Wednesday, September 18, 2013

KISS - Lick It Up

Today (September 18th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Lick It Up, the eleventh studio album from KISS. To correspond with the record’s release, the band members (Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Vinnie Vincent and Eric Carr) did a half-hour MTV interview with vee-jay J.J. Jackson without their trademark makeup.

This “new face” invigorated the sales with the album going Platinum in the US. Chart-wise, it went to number 46 in Canada, number 36 in Australia, number 24 on the US Billboard Album chart, number 18 in Germany, number 7 in the UK and Norway and number 3 in Sweden. The fans of Guitar World ranked it number 10 in the 1983 Top 10 Guitar Albums poll for the year. Kerrang! listed it as number 3 on its list of the Best Hard Rock Albums of 1983.

Side one opens with sexually charged “Exciter” which features guest lead guitarist Rick Derringer.

“Not For the Innocent”, the B-side to the second single, plays up to the band’s bad-boy side. The lyrics of this sleazy stalker even warn parents to “lock up your daughters”.

The title track “Lick It Up”, an overture for oral sex, was also the first single from the record. It went to number 82 in Australia, number 66 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 58 in France, number 32 in Canada, number 31 in the UK, number 24 in Switzerland, and number 19 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. I can remember the video was very popular on MTV back in the day, mostly because it showcased the band with their “new look”.

“Young and Wasted”, an angst-filled anthem, is next.

“Gimme More” pounds like a beating heart during the height of passion.

Side two begins with “All Hell’s Breakin’ Loose”, which charted as a single in Germany at number 71. Stanley delivers the rebellious lyrical verses in a rapping rock style.

On “A Million to One”, a broken-hearted guy reminds his departing lover that she will have a hard time finding someone better.

Simmons delivers another song dripping in sex with “Fits Like a Glove”.

The B-side to the first single “Dance All Over Your Face”.

The last track “And On the 8th Day” worships at the altar of rock ‘n’ roll.

Outside of the title track, very little of Lick It Up stuck with me upon first listen. Yes, it is a rocking album to be sure; that is what I would expect from KISS. But that is not enough to inspire me to seek out these tunes - earlier albums from the group will suffice.

Speaking of earlier albums, here are more of my KISS reviews:

- For 1976’s Destroyer, click here.

- For 1979’s Dynasty, click here.

- For 1982’s Creatures of the Night, click here.

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