessary to have.
But once you have it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
“Kiss from a Rose” actually dates back to 1987, which is three years before Seal was even signed to a record label, and four years before his self-titled debut.
Writing on the song’s Genius entry, the singer explains: “The song started off as an experiment. When I was just starting out, I was living in a squat. I had one of those four-tracks port-a-studios, basically a tape machine that takes a cassette and splits it up into four tracks.”
Once he’d finished his experiment – the song’s unusual waltz-time and chord progressions are, truthfully, a little odd –, he said he was “embarrassed” by it and refused to play it for his producer Trevor Horn. Sometime later, he played it for a friend, who told Horn about it. Eventually, when the pair was recording Seal II, Horn kept “brow-beating” Seal about “this ‘rose’ song he’d heard about” – and the song wound up on the record.
The song was originally released in July 1994, and it rose to No. 20 on the UK Singles Chart. A year later, director Joel Schumacher called Seal and requested the song’s use for a love scene in Batman Forever. Despite not being used in the proposed scene, it played over the film’s end credits, and a new video was released for it.
The song became the second single from the Batman Forever soundtrack – the first being “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” by U2 – and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for a week in August 1995. It would eventually go on to win awards for record of the year, song of the year and best male pop vocal performance of the year at the 1996 Grammy Awards.
It’s since gone onto be featured everywhere from Bones, Shameless, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Community and the 2015 version of Vacation, to say nothing of the video game Backyard Football ’09. Oh, and that video of that drunk guy singing it to his cat (1.8+ million views!).
Not bad for a song its writer was initially too embarrassed by to share with anyone. Happy Birthday, Seal.