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Detroit Rock City by Kiss
Album: DestroyerReleased: 1976
Breaking away from their typical partying-style lyrics, Bob Ezrin and Kiss' Paul Stanley wrote this song about a young fan who was killed in a car accident on his way to a Kiss concert. The loud, driving beat of the music belies the seriousness of the lyrics. Stanley said: "On a previous tour somebody had gotten hit by a car and killed outside the arena. I remember thinking how weird it is that people can be on their way to something that's really a party and a celebration of being alive, and die in the process of doing it. So that became the basis of the lyric."
Although the album was a great success, this song as a single did not even chart in the US. Released as the "A" side to "Beth
," a Peter Criss ballad, "Beth" is the song that became popular among the mainstream, and the single was re-released with "Beth" as Side A.
This song is a staple at Kiss concerts, and is a great fan favorite. It was placed at Number 6 on VH1's Greatest Metal Songs.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones did a unique Ska cover of this song on 1994's Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved, a collection of Kiss songs remade by various artists.
The city of Detroit is located in Michigan, and is where music popularly known as "Motown" was born.
The voice of the newscaster at the beginning is provided by Gene Simmons
(the band's bassist).
The movie Detroit Rock City
, which was produced by Gene Simmons, was released in 1999. Set in 1978, the film is about a group of kids from Detroit trying desperately to attend a sold-out Kiss show in Detroit.
The Oregon swing band Cherry Poppin' Daddies remade this song as "Detroit Swing City."
Paul Blart (Kevin James) plays this on the game Rock Band in the 2009 movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop.