Rod Stewart and Kiss are both classic rock icons — but they made very different music. Despite this, Kiss’ Paul Stanley wrote one of his band’s biggest hits for Stewart. The creation of the song led to some strife among the band. Find out how a famous country singer factors into all this.
Why Paul Stanley wrote one of Kiss’ biggest hits
According to the book Kiss Behind the Mask: The Official Authorized Biography, Stanley would sometimes give himself musical challenges. For example, he once wanted to see if he could write a dance song, so he wrote “I Was Made for Lovin’ You.” In addition, he once wanted to write a song for Stewart after hearing his hits “You Wear It Well,” “Maggie May,” and “Mandolin Wind” so he wrote “Hard Luck Woman.”
After the success of “Beth” — another atypical acoustic Kiss song — the band decided to perform the track themselves and make it sound like a Stewart song. However, band member Peter Criss took issue with “Hard Luck Woman” — despite liking it.
Why ‘Hard Luck Woman’ caused strife among the band
“‘Hard Luck Woman’ pissed me off,” Criss revealed. “Number one, Paul wrote it and said it was for Rod Stewart. He played it for me on acoustic guitar and I just loved it. I said ‘Hey f*cko, how about me? F*ck Rod Stewart, I’ll sing the sh*t out of it.’”
Eddie Kramer, another member of Kiss, felt Criss should sing “Hard Luck Woman” as well. Kramer was a fan of Criss’ voice, praising its emotive power.
Stanley wanted Criss to sound as much like Stewart as possible when he recorded “Hard Luck Woman.” Criss wanted to just sound like himself — albeit a raspy version of himself. Kramer was ultimately pleased with Criss’ vocals on “Hard Luck Woman” — and also gave Stanley and Ace Frehley credit for their guitar-playing on the track.
How the public and Garth Brooks reacted to ‘Hard Luck Woman’
Billboard reports “Hard Luck Woman” reached No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song reached a higher peak than most of Kiss’ other charting songs, with some exceptions such as “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” and the live version of “Rock And Roll All Nite.” In addition, a notable artist covered the track.
According to the book Encyclopedia of Kiss, Stewart never recorded “Hard Luck Woman” — even though Stewart has recorded numerous covers and “Hard Luck Woman” is just begging for him to sing it. However, country music legend Garth Brooks released his rendition of the track on the album Kiss My *ss: Classic Kiss Regrooved.
The album features covers from such luminaries as Stevie Wonder, Lenny Kravitz, and Dinosaur Jr. Brooks is a Kiss fan and, thanks to its acoustic soundscape, “Hard Luck Woman” sounds perfectly natural being performed by a country singer. “Hard Luck Woman” clearly resonated with fans — even if Criss had some issues with it.
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