Vicious Circle is the fourth album by L.A. Guns. Most of the songs have Phil Lewis on lead vocals, but the track "Nothing Better to Do" features Kelly Nickels on lead vocals, and "Tarantula" is instrumental. MC Bones drums on several songs. Lewis and Bones also played together in the band Filthy Lucre. Filthy Lucre bandmates Steve Dior and Jim Wirt sing backing vocals on several songs. Wirt was also the album's producer and engineer.
After Bones left the band after recording, Steve Riley rejoined the band to tour for the album; it was the last time the classic line-up played together until 1999, Tracii Guns and Riley being the only classic members remaining after the tour.
According to L.A. Guns folklore, Guns originally left the band prior to recording Vicious Circle. With Guns gone, the remaining members kicked around the idea of renaming the band L.A. Nickels, after bassist Kelly Nickels, before opting to keep the L.A. Guns name. PolyGram was completely unaware the guitarist had left the group. The record company would later threaten legal action against the group when they discovered Guns was missing during the recording process. As a result, Guns returned to the band to finish the recording of the album and subsequent tour. This whole scenario is probably what inspired the album's title: Vicious Circle. Which was defined in the album credits as: A situation in which the solution to each problem gives rise to another, eventually bringing back the initial problem.