"The Rose" is a classic pop song written by Amanda McBroom and made famous by Bette Midler who recorded it for the soundtrack of the 1979 film The Rose in which it plays under the closing credits.
"The Rose" was first recorded by Bette Midler for the soundtrack of the 1979 film The Rose in which it plays under the closing credits. However the song was not written for the movie: Amanda McBroom recalls, "I wrote it in 1977 [or] 1978, and I sang it occasionally in clubs. ... Jim Nabors had a local talk show, and I sang ["The Rose"] on his show once." According to McBroom she wrote "The Rose" in response to her manager's suggestion that she write "some Bob Seger-type tunes" to expedite a record deal: McBroom obliged by writing "The Rose" in forty-five minutes. Said McBroom: "'The Rose' is ... just one verse [musically] repeated three times. When I finished it, I realized it doesn't have a bridge or a hook, but I couldn't think of anything to [add]."
McBroom's composition was one of seven songs selected by Midler from thirty song possibilities proffered by Paul A. Rothchild, the producer of The Rose soundtrack album. Reportedly Rothchild had listened to over 3,000 songs in order to assemble those thirty possibilities.
Released as the second single from the The Rose soundtrack album, "The Rose" hit number 1 on the Cashbox Top 100 and peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Additionally, it was number 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for five weeks running. The single was certified Gold by the RIAA for over a half million copies sold in the United States.
Midler won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "The Rose", beating out formidable competition from Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer among others.
There are two mixes of the song. The single mix features orchestration, while the version in the film (and on its soundtrack) includes an extended introduction while doing away with the orchestration in favor of piano-and-vocals only.
"The Rose" did not receive a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Despite not having been recorded prior to the soundtrack of the film The Rose, the song had not been written for the film. According to McBroom, AMPAS inquired of her if the song had been written for the movie, and McBroom answered honestly (that it had not). McBroom did however win the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for "The Rose", as that award's governing body, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), does not share AMPAS' official meticulousness over a nominated song's being completely original with its parent film.
In 2004 "The Rose" finished #83 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of the top tunes in American cinema.
Country singer Conway Twitty recorded a cover version in January 1983. His version, off his album Dream Maker, was a number one country hit in US and Canada. Conway Twitty's version was his 30th number one single on the US country chart.
"The Rose" was covered by Irish boy band Westlife and was released as the first and only single from their seventh studio album, The Love Album. It reached number 1 on the UK Singles Chart for one week in November 2006. This became the group's 14th number-one single. The single has sold over 140,000 copies in Britain so far. The band gave their first live performance of the song on Miss World 2005 and later performed it on their Love Tour.UK CD1
- "The Rose" – 3:40
- "Solitaire" – 5:07
- "The Rose" – 3:40
- "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You" – 3:47
- "If" – 2:42
- "The Rose" (video) – 3:55
The video for this single was presented in black and white and shows the emotions and events leading up to a couple's wedding procession. The band members are clad in suits and are shown in a checkered-floor room. During the initial period of the video's release, fans were given the opportunity to customise the music video by digitally adding their names to various elements such as the wedding invitation card. A coloured version of the music video was later made available.
The Dubliners recorded a duet with The Hothouse Flowers for Rose Week and released "The Rose" as a single in 1991, reaching no. 2 in the Irish Singles Chart.Studio Ghibli used a Japanese translated cover as the ending song in their animated film Only Yesterday released in 1991.
Jonathan Richman did a cover of The Rose on his album You Must Ask the Heart released in 1995.
Shirley Bassey recorded and released this song on her 1995 album, titled Shirley Bassey Sings the Movies.
Skeeter Davis recorded the song and released it as a single in 1980.
Seattle punk rockers Mudhoney recorded a rendition of the song for the Sub Pop 200 compilation, released in 1988.
Elaine Paige recorded the song for her 1984 album Cinema.
The Kelly Family recorded the song for their 1988 album "Live"
Jolin Tsai recorded the song for her 1999 album 1019.
The characters on Family Guy performed the song during an episode "Baby Not On Board".
Batley Community Choir recorded and released a charity version in 2016, following the murder of British Labour MP Jo Cox.