Monday, September 10, 2018

Musical Monday - The Rose by Bette Midler

#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: July 5, 1980.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: Never.

Movies have an enormous impact on popular music. The Rose is not the first movie-related song in the 1980s Project, but I would venture that it is the first that got a major boost out of its association with a movie due to the fact that reason for the belated success of Suicide Is Painless on the U.K. Chart remains a complete mystery to me. The Rose was featured in and released on the soundtrack of the 1979 movie of the same name, and clearly benefited from the association, probably assisted in part by the boost from the Golden Globe wins and Academy Award nominations that the film garnered.

I should note that the boost runs the other direction as well - the success of the songs Coward of the County and Another Brick in the Wall (Part II) provided the impetus for the creation of movies based upon them. Granted, movies based upon popular songs are often not particularly great, or even good, but as we will see in the next few weeks, bad movies have been known to push even mediocre songs over the top on the charts.

The story of The Rose is a thinly veiled loose retelling of the life story of Janis Joplin. The movie was originally intended to be titled Pearl, which was the name of Joplin's final album and a nickname she used for herself, but opposition from her surviving family members led to the change of name and some changes to the story in order to distance it a bit from Joplin. Given the fact that almost every discussion of The Rose includes a explanation about how it is loosely based on the life of Janis Joplin, this attempt at distancing the fictional work from the singer clearly didn't work very well.

Previous Musical Monday: Coming Up by Paul McCartney
Subsequent Musical Monday: Its Still Rock and Roll to Me by Billy Joel

Previous #1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Funkytown by the Lipps, Inc.
Subsequent #1 on the Cash Box Top 100: It's Still Rock and Roll to Me by Billy Joel

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

Bette Midler     1980s Project     Musical Monday     Home

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