Kiss - Lick It Up

Kiss – Lick It Up


A landmark album of sorts for the masked wonders of rock n roll! It’s the album which saw Kiss unmasked for the first time.

Written by: gdmonline

ALBUM: Lick It Up
LABEL: Mercury
SERIAL: 422-814 297-1 M-1
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Paul Stanley – vocals, guitars * Gene Simmons – bass, vocals * Vinnie Vincent – lead guitars * Eric Carr – drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Exciter * 02 Not For The Innocent * 03 Lick It Up * 04 Young And Wasted * 05 Gimme More * 06 All Hell’s Breakin’ Loose * 07 A Miilion To One * 08 Fits Like A Glove * 09 Dance All Over Your Face * 10 And On The 8th Day



A landmark album of sorts for the masked wonders of rock n roll! It’s the album which saw Kiss unmasked for the first time. By this stage of their career, it was time for Kiss to launch something new to keep their 80’s era fresh, otherwise they were in danger of being lost in new territory such as MTV.

As a kid growing up in the late 70’s, I have to say that Kiss didn’t really do a lot for me. Sacrilege I know, though a few of my school buddies had their albums, I was more into the serious side of rock, and opted for the likes of Yes, Rush, Kansas, Pink Floyd and Utopia during the 1977 to 1979 era.

AOR notwithstanding, but I couldn’t quite take Kiss that seriously, especially after the disco-fied ‘I Was Made For Loving You’ breached our airwaves. Come 1983, and I was ready to give the band some new attention. I really liked ‘The Elder’ and ‘Creatures Of The Night’, and with Vinnie Vincent (Cusano) onboard, I thought the band were ready to deliver something special. Was I wrong in this?

The Songs

Nope, from the outset, Kiss are literally on fire, and for me personally this was a great set of songs. You can hear Vinnie’s guitar solo influence shining through on ‘Not For The Innocent’. In fact, the guitar riff sounds as if it was transplanted onto the Vinnie Vincent Invasion ‘Boys Wanna Rock’!

The band’s most familiar tune here is the title track. A great made for radio piece that is easy on the ear with its simple strutting riff. Nice work boys! ‘Young And Wasted’ conjures up some heavier moments with Gene providing the lead vocal. It should’ve been renamed ‘Young Rough And Wasted’.

The band rip into it for ‘Gimme More’, with a pumped up drum section and gonzoid like guitar attack. That’s side one out of the way, onto side two. ‘All Hell’s Breakin’ Loose’ starts out with a Paul Stanley urban rap, though Kiss don’t wimp out on the heaviness. Stanley continues the rap-talk all through the verses.

‘A Million To One’ like the title track is at the commercial end of the Kiss spectrum. Very melodic and midstream. I always liked the riffarama of ‘Fits Like A Glove’ including all of Gene’s sexual innuendo throughout the song.

The same could be said for the suggestive ‘Dance All Over Your Face’, both obvious targets for the PMRC though Kiss seemed to bypass all the hoopla that others like Judas Priest and Twisted Sister incurred. The closer ‘And On The 8th Day’ is an anthem in the AC/DC mould. Not so much the music, but the anthemic lyrics.. ‘and on the 8th day, God created rock n roll’...

In Summary

I didn’t really have an issue with the 80’s output from Kiss. Sure, the quality was something of a bio-rhythm chart at times, and only long-time fans of the band would pass stronger judgement on their output than I ever could.

Vinnie Vincent’s contribution here is pretty solid, and even though his peculiar behaviour would see his stay with the band end up being rather short, it was a fiery one-off appearance, which I’m sure has led to lengthy debate on Kiss forums over the years.

VV would atone with his two Vinnie Vincent Invasion albums a few years later. Kiss reappeared with ‘Animalize’ the following year with Mark St John (White Tiger) taking over the lead guitar role. He too would last the distance for one album before Bruce Kulick gave some permanency to the role for the next decade or so.


Lick It Up

Kiss - Lick It Up

Entire Album (Select Tracks)
Playlist: Kiss Lick it Up Full Album
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1 thought on “Kiss – Lick It Up

  1. [PatrickHemming] Terrific review. One of KISS’s strongest efforts and quite possibly their best album of the 80’s. The opener ‘Exciter’ certainly sets the stage for what’s to come with a guitar solo from Rick Derringer. Why Vinnie was unable to deliver here is a mystery as he nails every song that follows.

    [Dangerzone] I still prefer Creatures of the Night, but this runs it close. ‘Exciter’ and ‘Gimme More’ are two of their best tracks ever.

    [Explorer] Agreed,Creatures is the stronger album, I wouldn`t go as far as to say that Vinnie saved KISS, but his input on this album was invaluable to move the band on.

    [DEMONAOR] Great review and one of my fave Kiss albums.

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