For those of us who were huge fans of KISS during the ’70s and ’80s, “Beth” will always be a special song, and in 1995, KISS appeared on MTV Unplugged and asked Peter Criss to come out and sing his iconic hit “Beth”. The passion and enthusiasm that Criss exudes during the performance is so cool to watch. You can tell how much this meant to him that the band asked him to join them on stage for this song.
For those that aren’t that familiar with the song “Beth” from KISS, enjoy this look back at a song that almost never happened!
Music has a remarkable power to transcend time and touch our souls. Throughout the decades, countless songs have left a lasting impact on listeners worldwide. Among these unforgettable melodies, one stands out as an emblem of love, tenderness, and vulnerability: “Beth” by KISS. Released in 1976, this timeless ballad holds a special place in the hearts of fans and continues to resonate with audiences today.
“Beth” was not a typical KISS song. Instead, it was a departure from their usual style, displaying a softer and more emotional side of the band. The song was written by drummer Peter Criss and songwriter Stan Penridge, who was a close friend of Criss. As the story goes, Peter Criss was going through a challenging time in his personal life, and the lyrics of “Beth” reflect his longing for connection and understanding.
The beauty of “Beth” lies in its simplicity and emotive power. The piano-driven melody captures a sense of longing, while Criss’s heartfelt vocals convey the depths of his emotions. The song’s melancholic tone, accompanied by gentle orchestration, enhances the raw vulnerability at its core. “Beth” showcases the band’s ability to branch out from their signature sound and create something truly captivating and profound.
One of the remarkable aspects of “Beth” is its ability to resonate with a wide range of listeners. Although initially released as a B-side to KISS’s hit single “Detroit Rock City,” the song gained immense popularity and received substantial airplay, even on non-rock radio stations. Its relatable theme of yearning for a loved one struck a chord with many, as it tapped into the universal human experience of longing and vulnerability. “Beth” became an anthem for those who wished to express their emotions sincerely.
Over the years, “Beth” has become an integral part of KISS’s legacy and has solidified its place in the pantheon of classic rock ballads. The song achieved significant commercial success, reaching #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and earning KISS their first gold record. Its enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless appeal and emotional resonance.
Moreover, “Beth” showcased KISS’s versatility as a band and their willingness to experiment with different musical styles. It demonstrated that beneath the makeup and the pyrotechnics, KISS possessed the ability to create a genuinely moving and heartfelt piece of music.
“Beth” is a poignant reminder that even amidst the loud and powerful anthems of rock and roll, vulnerability and emotional depth can find their place. KISS’s departure from their traditional sound with this heartfelt ballad touched the hearts of millions and continues to captivate listeners to this day. Whether you are a fan of KISS or not, “Beth” is an exquisite example of how music can evoke profound emotions and connect us in ways that transcend time. It stands as a testament to the power of vulnerability and remains an essential part of KISS’s enduring legacy.
Enjoy this look back at a few memorable live performances of “Beth” from KISS including the aforementioned MTV Unplugged version first!