Argent recorded the song in 1971 during the sessions for their album All Together Now, but it originally did not appear as an album track until 1973's In Deep, and was released as a successful single at that time. The 1997 CD re-release of All Together Now has the track included as a bonus. The original lyrics include a reference to British pop singer Cliff Richard, known for his Christianity.
The Christian rock band Petra first released a cover version of the song in their 1977 album Come and Join Us. This version had modified lyrics in the verses from the Argent original, while the chorus remained largely unchanged. Petra then re-recorded and released a somewhat updated version for their 1984 album Beat the System.
In 1989, the British band The Truth released a version.
In 1991, the song was notably covered by Kiss under the title God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You II. This version's lyrics more closely followed the Petra version of the song. It was released for the film Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey.
The song has also been covered by Bride, Midtown and Oficina G3. Unrest remade the song as "God Gave Rock & Roll To You III" for their 1992 Bavarian Mods EP.
"God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You II" is a song by the American hard rock band Kiss. Kiss first released it as a single in 1991, lifted off the soundtrack to the movie Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, and was later included on Kiss' 1992 album Revenge.
Though the song covered the Argent 1973 song "God Gave Rock and Roll to You" it had substantially modified lyrics in the verses, thus the reason behind the slight change in the name of the song. It is one of the few songs from Kiss's non-makeup era to be played live since the band returned to makeup.
It was the last Kiss song to feature longtime drummer Eric Carr before his death in 1991. Although he was too ill to play drums on the track, he is featured on backing vocals during the a cappella break, singing the repeated line "...to everyone, he gave his song to be sung", as well as performing drums during the video for the song.
The video was filmed in Los Angeles, California in July 1991 and was directed by Mark Rezyka. It features the band playing in a room with flashbacks of Simmons and Stanley during the make-up era of Kiss's heyday. There were no prominent clips of Carr during the make-up years featured in the video, even though he was a part of that era for three-and-a-half-years. During the Kissology Volume Two: 1978-1991 special aired on VH1 classic, Gene Simmons has stated that, "It's not just a cover song for a soundtrack, but a testament to Eric Carr, and I think a lot of people don't realize that."
The song proved to be a big hit for the band in many parts of the world, including making the Top Ten in the United Kingdom and Germany. It reached number 21 on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the US, as well as its video receiving heavy rotation on music television channels.
The version released as a single and on the soundtrack to Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey differs slightly from that played in the film. In the film, a 40-second guitar solo is played by Steve Vai. It was later included on the album The Elusive Light and Sound, Vol. 1 under the title "Final Solo".