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A Look Back To The When KISS Went Country Rock

11/13/2016
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KISS

(Radio.com) Forty years ago this week, KISS released their fifth album, Rock and Roll Over. It contains a number of classics, including "I Want You," "Calling Dr. Love" and "Ladies Room."

The most unusual song on the album, though, was a country rock song called "Hard Luck Woman," which would later be covered by Garth Brooks. Back in April, KISS surprised music fans with a cover of the Eagles' "Take It Easy," which they performed before a game by their Arena Football League team the L.A. KISS. It was a tribute to the late Eagles singer/songwriter/guitarist Glenn Frey, who died In January.

But California country rock isn't a huge stretch for "the Hottest Band in the World," even if they're more well known for huge hard rock arena anthems. Forty years ago, they experimented with the genre on "Hard Luck Woman," a track on Rock and Roll Over.

But singer/guitarist Paul Stanley told Radio.com, that he didn't really write the song with the intent of having KISS record it. "I wrote a whole lot of songs, almost as exercises. I would hear something on the radio, and would try to write a song in that style. Just a few days ago, I was playing [KISS guitarist] Tommy [Thayer] a song that I wrote in the '80s with Chicago in mind." But in the '70s, he was trying to emulate the style of Rod Stewart's early solo albums.

"Yeah, I was a big fan of the 'Gasoline Alley,' 'Mandolin Wind,' 'You Wear It Well,' 'Maggie Mae' era of Rod. So I thought, 'I could write one of those songs!' And I did, and it was 'Hard Luck Woman.'"

He didn't think that the song would work for KISS, but the rest of the band disagreed. "We just had a hit with [another ballad] 'Beth,'" which had been sung by drummer Peter Criss. "Gene [Simmons] and some of the people in the studio heard the demo of 'Hard Luck Woman' and said, 'Well, we have to do that!' And that was that." Like "Beth," "Hard Luck Woman" featured Peter Criss on vocals. Read more here.

Radio.com is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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