Since our minds are on Bret Michaels right now, I will do a little article on Poison – one of the best glam rock bands of the ’80s.
Bret Michaels may be known for the reality shows such as the Rock of Love series as well as the current season of Celebrity Apprentice. But, his best work by far was being the front man for Poison.
Their first album was Look What the Cat Dragged In, and it peaked at #3 on the charts. There were 3 hit singles from that album: “Talk Dirty to Me”, “I Want Action”, and the ballad “I Won’t Forget You”.
On the heels of that albums success, they recorded their own version of Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Nite” for the soundtrack to Less Than Zero. I personally think they did a great job on that song, and the soundtrack is very good.
On May 21, 1988, Poison released their second studio album – Open Up and Say…Ahh!. This was their most successful album, selling over 10 million copies. It contained their only #1 hit “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”, as well as three other hit singles – “Nothin’ but a Good Time”, “Your Mama Don’t Dance”, “Fallen Angel”. The original front cover was controversial as it had a model dressed as a demon with an extremely long “Gene Simmons” tongue. The cover was later changed to only show the eyes.
On June 21, 1990, the band released their 3rd album, Flesh & Blood, which was also very successful. It peaked at #2 on the charts. The album spawned two top 10 singles: “Unskinny Bop” and “Something to Believe In”, as well as three other hit singles: “Ride The Wind”, “Life Goes On”, and “(Flesh & Blood) Sacrifice”. This was my personal favorite album by Poison.
This was another album with a cover controversy. The front cover of the album featured the Poison logo and album title as a tattoo on Rikki Rockett’s arm. The controversy was that it was a picture of the tattoo freshly inked, and the skin was inflamed and dripping with either blood or ink that looked like blood. The cover was pulled, and then released with the cleaned up tattoo.
Then the band began to fall apart after that. Lead guitarist C.C. DeVille was addicted to cocaine and alcohol. He and Bret Michaels got in a backstage fistfight at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards. DeVille was fired and replaced by guitarist Richie Kotzen.
Then the fun party rock was disappearing – thanks to grunge music rise in the early ’90s. Poison released the album Native Tongue on April 21, 1993. It was more blues and funk than Rock & Roll. “Stand” was about the only song that I liked from that album.
They began working on another album called Crack a Smile. But they had to stop when Michaels was involved in a car accident where he lost control of his Ferrari. He suffered a broken nose, ribs, jaw, and fingers and lost four teeth. After he recovered, the band got back to work, but their label, Capitol Records, offered little support for it since hair metal was almost completely gone. Instead, they had to release a Greatest Hits album, which was released on November 26, 1996.
Poison celebrated their 20th anniversary with a “20 Years Of Rock” tour in the summer of 2006, with fellow rockers Cinderella and Endeverafter opening. The tour swiftly became one of the most successful tours of 2006 in the U.S., averaging about 10,000 people per night.
Here is my list of favorite Poison songs:
5. “Talk Dirty to Me” – Where it all began. This was their first hit, and is a fun rock song.
4. “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” – This was their biggest hit. It was a great ballad. It would probably by higher on my list, but it kind of got a little too overplayed for me.
3. “Unskinny Bop” – This was the first song off of Flesh & Blood. What a great start. It seemed silly at first, but it is a fun song that grows on you.
2. “(Flesh & Blood) Sacrifice” – I could probably pick any song from Flesh & Blood, and insert it here. This one is just a great hard rock song.
1. “Fallen Angel” – This has been my favorite Poison song since I first heard it. Great video and great song. The vocals and instruments are awesome.
What is your list of favorite Poison songs or albums? Do you have any memories of the band or music that you would like to share?