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 at least partially attributable to the increased publicity the band received after their unmasking.
"Lick It Up" and "All Hell's Breakin' Loose" were released as the only two 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.
This is the first Kiss album that lead guitarist Vinnie Vincent officially contributed to; he unofficially contributed to Creatures of the Night. Also for the first time, Vincent appeared on the cover art for the album, whereas the already departed Ace Frehley had appeared on the Creatures of the Night cover despite leaving the band after the release of their second compilation album Killers and was not involved in the recording of the album.
Vincent, however, 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 Vincent 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 Vincent 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. Additionally, a major rift developed between Vincent and the rest of the band over his guitar solos; what were once 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, again depending on the source) shortly thereafter. 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 two Kiss albums in which every song is credited to only band members with no outside writers or no cover songs, the other being 2009's Sonic Boom
"All Hell's Breakin' Loose" is one of two songs in the history of the band in which all four (current at the time) members share song-writing credit, the other being "Love Theme From Kiss"
In an interview for KISSology 2, Paul 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"!
|1.||"Exciter"||Paul Stanley, Vinnie Vincent||Paul Stanley||4:10|
|2.||"Not for the Innocent"||Gene Simmons, Vincent||Gene 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|
[[[Lick It Up|edit]]] PersonnelEdit
- Paul Stanley – rhythm guitar, vocals
- Gene Simmons – bass guitar, vocals
- Vinnie Vincent – lead guitar, backing vocals
- Eric Carr – drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Rick Derringer - lead guitar on "Exciter"