Although 'Creatures of the Night' was an undeniable creative success, the record failed to set the world on fire sales-wise. So Kiss decided to take the dramatic step of removing their trademark makeup in order to shine a spotlight on their new album 'Lick it Up.' Luckily, the music was worthy of this attention.
That quality is in no small part due to the songwriting and guitar playing of the band's newest member, Vinnie Vincent. He gets co-writing credits on eight of the 10 tracks, and the chemistry between him and band principals Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons is clearly visible throughout this energetic, confident album.
Although it veers into metal territory rather than staying close to the band's original hard rock roots, 'Lick it Up' features a number of latter-day Kiss classics, including the title track, the rap-rock hybrid (before that kind of thing was cool and then overdone) 'All Hell's Breakin' Loose,' and a string of nasty Gene Simmons songs including 'Not for the Innocent,' 'Young and Wasted,' 'Dance All Over Your Face' and 'Fits Like a Glove.'
The album restored Kiss to platinum sales status and public awareness, although Vincent would soon leave due to personality conflicts, leading to yet another lineup change for the still unsettled group.
OK, you know the drill by now -- which 'Lick it Up' song are you voting for?