This Kiss Hit Was Once a Christian Rock Song
Kiss has made great music in a number of genres, however, they aren’t known for making Christian rock. Despite this, one of their hits was a Christian rock song at one point. Here’s a look at the story behind a Kiss song that became famous because of a hit 1990s movie.
This Kiss song was written as its writer was coming out of depression
Kiss was not a band like The Monkees which generally left their songwriting duties to other people. However, one of their songs was originally written by Russ Ballard of the band Argent. During an interview with Loudersound, Ballard explained the origin of the track, “God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll to You.”
“I felt blissful when I started writing ‘God Gave Rock and Roll to You,’ and that was the opposite of how I’d felt the year before,” he said. “My parents had both been really ill; my dad had prostate cancer, my mum had bowel cancer, at the same time. I’d felt so low. During that period, I remember writing ‘I Don’t Believe In Miracles,’ and at the end of the song I just put my head down on the piano keys and cried.”
“It was wonderful to feel myself come out of that depression,” Ballard recalls. “I felt so ‘up’. It probably only took twenty minutes to write it. I’d always liked gospel. With the lyric, I was saying that we live on this incredible planet, and when you find a passion, this world makes sense. Whereas, if you settle for a job to pay the bills, it’s very sad.”
How ‘God Gave Rock and Roll to You’ became a Christian rock song
Argent’s released their version of the track but it wasn’t the final one. A Christian rock band named Petra covered the track for their album Come Join Us and their cover arguably became more famous than the original. Given the lyrics of the song have to do with God, the track actually works as a Christian song — which isn’t something you could say about a lot of other rock songs. The fact that a Christian band could sing the lyrics “God Gave rock ‘n’ roll to you” without incident shows how the public perception of rock ‘n’ roll changed a lot since the 1950s. During that decade, some Christians saw the genre as inherently immoral.
How the world reacted to Kiss’ version of ‘God Gave Rock and Roll to You’
“God Gave Rock and Roll to You” might have remained in obscurity if not for a certain 1990s film. Kiss performed a cover of the track for the second film in the Bill & Ted trilogy, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. Although their version is a straightforward cover of the original, it has the title “God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll to You II.”
The Official Charts Company reports their version of the song reached No. 4 in the United Kingdom. The fact that a band from the 1970s had a hit with the cover speaks to the continued popularity of both Kiss and “God Gave Rock and Roll to You.”