God Gave Rock and Roll to You

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"God Gave Rock and Roll to You"
Single by Argent
from the album In Deep
B-side"Christmas for the Free"
Released1973 (1973)
Recorded1971
GenreRock, progressive rock
Length6:45
Songwriter(s)Russ Ballard
Producer(s)Rod Argent, Chris White

"God Gave Rock and Roll to You" is a 1973 song by the British band Argent and covered by both Petra, in 1977 and 1984, and Kiss in 1991, both with modified lyrics.

Versions[edit]

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.[1] 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.[citation needed]

In 1991, the song was notably covered by Kiss under the title "God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You II". This version's lyrics and arrangement more closely followed the Petra version of the song. It was released for the film Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey.[1]

The song has also been covered by Bride featuring rap group DOC[2][3][4] and by Midtown.[citation needed] Unrest remade the song as "God Gave Rock & Roll To You II" for their 1992 Bavarian Mods EP.[5]

Kiss version[edit]

"God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You II"
KISS ggr&rtyII single cover.jpg
Single by Kiss
from the album Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey: Music from the Motion Picture and Revenge
Released22 August 1991 (1991-08-22)
FormatCD single, 7-inch
Recorded1991
GenreHard rock, heavy metal
Length5:18
LabelInterscope 7567 96275-2 (Europe)
Songwriter(s)Russ Ballard, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Bob Ezrin
Producer(s)Bob Ezrin
Kiss singles chronology
"Rise to It" / "Silver Spoon"
(1990)
"God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You II" / "Junior's Gone Wild"
(1991)
"Unholy" / "God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You II"
(1992)

God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You II was covered by the American hard rock band Kiss, with the track being released as a single in 1991 from the soundtrack to the movie Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. It was later included on Kiss' 1992 album Revenge.

Though the power ballad[6] covered the original Argent 1973 version "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' 'non-makeup era' to be played live since the band returned to wearing their trademark makeup in 1996.

Line-up[edit]

It was the last Kiss song to feature longtime drummer Eric Carr before his death three months later after it was released as a single. 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 a song to be sung", as well as performing drums during the video for the song. The drum tracks were recorded by Eric Singer, who would become Kiss' full-time drummer, following Carr's death.

The single was also the first to feature Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley sharing lead vocals since "I" from 1981's Music from "The Elder".

Video[edit]

The video was filmed on 16mm film negative Van Nuys Airport, Van Nuys, California, on July 23 and 24, 1991[citation needed] and was directed by Mark Rezyka for Mark Freedman Productions.[citation needed] The director of photography was Bernard Auroux.[citation needed] The video was produced by Joseph Sassone;[citation needed] production manager Jack Edward Sawyers;[citation needed] and edited by Scott C. Wilson.[citation needed] It features the band playing in an open space in an airplane hangar with flashbacks of Simmons and Stanley and their old bandmates Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent during the make-up era of Kiss's heyday. There were no prominent clips of Carr or Vincent during the make-up years featured in the video, only a few group clips even though Carr was a part of that era for three-and-a-half-years and Vincent for the entire Creatures of the Night tour. Even though future member Eric Singer plays on the track, Carr appears in the video which would prove to be his last official appearance with the band.[citation needed] 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."[This quote needs a citation]

Chart performance[edit]

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.[7] It reached number 21[8] on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the US, as well as its video receiving heavy rotation on music television channels.

Versions[edit]

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.[9][10] It was later included on Steve Vai's album The Elusive Light and Sound, Vol. 1 under the title "Final Solo".

"God Gave Rock and Roll to You II" would also be included on the Kiss album Alive III, which was released in 1993.

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Powell, Mark Allan (2002). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. p. 693. ISBN 1-56563-679-1.
  2. ^ "Bride – God Gave Rock And Roll To You". Discogs. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Bride Discography". Bridepub.com. Retrieved 25 September 2016. Videos: 1993 God Gave Rock-n-Roll to You
  4. ^ "Bride with D O C God Gave Rock & Roll To You". Youtube.com. 28 October 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Unrest (2) – Bavarian Mods And Other Hits at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  6. ^ "24 of the Biggest and Best Movie Power Ballads".
  7. ^ "Retrochart for January 1992". Everyhit.com. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  8. ^ "Billboard singles chart history-Kiss". Retrieved 18 February 2009.
  9. ^ "Kiss – God Gave Rock And Roll To You". YouTube. 19 December 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  10. ^ "God Gave Rock N Roll To You". YouTube. 29 September 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2011.