© 1976, Casablanca Records; © 1997, KISS Catalog Ltd.
Hard Luck Woman
It would seem to be a bit unfair to describe "Hard Luck Woman" as a clone, but the truth of the matter is that the song is. Rod Stewart had had a hit with "Maggie May" in 1971, and Paul Stanley as a fan, thought that he could write something with a similar style and feel. Throughout his career Paul often challenged himself to write material in a style similar to another artist or genre of music either that he had been influenced by or simply liked. The resulting "Hard Luck Woman" was, for a while, going to be offered to Rod to record himself, but the band soon turned to their Cat for vocals. According to Paul, "We wanted something similar to 'Beth,' so we let Peter sing 'Hard Luck' too. He had a real raspy voice, and when people heard it on the radio, they thought it was Rod Stewart" (Guitar World, 8/92).
However, the song simply wasn't just given to Peter to sing out of kindness. The move was more calculated. Paul recalled: "Now, at the time, I was a big fan of Rod Stewart and I wanted to write a song like 'You Wear It Well' or 'Maggie May' so I could give it to Rod - so I wrote 'Hard Luck Woman.' I played it for Gene, and he basically felt that, since we needed a follow-up to 'Beth,' there was no way we could give a song like that away. And Peter was the ideal person to sing it because he had that naturally raspy, Rod Stewart-ish voice" (KISStory).
Paul played the acoustic guitar, a Guild twelve-string, on the recording. Part of the logic for using the song as a single was the success that the band had had with "Beth" gaining better airplay than the anthem-styled "rock" singles they would usually release. The single reached #15 on the US singles charts in December 1976, which, while not repeating the mega-success of "Beth," still kept the band highly visible in a radio-friendly manner with material very different to their live assault artillery.