Kiss Me Deadly

Album: Lita (1988)
Charted: 75 12

Songfacts®:

  • "Kiss Me Deadly" is Lita Ford's signature song, and her biggest hit on her own ("Close My Eyes Forever," her duet with Ozzy Osbourne, charted higher in the US, making #8).

    Ford made music history with The Runaways, who were the first all-female rock band - their first album was released in 1976, when Ford was just 17. In the early '80s, her bandmate Joan Jett peppered the pop charts with hits, but Lita's rise to solo stardom came with the ascent of hair metal later in the decade. "Kiss Me Deadly" fit in on radio playlists alongside tracks by Poison, White Lion and Def Leppard. Notwithstanding Vixen ("Edge Of A Broken Heart"), their female counterparts were established rockers who adapted their sound (and look) for the times. Along with Lita, other popular estrogen-enabled rockers of the era were Heart and the Bangles, who also scored using slick productions and outside songwriters.
  • This song was written by songwriter Mick Smiley, who wrote the song "Magic" for the soundtrack to the 1984 film Ghostbusters, plus contributions to the movies Hardbodies and To Cross the Rubicon. And he also played bass for Billy Idol.

    The Lita album was produced by Mike Chapman, who had worked with Suzi Quatro, Blondie and Pat Benatar (he co-wrote "Love Is A Battlefield"). It was Chapman who heard Smiley's demo of "Kiss Me Deadly" and had Lita record the song.
  • This was one of just two songs on the Lita album that she didn't co-write. Some performers resent it when a song they didn't write becomes their biggest hit, but Lita has a cozy relationship with this song. "'Kiss Me Deadly' being from another writer, we weren't sure about it, so we gave it a shot and it kicked ass," Lita said in our 2013 interview. "To me, a good song is a good song. Good songs are really hard to find, and it doesn't necessarily matter if you wrote it or not. Do the royalties go in your pocket? No. The royalties will go in Mick Smiley's pocket, but there's other mechanical and other royalties that go along with it, like airplay. You always reap the benefits somehow in some way or shape or form."
  • The Lita album sold over a million copies, and is often remembered for its cover photo, where she appears in the latest in leatherwear. From the beginning of her solo career, Ford built an image as a "Metal Goddess" - the cover of her debut solo album in 1983 was just as racy.
  • Lita was thrilled to have a hit with this song, but it was tempered by the loss of her father, who died of brain cancer before it was released. "It took me twelve years in the music industry before I had a hit record; 'Kiss Me Deadly' was my first hit record and my father wasn't there to see it," she said. "A really good thing happened at the same time a really bad thing happened."
  • Lita could relate to the opening line, "I went to a party last Saturday night, I didn't get laid, I got in a fight." According to Kim Fowley, who put The Runaways together, Ford had been beaten up not long before her audition for the group.
  • This was used in the following movies:

    Captain Marvel (2019)
    Patti Cake$ (2017)
    Romeo & Juliet vs. The Living Dead (2009)
    The Kite Runner (2007)
    Angels with Angles (2005)

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