Song Review by Greg Prato

After Kiss finally broke through to the big time with their 1975 Alive! set, the group decided that a musical departure was needed for their next studio release, to show that their recent success was no fluke. In came longtime Alice Cooper producer Bob Ezrin, and the end result is arguably Kiss' finest studio album, 1976's Destroyer. But, strangely, when it was originally released, it wasn't selling as well as hoped. When a single was released of their great rock anthem "Detroit Rock City" and it stiffed on the charts, the band was left scratching their heads as to what to do next to spark sales. They didn't have to worry long -- when a DJ received a great response from his listeners when he flipped over the "Detroit" single and played it's B-side, an uncharacteristic, orchestrated balled "Beth," the song was released as its own A-side and became the band's first Top Ten (and gold-certified) hit. While the song's songwriting credit went to Kiss drummer Peter Criss as well as Ezrin and songwriter Stan Penridge, the song was a leftover from an old band Criss was in from 1970 or so. The song was originally titled "Beck" (as in short for Rebecca or Becky), but the song title was changed at the insistence of Simmons (or so he claims in the home video X-Treme Close-Up). Lyrically, the song is told from the perspective of a musician who is torn between going home to his wife/girlfriend or keep on practicing with the boys in the band (Criss has admitted that he wrote the song for his wife at the time, Lydia Criss). When the song is performed in concert (1977's Alive II), Criss performs it to a backing tape, although an acoustic version on 1996's Unplugged features a band-performed accompaniment.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Destroyer 1976 Mercury 2:49
Double Platinum 1978 Casablanca 2:46
Greatest Kiss 1997 Mercury 2:48
Gold: 1974-1982 - Sound+Vision 2004 Mercury 2:48
Power Ballads Gold 2005
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:45
Playlist Plus 2008 Mercury 2:46
Favorites 2008 Island Def Jam Music Group 2:45
The Complete Collection 2008 Mercury / Island / Universal 2:46
IKONS 2008 Mercury 2:47
I Love You, Beth Cooper 2009
Various Artists
ABKCO Records 2:46