#1029: Lick It Up (In Bed)

RECORD STORE TALES #1029: Lick It Up (In Bed)

When I was a kid I used to rock myself to sleep with music.  I missed doing that in my adulthood.  I don’t find headphones or earbuds comfortable to sleep in, and I’ve never found a really good device like that to fall asleep in.  I have a pair of “sleep headphones” which are basically little speakers inside a headband.  But I basically have to tie something tight around my head to get the little speakers close enough to my ears to be effective, and then the whole thing becomes too uncomfortable.

I remember my mom had this “pillow speaker”.  You could plug it into your Walkman, and it would convert the stereo signal down to mono, and you’d put this little speaker in your pillowcase.  But that wasn’t really a good solution either.

The best way to fall asleep then was with a tape or CD in the deck, and let your speakers rock you off to la-la-land.  Having a spouse might put a cramp in that tradition, as it has mine.  But nowadays, with Jen’s different health issues, we are on vastly different sleep schedules.  I’m usually in bed by nine and up by six.  She might be in bed by 2:00 AM, after all the late night hosts have signed off.  I might try returning to the “rock myself to sleep” method as an experiment.

I took a Saturday afternoon nap, but I was just too wired to get a good solid sleep.  I brought the laptop into the bedroom, put on “Lick It Up”, and tried to get some shuteye.  Unlike my youthful days, I didn’t fall asleep during the album, though I did doze off shortly after.

Sure enough though, memories of childhood came rushing back.  I think got Lick It Up for Christmas of ’85, the same year I was given my dual-deck Sanyo with detachable speakers.  I remember the Sanyo came with a sample cassette.  It had “Spanish Flea” on one side, and the other was blank for recording.  I think I tried to put “And On the 8th Day” on the second side, and I think it just fit.

Back in those days, I didn’t know most of the words to the songs, so I just kind of made up my own.  It’s probably a good thing I didn’t know the words.  In fact, only on the recently released Creatures of the Night box set can I clearly hear all the words to “Not For the Innocent”.  Otherwise, it was cool to hear Lick It Up, in bed like when I was a kid, but with perfectly clear sound, no tape hiss, no side change, and at perfect speed with no drag.  If only my 13 year-old self could have imagined that.  The sound quality, with my little laptop speakers, wasn’t great so I ordered another pair of small externals from Amazon.  That’s the next step of the test.

Lick It Up has been a favourite for a long time.  Back when I only owned one or two cases full of cassettes, it received frequent spins.  I remember accidentally dropping it into a bucket of wallpaper water.  My dad thankfully bought me a brand new copy.  I’d buy it again if Kiss offer another deluxe box set as they have recently.

We’ll see how my sleep experiment goes, but I definitely picked the right album for the first try.


  1. I don’t know if you’ve tried ones like this, but these slide on your ear and sound pretty decent. No band at all.

    And what late night shows does Jen watch? Do you guys get our hosts in Canada, or do you have your own?


    1. Those don’t look very comfortable. Looks like they would squeeze my ear while I sleep on my side. The problem is there’s no way to try them without buying them.

      She used to watch Trevor Noah but now that his show is over I don’t know what she watches.


  2. I can’t do this much anymore because spouse but I still love to do this when I can. Favourites when I was younger were Axis Bold As Love, Master Of Puppets, Great White’s Twice Shy, 1st King Crimson album. H-era Marillion is great, especially Brave, and the second Focus album Moving Waves is a modern favourite for this purpose!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I never had that one. Marillion are just a great bedtime band in general. Recently, I’ve been liking their F.E.A.R. album for sleeping. Still haven’t heard the new one though. Marillion are becoming one of those budget constraints bands for me.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes Marbles was the last one I really liked. Even with FEAR, I like it but I can’t remember the tunes very well. It’s more like mood music or something. I love live albums but I don’t feel too bad if I’m missing any from a particular artist.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to do this in my teens, as well as into my adult years, but if it is a great album, I could never fall asleep until it finished playing. Even awake, I listen to full albums on my iPod or on CD; I can’t switch to something else until the full album play is complete. It messed with my sleep quantity too often, so I don’t have music (albums) playing anymore when I go to sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dan! This is definitely harder to do in the adult years. But I’m gonna try. Gotta try. I need sleep!

      I am the same as you, only full albums. If I miss the ending of the album, I play it in the morning ;)


  4. Sleep deprived sucks. I’m still getting up early but after working for 34 years full-time at basically 7 am will do that.
    I take naps when I need to as I asked my Doc years ago as I was feeling sluggish at times. He said take a Nap!
    Genius, best advice I ever got…


  5. That post title though lol. I could never fall asleep with music on. My brain would be honed in on every note. I need silence and dark, and I wear earplugs to sleep to cut out ambient noise. Music would just keep me awake. Hey, that’s KMA!


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