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Kiss - Detroit Rock City (Jimmy Kimmel Live! 2009)

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Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Detroit Rock City on Wikipedia
"Detroit Rock City"
Detroit Rock City.jpg
Single by Kiss
from the album Destroyer
ReleasedJuly 28, 1976
RecordedRecord Plant Studios,
New York City: 1976
GenreHard rock
Length5:17 (album version)
2:58 (single version)
3:35 (Double Platinum version)
Writer(s)Paul Stanley
Bob Ezrin
Producer(s)Bob Ezrin
Kiss singles chronology

"Detroit Rock City" is a song by the American hard rock group Kiss featured on their 1976 album, Destroyer. The song was written by Paul Stanley and producer Bob Ezrin.


  • 1 Song information
  • 2 Popular culture
  • 3 Other versions
  • 4 Personnel
  • 5 See also
  • 6 Notes

Song information

The song, recorded and released as a single in 1976, was the third single from Kiss's album Destroyer and was planned to be their last in support of the album. As a single, it did poorly in sales and radio play (other than in Detroit), and failed to chart in the U.S. even though it would prove to be a fan favorite. It came as a surprise that the B-side "Beth", a ballad written and sung by drummer Peter Criss, wound up catching on in different markets in the United States, so the single was reissued with "Beth" as the A-side and "Detroit Rock City" as the B-side.

While the song briefly references Detroit, the real-life incident which inspired the lyric evidently did not take place there. "I had the basic riff of the song, the 'Get up, get down' part," Stanley recalls, "but I didn't know what the song was about except it was about Detroit. And then I remembered on the previous tour, I think it was in Charlotte, somebody had gotten hit by a car and killed outside the arena. I remember thinking how weird it is that people's lives end so quickly. 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 for the lyric."[1]

On Destroyer, the song segues into "King of the Night Time World", via the sounds of a car crash. The songs were played together on the Destroyer tour.

During the Love Gun/Alive II tour, Stanley changed the lyric, "I know I'm gonna die, why?" to "I know I'm gonna die, and I don't care!" The song was #6 on VH1's 40 Greatest Metal Songs and is featured on the album Heavy Metal – The First 20 Years. "Detroit Rock City" was based on an earlier song that Kiss performed only in concert called "Acrobat".

Popular culture

  • Its title was used for the 1999 motion picture of the same name, which revolves around a Kiss concert in Detroit.
  • The Detroit Tigers often use the song when the team takes the field at the beginning of the game.
  • The Detroit Red Wings play the tune right before the first face-off of a game and also during television and radio broadcasts.
  • The fictional venue—The Rock City Theater located in Detroit, Michigan—appeared in the music video game Guitar Hero II.
  • It is featured in the 2007 music video game Rock Band, in which the master track from the album version is used (without the car engine sounds).
  • Kiss played it on an episode of Gene Simmons Family Jewels.
  • It is featured in the 2008 music video game Rock Revolution.
  • The Rock Band version of the song appears in the movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop.
  • It is featured in the 2008 movie Role Models.
  • It is featured in the 2009 music video game Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 3.
  • It is featured in the 2011 movie The Dilemma.
  • Due to the popularity of this song, Kiss is among the several recording artists to have a banner hanging from the rafters of the Palace of Auburn Hills to commemorate their many Metro Detroit sellouts.
  • The song is featured in season 25, episode 3 of "The Simpsons.
  • It is featured in the 2015 movie Scooby-Doo! and Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery.

Other versions

  • Duralex Sedlex - The Evil Eye (1991)
  • Rich Kids on LSD - "Berlin Rock City" - "Greatest Hits, Live in Berlin" 1988
  • Halloween - "No One Gets Out" 1991
  • The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Kiss My Ass
  • Hayseed Dixie – Let There Be Rockgrass
  • Alien Fashion Show – "Detroit Swing City" (single, 1998)
  • Metallica, Kid Rock, Sevendust and Ted Nugent live collaboration from New Years' Eve 1999 concert at the Pontiac Silverdome
  • HammerFall – Crimson Thunder (bonus track)
  • Radio Cult – "Grooves from the Grave" (2008)
  • Sweet Siren
  • Gwar during concerts around 1994
  • GO!GO!7188 – "Kazari Janai no yo Namida wa" (originally by Akina Nakamori) on their cover album, Tora no Ana 2
  • Bullet LaVolta – Gimme Danger / Hard to Believe: Kiss Covers Compilation
  • Dee Snider – Spin the Bottle
  • Racer X – Live Extreme Volume II
  • Green Day – "Live in Detroit" July 14, 2009 (only played beginning)


  • Paul Stanley - lead vocals/rhythm guitar/backing vocals
  • Ace Frehley - lead guitar
  • Gene Simmons - bass guitar/backing vocals
  • Peter Criss - drums

See also

  • Detroit Rock City (film)
  • Music of Detroit
  • Detroit Metal City


  1. ^ Leaf, David and Ken Sharp, KISS: Behind the Mask - The Official Authorized Biography

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