A Rose Is Still a Rose (song)

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"A Rose Is Still a Rose"
A Rose Is Still a Rose (song).jpg
Single by Aretha Franklin
from the album A Rose Is Still a Rose
ReleasedFebruary 10, 1998
Recorded1997
Genre
Length4:27
LabelArista
Songwriter(s)Lauryn Hill, Edie Brickell, Brad Houser, Brandon Aly, John W. Bush, Kenny Withrow
Producer(s)Lauryn Hill
Aretha Franklin singles chronology
"It Hurts Like Hell"
(1996)
"A Rose Is Still a Rose"
(1998)
"Here We Go Again"
(1998)
Music video
"A Rose Is Still a Rose" on YouTube

"A Rose Is Still a Rose" is a 1998 single written and produced by Lauryn Hill and recorded and released by singer Aretha Franklin off the album of the same name. Written by Hill for Franklin, the song focused on a motherly figure giving advice to a younger woman who keeps getting into bad relationships. Throughout the song, Franklin advises that in spite of everything and despite the woman's "scorned roses and thorn crowns" that the woman is "still a rose". Elements of the song "What I Am" by Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians were sung throughout the song by Hill herself. The video, directed by Hill and designed by Ron Norsworthy, features Franklin, Hill and other female R&B singers such as Faith Evans, Changing Faces, Amel Larrieux and featured actress Elise Neal in the video as the protagonist along with A Tribe Called Quest rapper, Q-Tip. Released in 1998, the song became a surprise hit for Franklin, 40-plus years into her career, reaching number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number-five on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart while also reaching the UK top 40. The song helped its parent album reach gold status and remains one of Franklin's most played songs from her later years. The song was Aretha Franklin's last Top 40 hit.

Critical reception[edit]

Larry Flick from Billboard described the song as "a sleek, jeep-styled cruiser that matches her with Lauryn Hill of the Fugees." He noted that "it's an absolutely electric union that results in Franklin's strongest, most instantly pop-viable single in eons. Hills dresses the track in fashionable shuffle-funk beats, a snaky bassline, and jiggly wah-wah guitars, leaving the legendary singer plenty of room to flex and vamp to maximum effect." He also added that "kids will dig the contemporary vibe of the track (and, it is hoped, use this single as a springboard into a deeper exploration of Franklin's plush catalog), while more mature listeners will bond with the sage, almost motherly tone of the lyrics. A li'l something for everyone."[1] Alexis Petridis from The Guardian wrote, "The late 90s attempt to give Franklin a hip-hop/neo soul-influenced makeover didn’t really work, except on the album’s Lauryn Hill-penned title track. The beat and the lyrical references to “flossin’” are contemporary, but the singer sounds unfazed, delivering a coolly controlled performance."[2]

Formats and track listings[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Credits[edit]

Information is based on the album’s liner notes[16]

Performance
Production
  • Produced and arranged by Lauryn Hill
  • Strings arranged by Akua Dixon
  • Music programmed by Vada Nobles
  • Recording engineer: Warren Riker
  • Recording and mixing engineer: Commissioner Gordon
  • Audio mixing assisted by: Alex Olsson

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. February 7, 1998. p. 76. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  2. ^ Petridis, Alexis (November 21, 2019). "Aretha Franklin's 30 greatest songs – ranked!". The Guardian. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  3. ^ A Rose Is Still A Rose (U.S. CD Single liner notes). Aretha Franklin. Arista Records. 1998. B00000635Y.CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ A Rose Is Still A Rose (U.S. CD Single liner notes). Aretha Franklin. Arista Records. 1998. ASCD 3455.CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. ^ A Rose Is Still A Rose (U.K. CD Single liner notes). Aretha Franklin. Arista Records. 1998. 74321 56974 2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ A Rose Is Still A Rose (U.K. CD Single liner notes). Aretha Franklin. Arista Records. 1998. 74321 58035 2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ A Rose Is Still A Rose (U.S. CD Single liner notes). Aretha Franklin. Arista Records. 1998. ASCD 3486.CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ A Rose Is Still A Rose (U.S. 12" Single liner notes). Aretha Franklin. Arista Records. 1998. ADP 3486.CS1 maint: others (link)
  9. ^ A Rose Is Still A Rose (U.S. 12" Single liner notes). Aretha Franklin. Arista Records. 1998. 07822-13484-1.CS1 maint: others (link)
  10. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  11. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (NR. 269 Vikuna 23.4. - 30.4. 1998)" (PDF) (in Icelandic). Dagblaðið Vísir. Retrieved July 6, 2018. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  12. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  13. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". officialcharts.com.
  14. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1998". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 111 (5): 75. January 30, 1999. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  15. ^ "American single certifications – Franklin, Aretha – A Rose Is Still a Rose". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  16. ^ Franklin, Aretha. “A Rose is Still a Rose” (Album Notes). Arista. 1998.

External links[edit]