Hard Luck Woman

Song Review by

Although Kiss is known first and foremost as a bombastic, over-the-top, and highly theatrical heavy metal band, they have also enjoyed several hits over the years that are uncharacteristic of their usual high-voltage sound. The quartet had become one of the U.S.' top concert attractions by the mid-'70s due to their must-see live show and a slew of teenage anthems, but they sought across-the-board commercial success with the 1976 release Destroyer. So it caught everyone by surprise when "Beth," an unlikely symphonic ballad from the album sung by drummer Peter Criss, became a massive hit in 1976 -- bringing the band to the next level of success. When writing for their next release, Rock n' Roll Over (issued the same year), Paul Stanley penned an acoustic ballad that he hoped Rod Stewart would record, similar in style to Stewart's "Maggie May." For whatever reason, Stewart never did use it, so Stanley offered the song to Criss, who sang it in a raspy, Stewart-esque voice. The tough love tale became another sizeable hit for the band, which earned them even more of a pop audience. Since the song was recorded softly with acoustic guitars, it has rarely been played live by the band, although there's a rare "electric" version on their 1977 release Alive II, and it was an often-requested fave on their Kiss Convention Tour in 1995.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Rock and Roll Over 1976 Mercury / Casablanca 3:34
Double Platinum 1978 Casablanca 3:23
Greatest Hits [1998] 1996 Polygram 3:33
Greatest Kiss 1997 Mercury 3:35
The Box Set 2001 Mercury / Universal Distribution 3:34
The Very Best of Kiss 2002 UTV / Universal Distribution 3:34
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Kiss 2003 Mercury 3:32
Gold: 1974-1982 - Sound+Vision 2004 Mercury 3:35
Gold 2005 Mercury 3:25
Greatest Kiss 2005 Mercury 3:35
Playlist Plus 2008 Mercury 3:32
Classics 2008 Mercury / Island / Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal 3:33
The Complete Collection 2008 Mercury / Island / Universal 3:33
Playlist Your Way 2008 Island 3:32
IKONS 2008 Mercury 3:35
Legends of Rock 2009 Strategic Marketing / Universal 3:35
Icon 2010 Island / Mercury 3:32
Icon 2 2010 Island / Mercury 3:33
The Casablanca Singles: 1974-1982 2012 Mercury 3:35
5 Classic Albums 2013 Island / Mercury 3:36
No Image 2013 Def Jam / Island 3:25
Kiss 40 Years: Decades of Decibels 2014 Universal 3:33
Kissworld: The Best of Kiss 2017 Mercury / UMOD 3:34