Lick It Up
|Lick It Up|
|Studio album by Kiss|
|Released||September 18, 1983|
|Recorded||July – August 1983|
Right Track Studios|
Record Plant Studios
|Producer||Michael James Jackson, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley|
|Singles from Lick It Up|
Japanese obi sheet cover of Lick It Up
Lick It Up is the eleventh studio album by American heavy metal band Kiss. On the day of 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 since their very early days, and their first for Mercury Records, where they had been signed with following their departure from Casablanca Records.
Lick It Up built upon the harder sound Kiss had displayed on 1982's Creatures of the Night. 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 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" 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.
"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" 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. The opening track (co-written by Vincent) features a solo from Rick Derringer.
Reception and legacy
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.
Stanley has stated in some interviews that he felt that the album sold well mainly due to the hype surrounding the band's unmasking.
The Lick It Up World 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. The American leg of the tour has been seen as commercially disappointing by writer Kurt Gooch, who has believed that Kiss alienated many longtime fans by eschewing the iconic makeup.
|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
- Vinnie Vincent - lead guitar, backing vocals, additional vocals on "Lick It Up" and "And on the 8th Day"
- Eric Carr - drums, percussion, backing vocals
- 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|
|Icelandic Albums Chart||5|
|Japanese Albums Chart||15|
|Norwegian Albums Chart||7|
|Spanish Albums Chart||24|
|Swedish Albums Chart||3|
|Swiss Albums Chart||10|
|UK Albums Chart||7|
|US Billboard 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
- 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.
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