Lick It Up

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Lick It Up
Lick it up cover.jpg
Studio album by Kiss
Released September 18, 1983
Recorded July – August 1983
Studio Right Track Studios
Record Plant Studios
Genre Hard rock, heavy metal[1][2][3][4]
Length 41:27
Label Mercury
Producer Michael James Jackson, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley
Kiss chronology
Creatures of the Night
(1982)Creatures of the Night1982
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 obi sheet cover of Lick It Up
Japanese obi sheet cover of Lick It Up

Lick It Up is the 11th studio album by American 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 Kiss since their very early days.

Album information[edit]

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,[5] 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.[citation needed]

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. 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 the priority rather than anybody’s ego!"

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[7]

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.[8] Kerrang! listed Lick It Up #3 on its list of the best hard rock albums in 1983.[9]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 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. This was Kiss's first North American tour since 1977 to witness a significant resurgence in popularity and concert attendance.

The title track "Lick It Up" remains a staple of the ensemble's live performances, having been played over 1,300 times as of August 2015; however, the rest of the album is rarely played live.[10]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
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



Additional musician



Chart (1983) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[11] 36
Austrian Albums Chart[12] 13
Canadian Albums Chart[13] 46
Dutch Albums Chart[12] 14
Finnish Albums Chart[14] 7
French Albums Chart[15] 17
German Albums Chart[12] 18
Icelandic Albums Chart[16] 5
Japanese Albums Chart[17] 15
Norwegian Albums Chart[12] 7
Spanish Albums Chart[18] 24
Swedish Albums Chart[12] 3
Swiss Albums Chart[12] 10
UK Albums Chart[19] 7
US Billboard Albums[20] 24


Single Chart (1983) Peak position
"Lick It Up" US Billboard Hot 100[21] 66
Canada Pop Singles[22] 32
France Pop Singles[23] 58
Switzerland Pop Singles[24] 24
UK Pop Singles[25] 31


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[26] Gold 50,000^
United States (RIAA)[27] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^
  2. ^ Download Kiss - Lick it up (1983) Retail CD Covers | AllCDCovers
  3. ^ Kiss Lick It Up (Album)- Spirit of Metal Webzine (en)
  4. ^
  5. ^ "RIAA Gold & Platinum database". Retrieved February 10, 2009. 
  6. ^ Prato, Greg. Lick It Up at AllMusic
  7. ^ "Kiss: Album Guide | Rolling Stone Music". Retrieved 2011-08-21. 
  8. ^ Guitar World Readers Poll of the Top 10 Guitar Albums of 1983. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
  9. ^ "Kerrang!'s list of best hard rock albums in 1983". Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  10. ^ "KISS Tour statistics - songs played total". Retrieved August 29, 2015. 
  11. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f KISS - Lick It Up -
  13. ^ "Search - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  14. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 263. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 15, 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Tonlist Top 40". DV. Retrieved 2017-04-22. 
  17. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  18. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  19. ^ KISS | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company
  20. ^ "Kiss Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums" at AllMusic. Retrieved February 11, 2010.
  21. ^ "Billboard chart history-Kiss singles". Retrieved February 10, 2009. 
  22. ^ "RPM chart archives at Collections Canada". Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  23. ^ "InfoDisc archives". Archived from the original on June 14, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  24. ^ "". Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  25. ^ "The Official Charts". Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  26. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Kiss – Lick It Up". Music Canada. 
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Kiss – Lick It Up". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH