Why Gene Simmons Disliked “I Was Made for Lovin’ You”

Why Gene Simmons Disliked “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” | I Love Classic Rock Videos

Gene Simmons in an interview with Frank Buckley - KTLA 5 / Youtube

KISS’ “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” is a rock anthem that transcended genre, topping charts worldwide and solidifying the band’s place in pop culture history. Released in 1979 on their seventh album, Dynasty, the song’s infectious disco beat and catchy chorus made it an instant sensation.

However, despite its undeniable success, this song has a surprising backstory. Co-writer Paul Stanley revealed the song wasn’t born in a traditional studio setting, but in a “musical whorehouse”, hinting at an unconventional creative process.

Interestingly, Gene Simmons, KISS’s bassist and co-vocalist, has a complicated relationship with the song. While millions of fans sing along to its iconic lyrics, Simmons himself has expressed dislike for the track, and for reasons that go beyond its disco influences.

Simmons liked the strong start of the song

Despite being one of the band’s biggest hits, “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” holds a surprising place in The Demon’s heart: he doesn’t like it. In a 2023 interview, Simmons recounted his initial reaction to the song, revealing a line-by-line breakdown of his impressions.

While acknowledging the catchy nature of the first lyrics like “Tonight” and “In the darkness”, his tone suggests a lack of personal connection. However, despite that, he expressed approval of these phrases.

“What’s the second line?’ [He said], ‘I wanna give it all to you,’ [and I’m like], ‘Yeah, that’s cool.’ ‘In the darkness, in the darkness’… ‘Yeah that rocks.’… ‘is something I wanna do’,” Simmons revealed.

Simmons continued, “What’s my part?,” before singing, “Do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do.” No, no, come on, I’m the God of Thunder.”

“I hate it to this day”

Despite Gene Simmons’ vocal dislike for “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” the song proved to be a massive commercial success. It reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the chart for an impressive 16 weeks.

The song’s success wasn’t isolated, as the album Dynasty also performed exceptionally well, peaking at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 and staying on the chart for 25 weeks. However, commercial success couldn’t bridge the gap between the song’s popularity and Simmons’ personal feelings.

In a stark contrast to the song’s widespread appeal, Simmons bluntly stated, “I hate it to this day.”

Still, Simmons acknowledges the song’s undeniable energy and the enthusiastic response it evokes from audiences. He even admits, “Except, people to this day jump around like biblical locusts, and so I play along.” 

The song’s unconventional birthplace

The origins of “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” are far from ordinary. According to co-writer Stanley, the song wasn’t born in a traditional studio setting, but in a place he called a “musical whorehouse” and a “den of iniquity”: Studio 54.

Stanley spent entire nights at this infamous New York nightclub, immersing himself in the pulsating disco scene. Inspired by the infectious rhythms, he decided to create his own disco-infused anthem. He went home, set a drum machine to the prevalent 126-beat-per-minute tempo, and “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” was born.

However, Stanley clarifies that the song’s disco influence shouldn’t be misconstrued as a reflection of Studio 54’s atmosphere. He describes the club as a place of “hardcore debauchery,” far removed from the sanitized image often associated with disco.

Despite the club’s excesses, Stanley enjoyed its uninhibited dance environment, a stark contrast to the theatricality of KISS’s stage presence. He frequented the club, sometimes staying until dawn, simply to lose himself in the music and movement.

With the help of Desmond Child

The iconic opening line of “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” – “Tonight I’m gonna give it all to you” – surprisingly emerged from the midst of the hedonistic atmosphere of Studio 54. As Stanley immersed himself in the club’s pulsating energy, it served as a catalyst for the song’s creation.

However, beyond the initial inspiration, Stanley had a more practical motive for crafting the song. He later revealed that the disco-rock hit was a deliberate attempt to demonstrate the ease of writing and recording a disco hit. 

Stanley’s journey towards co-writing the song began in 1977 with a chance encounter. In Greenwich Village, he stumbled upon a flyer advertising a performance by the glam-rock group Desmond Child and Rouge. Impressed by their sound, Stanley connected with Child, and their shared passion for music soon blossomed into a creative partnership.

This newfound collaboration quickly yielded results. The duo first penned “The Fight” for Child and Rouge’s debut album, laying the groundwork for their future success. Building on this momentum, they delved into “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” with Stanley and Child crafting the verses within an hour at SIR Studios.

Child’s flourishing career after this collaboration

Desmond Child’s collaboration with KISS on “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” proved to be a pivotal moment in his career. The song’s immense success not only solidified his reputation as a talented songwriter but also opened doors to exciting new opportunities.

Working with KISS wasn’t just a one-time collaboration. Child continued to write with the band, contributing to several notable tracks like “Heaven’s On Fire”, “Kiss the Rain”, and “I’ve Had Enough (Into the Fire)”. 

However, Child’s impact extended far beyond KISS. He went on to co-write some of the biggest hits for iconic artists across various genres. From Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Bad Medicine” to Joan Jett’s chart-topping singles and Aerosmith’s anthems like “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Born to Be My Baby”, Child’s songwriting prowess became highly sought-after.

His diverse collaborations continued with artists like Alice Cooper, Ricky Martin, Katy Perry, and many more. This impressive list demonstrates Child’s ability to adapt to different musical styles and consistently deliver hit-worthy songs, solidifying his position as one of the most successful songwriters in contemporary music history.