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"Beth" is a ballad by Kiss, originally released on their 1976 album, Destroyer. To date, it is their highest-charting single in the US, reaching #7 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. It is one of only two gold selling singles for the band (the other being 1979's "I Was Made for Lovin' You"), and their first of two Top Ten singles (along with 1990's "Forever", #8) in the US. Beth was named #3 in VH1's 25 Greatest Power Ballads.[1]

OriginsEdit

Kiss' drummer Peter Criss sings the song, which was co-written by Criss and guitarist Stan Penridge. The song was written before Criss had joined the band, while he and Penridge were members of Chelsea. A bootleg exists of the song from 1971, but the song was sung "Beck, what can I do?" "Beck" was the nickname of fellow Chelsea member Mike Brand's wife, Becky, who would call often during practices to ask Mike when he was coming home. In an article for Rolling Stone, Paul Stanley questioned Criss' role in co-writing the song, saying, "Peter had nothing to do with it." [2] Changing the song's title to "Beth" for Kiss's recording has been credited to both Bob Ezrin and Gene Simmons Template:According to whom, but Lydia Criss (who was married to Peter Criss throughout the 1970s) says that she alone is responsible for the name change.[3]

RecordingEdit

The song was a last-minute addition to the Destroyer album. According to Bill Aucoin, the manager of Kiss at that time, Simmons and Stanley did not want "Beth" on the album because it was not a typical Kiss song. Aucoin insisted on keeping the song on the record.[4] During the recording sessions for the song, Criss was the only Kiss member in the studio, making it the only Kiss song that features no instrumental performances by any member of the band. Criss is backed by a piano and a string orchestra, a stark departure from the band's usual hard rock-oriented sound.

ReleaseEdit

When released as a single, "Beth" was initially the B-side of "Detroit Rock City". Some of the initial credit for the flip-hit goes to Rosalie Trombley, at the time the music director at "The Big 8" CKLW in Windsor, Ontario. Trombley's daughter had a copy of the 45 and was hooked on "Beth", and began nagging her mother about it. "Beth" wasn't being promoted as the "A" side, but Trombley added it to CKLW's playlist. After "Beth" became a smash, Kiss presented Trombley's daughter with a gold record.[5] Kiss and Casablanca Records reissued "Beth" as an A-side with "Detroit Rock City" as the B-side, and it was far more successful.[citation needed]]] The single went gold in the US (the first Kiss single to do so) on January 5, 1977[6] and in Canada on December 1, 1976.[7]

"Beth" is also credited as invigorating sluggish sales of the Destroyer album, which many fans initially saw as a misstep. In 1977, Kiss received a People's Choice Award for "Beth", one of the few industry awards the band ever won.

Live, "Beth" was performed by Criss alone on stage backed by a tape of the instrumental track. The acoustic version featured on Kiss Unplugged is the only recording with members of Kiss solely backing up Criss. The version of "Beth" featured on the group's 2003 Kiss Symphony: Alive IV DVD and subsequent album (less Ace Frehley) would be the only time the song was performed live with an ensemble. In 2010, the song was performed live for the first time with Eric Singer on acoustic guitars during their Sonic Boom Over Europe Tour and again on their The Hottest Show on Earth Tour in 2011. It has since been again removed from setlists, but the band occasionally performs the song at meet and greet sessions.

Chart performanceEdit

Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (1976–77) Peak
position
Australia 79
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[8] 5
Canadian Adult Contemporary[9] 20
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 7
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks[10] 14
U.S. Cash Box Top 100[11] 7

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1976) Rank
Canada[12] 69
U.S. Cash Box[13] 92

Sales certificationsEdit

Template:Certification Table Top Template:Certification Table Entry Template:Certification Table Bottom

PersonnelEdit

Other versionsEdit

Template:Unreferenced section

Appearances on Kiss albumsEdit

"Beth" appears on the following Kiss albums:

ReferencesEdit

  1. VH1 list of 25 greatest power ballads. http://rateyourmusic.com/list/CurtisLoew/vh1s_25_greatest_power_ballads. Accesat la March 6, 2011. 
  2. Hiatt, Brian (2014-03-26). „Kiss Forever: The Rolling Stone Cover Story”. Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/kiss-forever-40-years-of-feuds-and-fury-20140326?page=5. Accesat la 2016-10-11. 
  3. Prato, Greg (February 15, 2016). „Lydia Criss Tells the 'Beth' Story”. Songfacts. http://www.songfacts.com/blog/writing/lydia_criss_tells_the_beth_story/. 
  4. David Leaf, Ken Sharp. KISS: Behind the Mask - Official Authorized Biography, Warner Books, 2005 ISBN 978-0-446-69524-4 Page268
  5. Radio Revolution: Rise and Fall of the Big 8 Dir. Michael McNamara. Markham Street Films, 2004. Film
  6. RIAA Gold & Platinum database. http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?resultpage=1&table=SEARCH_RESULTS&action=&title=&artist=kiss&format=SINGLE&debutLP=&category=&sex=&releaseDate=&requestNo=&type=&level=&label=&company=&certificationDate=&awardDescription=&catalogNo=&aSex=&rec_id=&charField=&gold=&platinum=&multiPlat=&level2=&certDate=&album=&id=&after=&before=&startMonth=1&endMonth=1&startYear=1958&endYear=2009&sort=Artist&perPage=25. Accesat la February 7, 2009. 
  7. CRIA certification. http://www.cria.ca/cert_db_search.php?page=1&wclause=WHERE+artist_name+like+%27%25kiss%25%27+ORDER+BY+cert_date%2C+cert_award+&rcnt=32&csearch=20&nextprev=1. Accesat la February 8, 2009. 
  8. Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada. https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?&file_num=nlc008388.5123A&type=1&interval=50&PHPSESSID=cjmd14td9ip9k6j1ng3j3ggvc7. Accesat la 2016-10-11. 
  9. Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada. https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?&file_num=nlc008388.5148&type=1&interval=50&PHPSESSID=d7dd9qeacr1g07scusnjimhjt4. Accesat la 2016-10-11. 
  10. Adult Contemporary Music Chart”. Billboard. 1976-11-06. https://www.billboard.com/charts/adult-contemporary/1976-11-06. Accesat la 2016-10-11. 
  11. Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2015-06-23. https://web.archive.org/web/20150623120444/http://50.6.195.142/archives/70s_files/19761120.html. Accesat la 2015-06-23. 
  12. Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada. https://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?&file_num=nlc008388.5173a&type=1&interval=50&PHPSESSID=cjmd14td9ip9k6j1ng3j3ggvc7. Accesat la 2016-10-11. 
  13. Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2014-10-21. https://web.archive.org/web/20141021102718/http://50.6.195.142/archives/70s_files/1976YESP.html. Accesat la 2016-06-05. 
  14. Down That Road - Laughon Bryant,The Midnite Riders | Songs, Reviews, Credits”. AllMusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/down-that-road-mw0002128613. Accesat la 2016-10-11. 
  15. Lifton, Dave (18 December 2016). „Kiss' "Beth" Given New Twist in Volkswagen Commercial”. Ultimate Classic Rock. http://ultimateclassicrock.com/kiss-beth-commercial/. Accesat la 18 January 2016. 

External linksEdit

Template:Kiss Template:Kiss singles

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