Lick It Up

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Lick It Up
Lick it up cover.jpg
Cover photo by Bernard Vidal
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 22, 1983 (1983-09-22)[1]
RecordedJuly–August 1983
StudioRight Track Recording, The Record Plant, Atlantic Studios and The Hit Factory, New York City
Kiss chronology
Creatures of the Night
Lick It Up
Singles from Lick It Up
  1. "Lick It Up"
    Released: September 18, 1983
  2. "All Hell's Breakin' Loose"
    Released: February 6, 1984
Alternative cover
Japanese KISS LIU cover 1983.jpg
Japanese obi sheet cover of Lick It Up

Lick It Up is the eleventh studio album by American rock band Kiss. Before its 1983 release, the band members appeared on MTV without their trademark make-up. It was the first public appearance without make-up by the band, and their first for Mercury Records, where they had been signed following their departure from Casablanca Records.

Recording and release[edit]

As soon as the Creatures of the Night Tour/10th Anniversary 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 built upon the harder sound Kiss had displayed on 1982's Creatures of the Night. While Vinnie 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. For the first time, 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. The opening track (co-written by Vincent) features a solo from Rick Derringer.

"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. "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 songwriting credit, the others being "Love Theme from Kiss" from their debut album and "Back to the Stone Age" from Monster.

Vincent membership[edit]

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.[5]

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 to be 5–8 minute solos, timed to finish on a cue so that Paul Stanley could introduce the next song, suddenly extended in some instances, leaving the rest of the band impatiently waiting on stage for Vincent to finish.[5]

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 on stage 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.

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal8/10[6]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[8]

The album marked a turnaround from the band's flagging fortunes of 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. In an interview for KISSology 2, Stanley said 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."

Lick It Up was certified gold on December 22, 1983, the first Kiss album to achieve certification since 1980's Unmasked. It was certified platinum in the US on December 19, 1990.[9] Kerrang! listed Lick It Up at No. 3 on its year-end list of the best hard rock albums of 1983.[10] In 2011, the album placed at No. 10 in Guitar World's readers poll of the top 10 guitar albums of 1983.[11]

The video for "All Hell's Breaking Loose" was nominated for Best Cinematography at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards.

"Lick It Up" is a staple of the band's live performances. Due to its popularity among fans, Kiss has performed the song over one thousand and five hundred times as of December 2022, making it one of the group's top ten most played pieces.[12]

Track listing[edit]

All credits adapted from the original release.[13]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Exciter"Paul Stanley, Vinnie VincentStanley4:10
2."Not for the Innocent"Gene Simmons, VincentSimmons4:22
3."Lick It Up"Stanley, VincentStanley3:56
4."Young and Wasted"Simmons, VincentSimmons4:05
5."Gimme More"Stanley, VincentStanley3:43
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
6."All Hell's Breakin' Loose"Eric Carr, Stanley, Simmons, VincentStanley4:34
7."A Million to One"Stanley, VincentStanley4:17
8."Fits Like a Glove"SimmonsSimmons4:04
9."Dance All Over Your Face"SimmonsSimmons4:16
10."And on the 8th Day"Simmons, VincentSimmons4:02


Additional musician
  • Michael James Jackson – producer
  • Frank Filipetti – engineer, mixing
  • Rob Freeman – basic tracks engineer on "Lick It Up", "Dance All Over Your Face", "And on the 8th Day"
  • Maria Marquis, Stephen Benben – assistant engineers
  • Dave Wittman, Dave Caccavo – additional engineering
  • George Marino – mastering at Sterling Sound, New York




Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[36] Gold 50,000^
United States (RIAA)[9] Platinum 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "RIAA certifications". Recording Industry Association of America.
  2. ^ a b Prato, Greg. Lick It Up at AllMusic
  3. ^ Klosterman, Chuck (2002). Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural Nörth Daköta. Scribner. p. 155. ISBN 0-7432-0227-9. By and large, Lick It Up is a pretty good hard rock record and the catalyst for KISS' recovery as a platinum-selling artist.
  4. ^ "50 Greatest Hair Metal Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. October 13, 2015. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Blau, Max (April 8, 2014). "The Long Kiss Goodbye: The Search for Vinnie Vincent". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on September 4, 2018. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  6. ^ Popoff, Martin (November 1, 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 187. ISBN 978-1-89-495931-5.
  7. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Vol. 4 (4 ed.). Muze. p. 875. ISBN 978-0-19-531373-4.
  8. ^ "Kiss: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 27, 2011. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
  9. ^ a b "American album certifications – Kiss – Lick It Up". Recording Industry Association of America.
  10. ^ "Kerrang!'s list of best hard rock albums in 1983". Retrieved April 10, 2011.
  11. ^ Guitar World Readers Poll of the Top 10 Guitar Albums of 1983. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
  12. ^ "Kiss Tour Statistics - Songs Played Total". Retrieved December 11, 2022.
  13. ^ Kiss (1983). Lick It Up (LP Sleeve). Los Angeles, California: Casablanca Records. 814 297-1.
  14. ^ "Facebook". Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  15. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  16. ^ " – Kiss – Lick It Up" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  17. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 4437a". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  18. ^ " – Kiss – Lick It Up" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  19. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 166. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  20. ^ "Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artiste – K". (in French). Archived from the original on October 22, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2012. Select Kiss from the menu, then press OK.
  21. ^ " – Kiss – Lick It Up" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  22. ^ "Tonlist Top 40". DV. Retrieved April 22, 2017.[dead link]
  23. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005 (in Japanese). Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  24. ^ " – Kiss – Lick It Up". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  25. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  26. ^ " – Kiss – Lick It Up". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  27. ^ " – Kiss – Lick It Up". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  28. ^ "Kiss | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  29. ^ "Kiss Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  30. ^ "Kiss Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 3, 2022.
  31. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 39, No. 17, December 24, 1983". Library and Archives Canada. December 24, 1983. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  32. ^ "Accès direct aux Artistes (K): choose Kiss". Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  33. ^ "Kiss - Lick It Up". Hit (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  34. ^ "Kiss Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  35. ^ "Kiss - All Hell's Breaking Loose". Offizielle Deutsche Charts (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  36. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Kiss – Lick It Up". Music Canada.

External links[edit]