Sunday, October 16, 2011


You wanted the best? You got the best.

KISS played the Richfield Coliseum on September 3, 1976, with opening act Artful Dodger. They were promoting the album Destroyer, which is a pretty kick-ass album. Detroit Rock City and Shout It Out Loud have become KISS standards, however they failed as hit singles, and despite a strong initial sales run (it went Gold almost immediately) the record was originally rejected by fans and dissed by the critics.

Then came the single Beth, which was originally the B-Side to Detroit Rock City. It peaked at #7, the first top ten single the band ever had. The song may never have made it to the record if Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons had their way. Written by drummer Peter Criss and a colleague from his former band Chelsea, is performed entirely by Criss and a piano, and a small orchestra.

Beth is the Yesterday of KISS, a track entirely unlike anything previously performed by the band, a schmaltzy pop ballad. Seriously, please, don't use the word "rock." It doesn't even have a soaring guitar bridge like any kind of so-called "rock" ballad requires. The single went Gold in January, 1977.

Beth did not appear in the line-up for the Coliseum gig.

Big O Zine

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