Well… here we go.
This is the first single I’ve stumbled upon on my Random Single a Day challenge that was actually a pretty big commercial success. It reached #11 on the Hot 100 and the top ten in various charts worldwide, even making #1 on a few of them. This song was massive. And in more ways than one. You see, KISS had developed a pretty big following of fans for their glam rock style and sound. The face makeup, loud music, and live shows that demonstrated pyrotechnics and blood-spitting defined their quintessential rock star demeanor. Their rise to prominence put them forth as hard rockin’ heavy metal icons though their comic book demeanors and hedonistic lyricism posited them securely in a more delightful kitsch territory.
“I Was Made For Lovin’ You” was their most successful single up until this point – and the backlash was remarkable. I already wrote a paragraph about this song on my post covering Billboard’s Year-End Hot 100 of 1979 (it reached #74 that year), and my general opinion on the song still stands. This song really sucks. I’m usually one to defend the 70s disco scene as a vital and important part of pop culture history and also try to deflect the typical criticism put forth by naysayers. But this song is pretty much everything than disco haters complain about rolled into a schlocky music ball. It’s got all the cheap and obvious cash-in qualities: obnoxious production, terrible lyrics, that “doo doo doo, doo-doo, doo-doo, doo doo” hook… the list goes on. My boyfriend and I recently watched a Canadian horror film called Discopathe, in which the protagonist is triggered into a murderous rampage by disco generally, this song specifically. The movie is awful and no one should watch it, but this song is so bad that it’s not even that unrealistic that someone would be so disillusioned from the influence of this song alone. It’s just that bad.
Are there any positive qualities, though? Well, kind of. The single was written by studio legend Desmond Child, who would go on to write and produce hit singles for Bon Jovi, Joan Jett, and Ricky Martin (no really!). It seems that vague verses that dance around the point set surely and forcefully by an anthemic chorus seem to be Child’s schtick. It just makes so much sense that the lines, “I was made for lovin’ you, baby / You were made for lovin’ me” were written by the same guy behind, “Your love is like bad medicine / Bad medicine is what I need”. For that, I’ll give this song some props – there’s no way this song is getting out of your head anytime soon after just one listen. For myself, I listened to this song five times in a row over the course of this paragraph and I don’t think there’s any saving me at this point.