Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday Tuneage
Kiss - "Hard Luck Woman"

In last week's post, I theorized that Bonnie Tyler responded to music industry demand for more Rod Stewart mid-tempo hits. A year before this Kiss, ever the savvy businessmen, had pulled the exact same move. In this case Paul Stanley actually wrote the song with Rod Stewart in mind as the artist who would record it. Then he realized his own band should record and release it, because: 1) How many ballad hits could a band like Kiss come up with? "Beth" had been a monster hit earlier in the year, and wouldn't "two-point-five" be the over/under mark? I'm sure Stanley and Gene Simmons hired some market research whiz to find out how much money the band stood to make in the girls-who-like-the-slow-songs demographic; and 2) It wouldn't be very Kiss-like to hand away a song that had potential to make even more money for the band as their hit to an AM Top 40/FM AOR rival like Rod Stewart. Royalties vehicle? Forget that!

So what we have in "Hard Luck Woman" is (apologies, but I am simply going to cut-and-paste some words from last week) a raspy vocal and simple acoustic-guitar-and-rhythm-section a la early Stewart. Part of me loves to imagine that when Paul Stanley wrote this (and when I imagine classic-era Kiss doing anything away from the stage like recording tunes or writing songs … I still see them in complete makeup), he was daydreaming and thinking: "The Faces are packing it up and Ronnie Wood is joining the Stones. Maybe Rod will be looking for a new songwriting partner? Time to drop this teenybopper costumed nonsense and become a serious artist. Me and Rod … Rod and me! Why not me??"