Impact Albums: KISS-Lick It Up(1983)

 

Ok so if you want the full breakdown track by track review of this album just search for it around these parts at  your pleasure as I’m to lazy to link it!

It’s amazing how after 35 years KISS’ 1983 release Lick It Up has grown on me kinda like a slow-growing fungus that enters one body yet takes decades for a diagnosis.  In this case for me it’s this album.

Lemme explain …

Being in my early teens in 1983 there was so much music out. So much being released. So many  Rock magazines to be purchased it was insane! How the Hell did I keep up?

So as everyone knows KISS ditches the makeup to jumpstart a career that quite frankly is in the toilet especially in North America where the previous years Creatures of the Night album and tour had a hard time selling tickets.( I will go on record and say watch for another instalment of Impact Records on Creatures)

So KISS does a kickstart on the career as they were probably at that point in the early to mid 30’s age wise  and I’m certain that Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons though they will never admit it were having a mid-life crisis!

A crisis as by now both original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss were long gone! New Six String Shredder Vinnie Vincent was causing all kinds of stress over contracts meaning money while the late great drummer Eric Carr was a good soldier. Knew his role and kept his trap shut!

So KISS comes out firing with the lead off single Lick It Up and we all bought it up! Tbone even was onboard and purchased this right away on cassette tape! KISS did the imaginable and made Tbone a believer. In Hard Rock Heavy 1983 with bands like Def Leppard and Quiet Riot dominating radio play KISS cut through like a hot knife through butter(HA) and cracked the Top 40 with the song Lick It Up! (Got to #32 in Canada no doubt led by Tbone!)

The album itself is Fantastic. Big Riffs of Guitar Rock emulating from the fretboard of Vincent and other session guitarists that were not credited. Big Dumbo Rock Lyrics from Stanley and Simmons while Carr just kept the beat going forward with this drums!

I mean look at those song titles posted above! KISS is writing for the Teenage Wasteland which I was part of circa 1983! KISS ramped it up ten fold here folks. I mean do you recall watching the videos of Lick it Up and All Hell’s Breaking Loose? KISS goes all Mad Max post apocalypse as they strut around and Big Mean Gene chows down and spits out some kind of Bone like configuration in the ‘All Hell’s’ video! Man who thought of this back than? I was aged 15 going on 16 and thought these vids were goofy! Who thinks of these concepts? Oh yeah Cocaine I guess!

Silly vids aside Lick It Up has indeed stood the test of time. Vinnie Vincent though no matter what Gene and Starchild say lit a spark under their ass and notched their songs up  into hard rock ville!

So a few months back I scored Lick It Up on vinyl and really was blown away at actually how well this album has aged in the KISS ranks even though there’s that goofy line of clever and lunacy in some of the lyrics(Gimme More/Fits Like A Glove) some brilliant like straight ahead Hard Rock Tracks(Exciter/Not For The Innocent) and one glowing track that should have a hit single that is Pure Gold(Million To One)

Funny thing is the title track to me is the weakest song on here. I mean KISS has flogged this tune since the day of its release so to be fair I’m done with it. When I spin this album I don’t skip the song which would be silly. On my iPod if it comes on I do skip it!

Great thing about writing about these guys is that everyone has a opinon on them. KISS though back in 1983 were glad to be back and to have an audience. Not that the two Moneybags in the band would admit that!

36 thoughts on “Impact Albums: KISS-Lick It Up(1983)”

  1. An impact album for me too… one of the biggest. I hear you on the title track… it’s not one of my faves but I’ve never totally burned out on it either. Helps that they play it differently live. The album version is so sloooow it’s like a different song. They went back to the Hotter Than Hell tempos on that one!

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    1. Yeah they always ramp it up quicker live but I dunno 35 years of hearing it for me is zzzzzzz… maybe because their is no VV shred solo in the tune? haha… way better stuff on the album. This past Saturday I spun it again and I love how tough Simmons and especially the music of Not For The Innocent sounds……

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      1. I think it’s a good one for Paul to ad-lib over which usually makes it worthwhile (and amusing)! I wanna lick ya, I wanna lick ya whooaah

        But yeah, it’s just really basic three chord stuff. Had to get all that excited about. The KISS tune that most bores me rigid now from overhearing it is Firehouse.

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      2. Creeper Old Starchild singing Lick It Up..yikes! Interesting call on Firehouse which I have always liked esp the Alive in the studio version from 75…

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      3. Yup…I mean the total cash grab on that one.That tour would have been the one to be seen back in 96…as it was more authentic than all the other tours since than with scabs…

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      4. The 96 tour would have been my choice as well. I only call Thayer and Singer scabs as they partake in the makeup. That annoys me now. If they were makeup less I would be cool with it.
        I think i’m becoming a bitter old KISS fan…haha

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      5. No I missed that tour unfortunately as tickets sold like hotcakes …
        That of all the tours seems the most legit since of course that one was about dough but since than its the same ol same ol setlist…
        Monster though I still say is a great album for KISS

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  2. Well Eric kept his trap shut for a limited period of time. By the time Hot in the Shade was over, he was barely speaking to the other guys. He was fed up and I don’t blame him. 10 years of his life, and treated like a Junior Employee.

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      1. Knew his role and cashed his employee check from his employer…but yeah 11 years in the band and like any job at some point you get disgruntled. Thats life man but you don’t need to be disrespected either…

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      2. If Eric didn’t get sick I am sure they would have worked it out. Eric would never have been fired like he feared. He was paranoid and that didn’t help with him being taken seriously.

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      3. Who knows what really went down but yeah Carr had no say and had to really elbow the other two just to get a songwriting credit on the albums

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  3. A big one for me as well. The first Kiss album I actually bought was this one which started the obsession of eventually getting all of them on CD (now doing that with vinyl as I no longer have the CDs).

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    1. Actually LIU and Creatures both have great production as KISS tries to toughen up as if they were taking steroids! haha
      KISS should have continued with Micheal James Jackson…he gave em some oomph!

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  4. I’ve ignored this one and the non-make-up Kids stuff. Truth be told, I didn’t really make it beyond the first few albums (not bad, I just figured they were all I needed). I’ll check this one out, though… just cause you guys seem to dig it.

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    1. HAHAHA…”Non make up kids stuff” hahaha Brilliant! Truth be told we drank the Kool Aide that Mean Gene and Paul put in front of us!
      Run ….while you still got the chance and SAVE YOURSELF!

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    1. KISS Army crumbled in the early 80’s especially as well as Stanley and Simmons bank accounts as well I’m sure..
      But not all their 80’s stuff is brilliant only a couple….
      But hey Jeff…thanks for reading …

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  5. Fantastic write-up Deke, I like how you just said it all and let ‘er fly. I think I have this one here somewhere… on LP I think… Don’t think there’s a KMA post about it yet, though. Someday!

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