The Kiss's Vinnie Vincent era did not begin peacefully.
"I Love It Loud," co-written with Gene Simmons by the man then known as Vincent Cusano, was the first single released from Kiss' 1982 album Creatures of the Night and one of three he helped pen for the album. Simmons' "Killer" and Paul Stanley's "I Still Love You" were the other two.
Technically, Ace Frehley was still a member of Kiss, featured on the album's cover, Creatures of the Night. However, his departure had already taken place. Although he didn't contribute any instruments to the album, Vincent was a session player on six of the nine tracks, including all the guitars on "I Love It Loud."
In retrospect, both the song and the album were flops, yet they nonetheless represent a watershed moment for Kiss. The band's road back from a career that was threatening to tailspin began with Creatures, a return to hard rock after they alienated their audience with pop-friendly albums like 1979's Dynasty and 1980s Unmasked.
Adam Mitchell, a Scottish vocalist and songwriter who had co-written two new songs with Stanley for 1982's Killers compilation, introduced Vincent to Kiss. Mitchell remained with the band for Creatures of the Night and later returned for Crazy Nights (1987) and Hot in the Shade (1989). While Kiss was recording Creatures of the Night at the Record Plant in Los Angeles with producer Michael James Jackson, Vincent and his band Warrior were using the facility for rehearsals.
The inspiration for "I Love It Loud" came from a song of Vincent's titled "Loud and Proud." During the April 2018 Vault Experience in Nashville, Tennessee, Simmons told the crowd that he and Vincent created the song at Diana Ross' house when Simmons was living with her. This marked the first time Simmons and Vincent had performed the song together in over 20 years. According to Simmons, he played Vincent the riff to The Who's "My Generation." It took off from there, inspiring lines like "Stand up, you don't have to be afraid / Get down, love is like a hurricane."
Meanwhile, Simmons borrowed the "hey, hey, hey, yeah" chant from a bridge he had provided to one of Stanley's songs on Killers, which the Star Child hadn't liked, but to his ears was a killer. Simmons explained that he came up with the chorus: 'I want to hear it loud, right between the eyes,'" while working on the song's melody, although was unusually magnanamous in giving credit to Vincent for composing many of the song's other lyrics, saying, "All those lines you know, like all that cool stuff — 'Stand up, you don't have to be frightened',. 'Love is like a hurricane,' 'Street guy, no, I could never be controlled, that was Vinnie's.
Even though it immediately became a concert classic, "I Love It Loud" - whose recording did not include Stanley - didn't exactly get Creatures of the Night off to a fast start. It peaked at No. 102 on the Bubbling Under chart, just below the Billboard 100. It also wasn't enough to get it onto any rock charts. Even while Creatures of the Night peaked at a relatively mediocre No. 45 on the Billboard 200, it was really a 30-point increase over the band's last effort, 1981's medieval-themed concept album Music From "The Elder." which was a commercial and critical failure. The band's career turnaround gained even more pace the following year as the members removed their face paint and released Lick It Up.
Creatures of the Night was the final Kiss album to feature the band in makeup until Psycho Circus in 1998. Vincent remained with the band for three years, leaving in 1984 and being replaced briefly by Mark St. John and then Bruce Kulick.