These Philly-born Nerf bangers (they hailed from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) – whose first two albums showcased a blissfully carefree marriage of Sixties bubblegum to Seventies glam rock – are probably best remembered for their US #1 single, Every Rose Has Its Thorn (1988).
An overblown soft metal ballad with flowery instrumentation and guitars which are too clean to rock, the single peaked at #13 in Britain.
Combining a flair for spandex and bangles with some shredding metal laced with fine pop hooks, Poison hit paydirt on their sophomore album, Open Up and Say . . . Ahh!, which was released on 3 May 1988. Recorded by veteran arena-rock producer Tom Werman, the LP capitalised on the band’s party reputation and penchant for raunchy riffs.
Poison were a good-time band and certainly lived the life of metal monsters, with videos featuring peroxide babes, and ludicrous dressing room demands for vast quantities of pepperoni pizza, fried chicken and boxes and boxes of Trojan condoms. All of which were provided.
The downfall of Poison can be traced to the day the band decided to stop wearing make-up and girls’ clothes . . .
Somewhere between the Fallen Angel and Every Rose Has Its Thorn videos, the band apparently noticed that Guns n’ Roses were breaking the bank with the natural look, and traded in their lipstick and pink guitars for body hair and Harley T-shirts.
And on their third album, Flesh & Blood (1990), Poison let pop fall by the wayside.