A Rose Is Still a Rose (song)

"A Rose Is Still a Rose" is a song by American singer Aretha Franklin. It was written and produced by singer Lauryn Hill for Franklin's album of the same name (1998). The song focused on a motherly figure giving advice to a younger woman who keeps getting into bad relationships. Throughout "A Rose Is Still a Rose", 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.

"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)
Producer(s)Lauryn Hill
Aretha Franklin singles chronology
"Willing to Forgive"
(1994)
"A Rose Is Still a Rose"
(1998)
"Here We Go Again"
(1998)
Music video
"A Rose Is Still a Rose" on YouTube

Released as the album's lead single 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. "A Rose Is Still a Rose" remains one of Franklin's most played songs from her later years and was her last top 40 hit. The single received nominations for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards.[1] An accompanying music 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 actress Elise Neal as protagonists along with A Tribe Called Quest rapper, Q-Tip.

Critical receptionEdit

Larry Flick from Billboard described the song as "a sleek, jeep-styled cruiser that matches her with Lauryn Hill of the Fugees," noting 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."[2] Jeremy Helligar from Entertainment Weekly said that "A Rose Is Still a Rose" "doesn't match the soulful finesse of "Spanish Harlem", but when Lady Soul sings about a rose, something divine happens." He added, "Even after a dozen listens, the song's it's-his-problem-not-yours message doesn't lose its bloom."[3] 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."[4] People Magazine picked it as "the best" song of the album.[5]

Track listingsEdit

Credits and personnelEdit

Credits adapted from the liner notes of A Rose Is Still a Rose.[13]

Performance
Production

Charts and certificationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "CNN - 41st annual Grammy nominees - January 5, 1999". www.cnn.com. Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  2. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. February 7, 1998. p. 76. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  3. ^ Helligar, Jeremy (February 6, 1998). ""A Rose Is Still a Rose"". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  4. ^ Petridis, Alexis (November 21, 2019). "Aretha Franklin's 30 greatest songs – ranked!". The Guardian. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  5. ^ "Picks and Pans Review: A Rose Is Still a Rose". People. March 16, 1998. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  6. ^ A Rose Is Still A Rose (U.S. CD Single liner notes). Aretha Franklin. Arista Records. 1998. B00000635Y.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  7. ^ A Rose Is Still A Rose (U.S. CD Single liner notes). Aretha Franklin. Arista Records. 1998. ASCD 3455.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  8. ^ A Rose Is Still A Rose (U.K. CD Single liner notes). Aretha Franklin. Arista Records. 1998. 74321 56974 2.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  9. ^ A Rose Is Still A Rose (U.K. CD Single liner notes). Aretha Franklin. Arista Records. 1998. 74321 58035 2.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  10. ^ A Rose Is Still A Rose (U.S. CD Single liner notes). Aretha Franklin. Arista Records. 1998. ASCD 3486.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  11. ^ A Rose Is Still A Rose (U.S. 12" Single liner notes). Aretha Franklin. Arista Records. 1998. ADP 3486.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  12. ^ A Rose Is Still A Rose (U.S. 12" Single liner notes). Aretha Franklin. Arista Records. 1998. 07822-13484-1.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  13. ^ A Rose Is Still a Rose (Media notes). Aretha Franklin. Arista Records. 1998.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  14. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  15. ^ "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)
  16. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  17. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". officialcharts.com.
  18. ^ "Aretha Franklin Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  19. ^ "Aretha Franklin Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  20. ^ "Aretha Franklin Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  21. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1998". billboardtop100of.com. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  22. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs – Year-End 1998". Billboard. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  23. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1998". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 111 (5): 75. January 30, 1999. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  24. ^ "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. 

External linksEdit