St. John was forced to leave Kiss during the subsequent tour after being diagnosed with Reiter's Syndrome. By November 1984, he was out of the band, the third lead guitarist to exit the group in two years. When asked what 'Animalize' meant, Stanley said that people were starting to become more like computers and that "making music by pressing buttons" was no fun.
In a continuation of Kiss' commercial resurgence begun with Lick It Up, Animalize was certified platinum by the RIAA. It was the biggest-selling Kiss album since 1979's Dynasty.
Critics and longtime fans however criticized Kiss's continued move towards a glam rock style on Animalize and Gene Simmons fell into increasing conflict with his bandmates during this period over his perceived lack of commitment to the band and preoccupation with numerous outside projects including producing and managing other rock groups and an assortment of business ventures. Heaven's On Fire became the biggest hit from the album (as well as the only song to survive on the band's live set list after the 80s) and its music video received heavy MTV rotation
In an interview conducted by Rockpages, Mitch Weissman is quoted as saying: "And I was pleased with the material the 3 of us created. I even got to play guitars and/or bass on all of those tracks, even though I'm uncredited."