Writers: Peter Criss, Stan Penridge and Bob Ezrin
Producer: Bob Ezrin
Recorded: Winter 1975-76 at the Record Plant in New York City
Released: Spring 1976
|Players:||Peter Criss — vocals
Bob Ezrin — string arrangements
|Album:||Destroyer (Casablanca, 1976))|
A ballad atypical of Kiss‘ hard-rocking oeuvre, “Beth” was the band’s biggest hit ever, peaking at Number Seven on the Billboard Hot 100.
The single, whose B-side was the anthem “Detroit Rock City,” was also certified gold.
Drummer Peter Criss, who co-wrote the song, is the only member of Kiss to perform on “Beth.” He’s accompanied by a string ensemble that was arranged by producer Bob Ezrin.
The song was an open letter to Criss’ wife, apologizing for the separations caused by his rock-and-roll lifestyle.
Despite the angelic sweetness of “Beth,” Criss — born Peter Crisscoula in Brooklyn, New York — was no altar boy. Literally. “They threw me out of the choir because I drank all the wine when I was an altar boy,” he told Rolling Stone magazine in 1977.
The Destroyer album reached Number 11 on the Billboard 200 and earned Kiss its first platinum album award.
Destroyer was also Kiss’ breakthrough in the U.K., hitting Number 22 on its album charts.