God Gave Rock and Roll to You

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"God Gave Rock and Roll to You"
God Gave Rock and Roll to You - Argent.jpg
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.

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 song reached No. 18 in the United Kingdom,[1] and No. 114 in the United States.[2]

Chart history[edit]

Chart (1973) Peak
position
UK [1] 18
US Billboard Hot 100[2] 114

Early cover versions[edit]

The Christian rock band Petra first released a cover version of the song in their 1977 album Come and Join Us.[3] 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]

The song has also been covered by Bride featuring rap group DOC[4][5][6] and by Midtown.[citation needed] Unrest remade the song as "God Gave Rock & Roll To You II" for their 1992 Bavarian Mods EP.[7]

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)
Recorded1991
GenreHard rock, heavy metal
Length5:18
LabelInterscope
Songwriter(s)
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 and Roll to You" was covered by American hard rock band Kiss as "God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You II", 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[8] 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. [9]

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".

Chart performance[edit]

The song proved to be a big hit for the band in many parts of the world, including making the top 10 in Ireland,[10] the United Kingdom,[11] Germany,[12] and Switzerland.[13] In the United States, it reached No. 21 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart.[14] The music video received heavy rotation on music television channels.

Music video[edit]

The video was filmed on 16mm film negative Van Nuys Airport, Van Nuys, California, on 23 and 24 July 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/10th Anniversary 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]

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.[15][16] It was later included on Steve Vai's album The Elusive Light and Sound, Vol. 1 under the title "Final Solo".

"God Gave Rock & Roll to You II" would also be included on the Kiss album Alive III, which was released in 1993.[17]

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. 24 March 1973. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  2. ^ a b Joel Whitburn's Bubbling Under the Billboard Hot 100 1959-2004
  3. ^ Powell, Mark Allan (2002). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. p. 693. ISBN 1-56563-679-1.
  4. ^ "Bride – God Gave Rock And Roll To You". Discogs. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Bride Discography". Bridepub.com. Retrieved 25 September 2016. Videos: 1993 God Gave Rock-n-Roll to You
  6. ^ "Bride with D O C God Gave Rock & Roll To You". Youtube.com. 28 October 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Unrest (2) – Bavarian Mods And Other Hits at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  8. ^ "24 of the Biggest and Best Movie Power Ballads".
  9. ^ "Argent - God Gave Rock And Roll To You: the story behind the song". Louder Sound. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  10. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – Search Results – God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You II". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  11. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  12. ^ a b "Offiziellecharts.de – KISS – God Gave Rock & Roll to You II" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  13. ^ a b "Swisscharts.com – KISS – God Gave Rock & Roll to You II". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  14. ^ a b "KISS Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  15. ^ "Kiss – God Gave Rock And Roll To You". YouTube. 19 December 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  16. ^ "God Gave Rock N Roll To You". YouTube. 29 September 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  17. ^ "Alive III - Kiss | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic.
  18. ^ "Australian-charts.com – KISS – God Gave Rock & Roll to You II". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  19. ^ "Austriancharts.at – KISS – God Gave Rock & Roll to You II" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  20. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 9 no. 5. 1 February 1992. p. 17. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  21. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – KISS – God Gave Rock & Roll to You II". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  22. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  23. ^ "1992 Year-End Sales Charts – Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 9 no. 51/52. 19 December 1992. p. 17. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  24. ^ "Top 100 Singles–Jahrescharts 1992" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  25. ^ "Swiss Year-End Charts 1992" (in German). Retrieved 15 January 2021.

External links[edit]