Every Rose Has Its Thorn

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"Every Rose Has Its Thorn"
Every Rose Has Its Thorn-Cover.jpg
Single by Poison
from the album Open Up and Say... Ahh!
B-side"Livin for the Minute (US)
Back To The Rocking Horse (UK)"
ReleasedOctober 12, 1988
RecordedEarly 1988
Songwriter(s)Bret Michaels, C.C. DeVille, Bobby Dall, Rikki Rockett
Producer(s)Tom Werman
Poison singles chronology
"Fallen Angel"
"Every Rose Has Its Thorn"
"Your Mama Don't Dance"

"Every Rose Has Its Thorn" is a power ballad[8][9][10][11][12][13] 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!. The band's signature song, it is also their only number-one hit in the US, reaching the top spot on December 24, 1988, for three weeks.[14] It also charted at number 11 on the Mainstream Rock chart.[15] It was a number 13 hit in the UK.[16] "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" was named number 34 on VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of the 80s", number 100 on their "100 Greatest Love Songs" and number 7 on MTV and VH1 "Top 25 Power Ballads". Billboard ranked the song No. 5 on their list of The 10 Best Poison Songs.[17]

Background and writing[edit]

In an interview with VH1's Behind the Music, Bret Michaels said the inspiration for the song came from a night when he was in a laundromat in Dallas 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.[18]

Music video[edit]

The music video to "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" was directed by Marty Callner. It starts out with a forlorn Bret Michaels in bed with a young woman, they both look unhappy. He gets up, does the heavy sigh that is at the start of the song and walks away to play the acoustic guitar, the video then goes into video clips of the band's tour. The same young woman is seen driving a Thunderbird in the rain (two different times), listening to "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" on the car's radio. The video was shot at the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and in an empty warehouse nearby.[19] The video ends with Bret Michaels playing the last of the song on his acoustic guitar and walking away.


The song has been seen as a hair metal classic, being ranked on multiple "best of" lists.[20][21][22]



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[42] Gold 400,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[43] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Cover versions[edit]

  • American recording artist Miley Cyrus recorded a version of the song for her 2010 album Can't Be Tamed.
  • 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 album Jammin' with Friends. He performed an acoustic version in the episode "Happy Endings" of TV series Revolution.


  1. ^ Rock the First, Vol. 5 - Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic, retrieved 2021-04-06
  2. ^ "Every Rose Has Its Thorn: A Tribute to the Syrupy-Sweet Sounds of '80s Hair-Metal Ballads". SPIN. Retrieved 2021-06-11.
  3. ^ "Can't Be Tamed". EW.com. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
  4. ^ April 17, Joe DiVitaPublished; 2021. "Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath Sings Twisted Sister + Poison Hits on 'The Masked Singer'". Loudwire. Retrieved 2021-06-28.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Smith, Troy L.; Clevel; .com (2021-05-13). "Every No. 1 song of the 1980s ranked from worst to best". cleveland. Retrieved 2021-07-02.
  6. ^ "Poison's 'Every Rose Has Its Thorn' Turns 30: Bret Michaels Reflects on the 'Therapeutic' Smash", Billboard, retrieved 2021-05-30, the mostly acoustic, country-tinged weeper
  7. ^ August 2019, Joe Bosso 23. "The 25 best acoustic rock songs". guitarworld. Retrieved 2021-07-01.
  8. ^ "The 21 best power ballads". The Telegraph. 23 July 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  9. ^ July 7, Anya ZadroznyPublished; 2015. "Bret Michaels Praises Police Sergeant's Cover of Poison HIt". Loudwire. Retrieved 2021-06-11.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ December 26, Chad ChildersPublished; 2019. "30 Most Epic '80s Rock + Metal Music Videos". Loudwire. Retrieved 2021-06-28.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ May 31, Allyson B. CrawfordPublished; 2009. "Top Power Ballads of All Time". Noisecreep. Retrieved 2021-06-28.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Tucker 12/28/2013, Dan. "10 Power Ballads From The '80s We Still Love". VH1 News. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
  13. ^ "Bret Michaels Pimps 'Every Rose' For 5 Billionth Time". SPIN. 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
  14. ^ "The Number Ones: Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn"". Stereogum. 2021-06-16. Retrieved 2021-07-02.
  15. ^ "Allmusic (Poison charts and awards) Billboard singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  16. ^ "Poison The Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  17. ^ "Poison's 10 Best Songs: Critic's Picks". Billboard. Retrieved 2021-07-02.
  18. ^ theGAZZ.com – the Weekly Arts & Entertainment Guide of the Charleston Gazette in Charleston, West Virginia. Retrieved on October 26, 2007 Archived May 28, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Meinert, Kendra. "Bret Michaels will close down the Brown County arena concert era with a show April 6". Green Bay Press-Gazette. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
  20. ^ "Readers' Poll: The 10 Greatest Hair Metal Songs". Rolling Stone. February 5, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  21. ^ Bowar, Chad. "Best 20 Hair Metal Ballads of the '80s and '90s". LiveAbout. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  22. ^ Bernstein, Scott. "THE B LIST: FAVORITE HAIR-METAL POWER BALLADS". glidemagazine.com. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  23. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Poison – Every Rose Has Its Thorn". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  24. ^ Top Singles - January 23, 1989, p.6 RPM Magazine
  25. ^ "European Hot 100 singles" (PDF). Music & Media. March 18, 1989. p. 10. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  26. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Every Rose Has Its Thorn". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  27. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Poison" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  28. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Poison – Every Rose Has Its Thorn" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  29. ^ "Charts.nz – Poison – Every Rose Has Its Thorn". Top 40 Singles.
  30. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Poison – Every Rose Has Its Thorn". Singles Top 100.
  31. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Poison – Every Rose Has Its Thorn". Swiss Singles Chart.
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  37. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 51, No. 8, December 23, 1989". RPM. December 23, 1999. Archived from the original on September 7, 2017. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  38. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 1989". Recorded Music NZ. Archived from the original on July 10, 2015. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
  39. ^ "1989 The Year in Music: Top Pop Singles". Billboard. 101 (51): Y-22. December 23, 1989.
  40. ^ "Longbored Surfer - 1989". Longboredsurfer.com. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
  41. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  42. ^ "British single certifications – Poison – Every Rose Has It's Thorn". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  43. ^ "American single certifications – Poison – Every Rose Has Its Thorn". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 21, 2020. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]