Every Rose Has Its Thorn

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"Every Rose Has Its Thorn"
Single by Poison
from the album Open Up and Say... Ahh!
B-side "Livin for the Minute"
Released October 12, 1988
Genre Hard rock, glam metal
Length 4:20
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Bret Michaels, C.C. DeVille, Bobby Dall, Rikki Rockett
Producer(s) Tom Werman
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Poison singles chronology
"Fallen Angel"
(1988)
"Every Rose Has Its Thorn"
(1988)
"Your Mama Don't Dance"
(1989)

"Every Rose Has Its Thorn" is the title of a power ballad song by American glam metal band Poison. It was released in October 1988 as the third single from Poison's second album Open Up and Say... Ahh!. It is the band's only number-one hit in the U.S., reaching the top spot on Christmas Eve in 1988 for three weeks (carrying over into 1989) and it also charted at #11 on the Mainstream Rock chart.[1] It was a number 13 hit in the UK.[2] "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" was named number 34 on VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of the 80s", #100 on their "100 Greatest Love Songs" and #7 on MTV and VH1 "Top 25 Power Ballads".

Song[edit]

Musically, the song starts quietly and features two intricate guitar solos, one mellow and one fast. Among guitarists, the song is notable for epitomizing the standard G - Cadd9 progression in pop/rock. During the same period, Poison had been playing at a cowboy bar called "The Ritz" in Dallas, Texas, accounting for the song's recognizable references to cowboys in the chorus, along with the twang in Bret Michaels' vocals, which give the song a country feel not often heard in power ballads composed by glam metal bands.

Background and writing[edit]

In an interview with VH1's Behind the Music, Michaels said the inspiration for the song came from a night when he was in a laundromat waiting for his clothes to dry, and called his girlfriend on a pay phone. Michaels said he heard a male voice in the background and was devastated; he said he went into the laundromat and wrote "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" as a result. The name of the girl in the song is Tracy Lewis.[3]

Music video[edit]

The music video to "Every Rose" was similar to those filmed for other 1980s power ballads. It features Michaels sitting down, playing the guitar, and singing along to the song, interspersed with black-and-white clips from concerts, and color frames of a storyline that follows the song.

Chart performance[edit]

"Every Rose Has Its Thorn" became the group's first (and only to date) number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100; it climbed to the top during the two last weeks of 1988 and the first week of 1989.

Chart (1988–1989) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[4] 16
Germany (Media Control Charts)[5] 38
Ireland (IRMA) 8
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[6] 18
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[7] 8
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[8] 20
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[9] 12
United Kingdom (The Official Charts Company) 13
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 11

Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
"Look Away" by Chicago
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
December 24, 1988 – January 7, 1989
Succeeded by
"My Prerogative" by Bobby Brown

Albums[edit]

The song originally appeared on the album Open Up and Say... Ahh!. It was later included in greatest hits compilations such as Poison's Greatest Hits: 1986–1996, The Best of Poison: 20 Years of Rock or Best of Ballads & Blues.

Live versions of the song appeared on the following albums:

An acoustic version appeared as a bonus track on Poison's 2000 album Crack a Smile... and More!

Bret Michaels re-recorded the song on 2001 for his solo albulm Ballads, Blues & Stories.

A country version by Bret Michaels appears on

Uses in media[edit]

The song appeared in the films:

The song was performed in the 2012 film Rock of Ages, based on the musical of the same name, by Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, and Mary J. Blige.

The song appeared in one or more episodes of the following TV shows:

An acoustic version of the song was performed by Bret Michaels in the January 29, 2014 episode ("Happy Endings") of Revolution.

John Mayer performed the song in a sketch on Chappelle's Show.

The song was made available to download on February 12, 2012 for play in Rock Band 3 Basic and PRO mode utilizing real guitar / bass guitar, and MIDI compatible electronic drum kits/keyboards plus vocal harmonies.

Miley Cyrus version[edit]

Cyrus covered the song on her third studio album Can't Be Tamed. She deemed it "a classic" and one of her favorite songs. "I feel like the way the music industry is today really shelters kids and they aren't exposed to songs as honest and real as this one." Lead singer Bret Michaels sings backup on the cover. The song was praised by critics due to Cyrus' vocals on the track. It was released to Australian contemporary hit radio as the album's third and final single on April 18, 2011.[10]

Loretta Lynn version[edit]

In early 2013, composer Bret Michaels recorded yet another version. This time, it was as a duet with the country music singer Loretta Lynn and can be found on his new album Jammin' with Friends.

References[edit]

External links[edit]