- Vinyl (April 1, 2014)
- Original Release Date: 2014
- Number of Discs: 1
Lick It Up is the eleventh studio album by American rock band Kiss. On the day of its release, the band members appeared on MTV without their trademark makeup. It was the first public appearance without makeup by Kiss since their very early days. The title track "Lick It Up" remains a staple of the ensemble's live performances, having been played over 900 times as of September 2012. However, the rest of the album is rarely played live.
Lick It Up built upon the harder sound Kiss had displayed on 1982's Creatures of the Night. But while Creatures of the Night was a commercial disappointment for Kiss, Lick It Up sold much better. It was certified gold on December 22, 1983, the first Kiss album to achieve certification since 1980's Unmasked. This is partially attributable to the increased publicity the band received after their unmasking.
As soon as the Creatures Tour wrapped up in June, the band immediately went back into the studio to begin work on their next album, which was recorded over the next two months. "Lick It Up" and "All Hell's Breakin' Loose" were released as singles from the album. They were accompanied by a pair of similarly themed, tongue-in-cheek videos featuring the band (along with many scantily clad women) in desolate, post-apocalyptic settings.
For the first time Vinnie Vincent appeared on the cover art for the album, whereas Ace Frehley had appeared on the Creatures of the Night cover, despite having already left the band and not being involved in the recording of the album. Vincent was not legally a member of the band. Due partly to disputes over what his role in the band and his pay would be (some reports indicated that he had asked for, and was flatly denied, a percentage of the band's gross profits), Vincent never signed any contract making his employment official. These disputes, along with a growing attitude by him that he was solely responsible for the resurgence of Kiss, would lead to him leaving the band (or being fired, depending on the source) after the European leg of the Lick It Up tour.
With the band unable to secure a replacement guitarist on such short notice, Vincent was enticed to return for the American leg of the tour. However, his refusal to sign his contract continued to be a sore point. A major rift developed between him and the rest of the band over his guitar solos. What were supposed 5-8 minute solos timed to finish on a cue so that Paul Stanley could introduce the next song, suddenly expanded in some instances leaving the rest of the band impatiently waiting on stage for Vincent to finish.
At an LA Forum show in January 1984, Vincent continued playing despite Stanley's cueing him to finish the solo. The two nearly came to blows in the dressing room afterward, with Stanley accusing Vincent of showing him up and Vincent accusing the other three members of ruining his solo and trying to hold him back as a performer. They were separated by Eric Carr and Gene Simmons and a couple of roadies who tried to keep the peace. At a March show in Quebec, Canada, as the band prepared to close out their set, Vincent broke into an impromptu solo, leaving the other band members standing onstage with nothing to do. Vincent left (or was fired for a second time, depending on the source) shortly after. This time the break was permanent.
Although according to Simmons and Stanley, Vinnie Vincent was never "officially" a member of the band, he appears on the cover and is credited in the liner notes as the band's lead guitarist. If Vinnie Vincent was officially the lead guitarist, Lick It Up would be to date one of three Kiss albums in which every song is credited to only band members with no outside writers or cover songs (the other two being 2009's Sonic Boom and 2012's Monster).
"All Hell's Breakin' Loose" is one of three songs in the history of the band in which all four (current at the time) members share song-writing credit, the others being "Love Theme from Kiss" and "Back to the Stone Age". In an interview for KISSology 2, Stanley made the statement that, "People were now listening with their eyes rather than their ears. Mainly, because Creatures of the Night was arguably a better album than Lick It Up." He also made the statement that "The only reason why I think people bought Lick It Up more than Creatures of the Night was because we had no make-up on. That was the only reason."
While Vincent contributed lead guitar to six songs on Creatures of the Night as a session player, by the time Lick it Up was released and for all the public knew, he was officially the guitarist in Kiss and played all the lead guitar on the album. Curiously, the opening track (co-written by Vincent) features a solo from Rick Derringer? From album producer Michael James Jackson, "There were just some things that Vinnie couldn’t play. His sensibility was often too melodic for the band’s style. Vinnie was always struggling to find his place within Kiss, both musically and personally. As I recall we brought Rick Derringer in to take a pass. Moments like this were difficult for Vinnie, but the attitude all of us maintained was that the quality of the record would always be a the priority rather than anybody’s ego"!
Lick It Up was certified platinum on December 19, 1990. It was placed at #10 on Guitar World's Readers Poll of the Top 10 Guitar Albums of 1983. Kerrang! listed Lick It Up #3 on its list of the best hard rock albums in 1983.The album marked a turnaround in the band's flagging fortunes during the previous several years and successfully introduced them to a new generation of fans, as well as marking the beginning of the "unmasked" era that would last for the next decade.
The Lick It Up Tour began in October one month after the album's release and focused on Europe during the autumn, with the US leg taking place from December to March. This was Kiss's first North American tour since 1977 to witness a significant resurgence in popularity and concert attendance.
The title track is a fan favorite Kiss song and a staple of the band's live performances, having been played over 900 times as of September 2012. As of 2005, this album has sold over 2 million copies, and has not been recertified for that amount.
|1.||"Exciter"||Paul Stanley, Vinnie Vincent||Stanley||4:10|
|2.||"Not for the Innocent"||Gene Simmons, Vincent||Simmons||4:22|
|3.||"Lick It Up"||Stanley, Vincent||Stanley||3:56|
|4.||"Young and Wasted"||Simmons, Vincent||Simmons||4:05|
|5.||"Gimme More"||Stanley, Vincent||Stanley||3:43|
|6.||"All Hell's Breakin' Loose"||Eric Carr, Stanley, Simmons, Vincent||Stanley||4:34|
|7.||"A Million to One"||Stanley, Vincent||Stanley||4:17|
|8.||"Fits Like a Glove"||Simmons||Simmons||4:04|
|9.||"Dance All Over Your Face"||Simmons||Simmons||4:16|
|10.||"And on the 8th Day"||Simmons, Vincent||Simmons||4:02|
- Paul Stanley - rhythm guitar, lead vocals
- Gene Simmons - bass guitar, lead vocals
- Eric Carr - drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Vinnie Vincent - lead guitar, backing vocals
- Other musicians
- Rick Derringer - lead guitar on "Exciter"
|Australian Albums Chart||36|
|Austrian Albums Chart||13|
|Canadian Albums Chart||46|
|Dutch Albums Chart||14|
|Finnish Albums Chart||7|
|French Albums Chart||17|
|German Albums Chart||18|
|Norwegian Albums Chart||7|
|Spanish Albums Chart||24|
|Swedish Albums Chart||3|
|Swiss Albums Chart||10|
|UK Albums Chart||7|
|US Billboard Pop Albums||24|
|Single||Chart (1983)||Peak position|
|"Lick It Up"||US Billboard Hot 100||66|
|Canada Pop Singles||32|
|France Pop Singles||58|
|Switzerland Pop Singles||24|
|UK Pop Singles||31|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Gold||50,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone