Paul Stanley Wrote 1 of Kiss’ Biggest Hit Songs With Michael Bolton

While Michael Bolton’s power ballads don’t sound like Kiss songs, Bolton co-wrote a colossal hit for Kiss with Paul Stanley. Stanley revealed someone at Kiss’ record label wanted him to change the song significantly but Stanley stood his ground. Subsequently, the song became one of the biggest hits of the classic rock band’s career.

Paul Stanley of Kiss with a hair brush
Paul Stanley of Kiss | Tom Hill/WireImage

Paul Stanley felt he didn’t get enough credit for the Kiss song he wrote with Michael Bolton

During the 1980s and early 1990s, rock power ballads were all the rage. Songs like Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” Heart’s “What About Love,” and Alice Cooper’s “Poison” defined the era. Kiss had their own hit in that vein. That ballad was co-written by Bolton, one of the most famous balladeers of the late 20th century.

In his book Face the Music: A Life Exposed, Stanley said he worked on a song with Bolton during a writing session at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood. Stanley was upset when people erroneously believed Bolton wrote the song by himself.

Someone wanted Paul Stanley to change 1 part of the song

The song in question was called “Forever.” “When our record label first heard ‘Forever,’ it was the first time in a decade that an A&R man at our label actually weighed in with an opinion on one of our songs,” Stanley recalled. “He sat me down in his office and said I needed to re-edit it so it faded out on the chorus. That was song-arranging 101, and even though it could be effective in some cases, it wasn’t right for that song — the ending was one of the qualities that made ‘Forever’ unique.”

Stanley didn’t put much stock in the A&R representative’s opinion. “This desk expert pushed his opinion relentlessly, and with a tone that made it seem like more of a directive than a suggestion,” Stanley recalled. “I’d had enough. ‘I was doing this when you were in grade school,’ I told him. ‘I was at this label before you were here, and I’ll be here after you’re gone. So thanks, but no thanks.’ That was the end of the meeting.”


Gene Simmons Said Kiss’ ‘Rock and Roll All Nite’ Was Inspired by This Sly and the Family Stone Song

The way the world reacted to Kiss’ ‘Forever’

Regardless of what the A&R man thought, “Forever” became a massive hit for Kiss. It peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 17 weeks. It was Kiss’ first top 10 hit since the band released “Beth” and “Detroit Rock City” as a double A-side in 1976. “Forever”‘s parent album, Hot in the Shade, became a hit as well. The album peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard 200 and remained on the chart for 36 weeks.

According to Face the Music: A Life Unmasked, “Forever” had an impact on Bolton as well. He started performing it at his concerts after it became a hit. “Forever” was very popular and it might not have worked if Stanley had changed it.