“Cracklin’ Rosie” is a 1970 song written and recorded by Neil Diamond in 1970, with instrumental backing by L.A. sessions musicians from the Wrecking Crew, from his album Tap Root Manuscript. This was Neil Diamond’s first American #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1970, and his third to sell a million copies. It became Diamond’s breakthrough single on the UK Singles Chart in 1970, reaching #3 for four weeks in November and December 1970. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 17 song of 1970. It also reached #2 on both the Australian Singles Chart and the Irish Singles Chart. Its best performance was in New Zealand where it stayed at number one for 5 weeks at the end of 1970.
The single version released by Uni Records in 1970 was in mono, while the album version from Tap Root Manuscript was in stereo.
Married to a catchy and dynamic melody and arrangement, the lyrics suggested to some a devotion to a woman of the night:
Oh, I love my Rosie child —
You got the way to make me happy.
You and me, we go in style …
Cracklin’ Rose, you’re a store bought woman
You make me sing like a guitar hummin’ …
But in actuality, Cracklin’ Rosie is a type of wine. Diamond heard a story about a native Canadian tribe while doing an interview in Toronto, Canada – the tribe had more men than women, so the lonely men of the tribe would sit around the fire and drink their wine together – which inspired him to write the song.
The title has also been interpreted to be a misspelling of a rosé wine which is “crackling” – a U.S. term equivalent to pétillant or lightly sparkling. A Crackling Rosé is produced by, for example, Paul Masson Vineyards and Beckett’s Flat.
Many Diamond fans have traditionally believed the crackling wine he was referring to was Sparkling Mateus Rose, a medium quality, low priced artificially carbonated wine favored by college students on the West Coast of the U.S. during the late 1960s and early 1970s, or Richards Wild Irish Rose, an alcoholic beverage produced by Centerra Wine Company, which is part of the Constellation Brands organization.