Thursday, August 11, 2011


Poison is a U.S. based Party Glam-Rock, Hard-Rock band that achieved a huge success back in the mid-1980s to mid-1990s. To date, Poison have sold over 30 million records worldwide and have sold 15 million records in the United States alone. The band has also charted ten singles to the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, including six Top 10 singles and the Hot 100 number-one single, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" !

Poison was formed in 1983, and consisted of lead vocalist Bret Michaels, guitarist Matt Smith, bassist Bobby Dall, and drummer Rikki Rockett. Bret Michaels and Rikki Rockett first joined forces to form a band called the Spectres in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania and then teamed up with Matt Smith and Bobby Dall to form Paris. After playing mostly rock cover songs in Mechanicsburg-area bars they moved to Los Angeles on 6 March 1984 and changed the name of the band from Paris to Poison.

Poison promoted themselves up and down Hollywood's Sunset Strip, passing out flyers and making the rounds performing in the famous local clubs. At this time originally guitarist, Matt Smith, who was about to become a father and was concerned about the band's future, left the band to return home.
The band auditioned for a replacement guitarist, eventually narrowing down the field to three candidates: Slash, who would later join Guns N' Roses, Steve Silva from The Joe Perry Project, and New York-born guitarist C.C. DeVille, although Michaels and Dall did not intially get along with Deville, the band eventually agreed that DeVille's "fire" made him the best choice.

So, with C.C. DeVille on board the band signed with Enigma Records, in 1986, and their first album, "Look What The Cat Dragged In", was released 2 August 1986! The record became the biggest-selling-album in Enigma's history and the band's videos were MTV airplays.

So, after the huge success of their debut album, Poison started to record their up-coming release. Poison's second album, "Open Up and Say...Ahh", was released 21 May 1988. It peaked at #2 on the American charts and would ultimately go on to sell 8 million copies worldwide. The album included the band's biggest hit, the #1 hit single "Every Rose Has Its Thorn", along with other hits like: "Nothin' but a Good Time", "Fallen Angel", and the Loggins and Messina anthemic Rock N' Roll cover "Your Mama Don't Dance". The band toured with David Lee Roth!

In 1990, Poison released their third effort, "Flesh & Blood". It also was highly successful, peaking at #2 and selling more than 7 million copies worldwide. This time their image were more mature without the lipsticks, the fanzy clothes and the glam attitude that they had in their first two records. In Screamer magazine Michaels explained how Flesh and Blood signaled a change in the band: "I think that the same way that we shocked people in the beginning with the look, this one might shock them with the music a little bit. This one's the one that's going to show that there's a little bit of another side to the band."
The sound of "Flesh & Blood" was heavier and bluesier without loosing all the elements of their previous works. The record went multi-platinum, spawning three gold singles: "Unskinny Bop", "Ride the Wind", and the ballad "Something To Believe In" which was dedicated to the band's security guard and close friend James Kimo Maano who died. 'Life Goes On" was the fourth single and the last single released was the title cut, "Flesh & Blood (Sacrifice)". The video of "Flesh & Blood (Sacrifice)" was banned from MTV due to its explicit nature, but did surface later in early 1991 in their video compilation, Flesh, Blood, & Videotape.

After two consecutive years on the road, band members were at each others' throats with personal differences, drug addictions, etc. Poison recorded several performances during its 1990/1991 Flesh & Blood tour, which were released in November 1991 as the band's fourth album, Swallow This Live. The double album features live tracks from Poison's first three studio albums and four new studio tracks including the single "So Tell Me Why", which were the last recorded before C.C. DeVille's departure from the band later that year. The band also released their first video concert on VHS from the same tour titled Swallow This Live: Flesh & Blood World Tour.

After the departure of C.C DeVille, Poison started to search for a new guitarist. Richie Kotzen was the band's new axe-man. Poison's fifth album, "Native Tongue", was released 8 February 1993. It was strongly influenced by Kotzen's fresh songwriting contributions and guitar performance. It marked a change for the band as they abandoned their anthemic party tunes to focus on more serious subjects, and was far more blues-rock oriented than glam metal.
Poison began recording its sixth album, "Crack A Smile", in early 1994. Recording was brought to an abrupt halt in May 1994, when Michaels was involved in a car accident where he lost control of his car. Michaels suffered a broken nose, jaw, and fingers and lost four teeth. After his recovery in 1995, the band continued recording the album. The album became shelved shortly after this, with no release date anywhere in sight. Instead, the label opted for a greatest hits compilation, which featured two new tracks with Saraceno on guitar, "Sexual Thing" and "Lay Your Body Down". The first Greatest album was released on 26 November 1996 and went on to reach platinum status.

After several years apart, Michaels and DeVille were able to patch up their differences, welcoming C.C. DeVille back into Poison in 1999 replacing Blues Saraceno. Bret and Rikki wanted to record an album first, Bobby and C.C. wanted to tour first. In early 1999, Bret caved and voted to go on tour first. The Greatest Hits reunion tour finally took place in the summer of 1999. With the original lineup intact, Poison hit the road.

On 14 March 2000, Crack a Smile...and More! was finally released with extra tracks to combat the bootleg industry. That being Poison's seventh album after the Greatest Hits: 1986-1996 album took its place as the sixth, fans were calling it "The Lost Album". Crack a Smile...and More! was a bright and raunchy series of party anthems such as the single "Shut Up, Make Love" and power ballad "Be the One", containing few traces of the seriousness of Native Tongue. However it did host one outtake from the Open Up And Say...Ahh! session as well as two outtakes from the Crack a Smile session. "One More For The Bone" and "Set You Free", both outtakes, were originally planned for use as B-sides. In addition to the outtakes, live recordings from the 1990 installment of the MTV Unplugged series were included.

After the reunion with CC DeVille, Poison released a new album "Power To The People" which contained five new songs. In 2002, "HollyWeird" was Poison's sixth full studio album and this was the effort that mixed-up the feelings of the die-hards 'cause the average production and the more 'modern' sound of the new songs.

Nowadays the band is touring with Motley Crue and New York Dolls to celebrate Poison's 25th anniversary and Motley Crue's 30th Anniversary named the Glam-A-Gaddeon.


  • DeVille's cocaine addiction had begun to cause strife in the band. Conflict between Michaels and DeVille culminated in a fistfight backstage at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards, provoked by DeVille's inept live performance. 
  • Kotzen's future in the band was doomed when it was discovered that he had become romantically involved with Rockett's then-fiancée Deanna Eve. Kotzen was promptly fired, and replaced by Blues Saraceno who completed the world tour with the band including the famous "HOLLYWOOD ROCK" concerts in Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, where they played to over 165,000 people.
  • Bret Michaels was involved with Pamela Anderson. An abridged version of an explicit sex tape the couple made appeared on the Internet in 1998.
  • During the summer of 2004, Poison was invited to serve as the opening band on KISS's “Rock the Nation” tour.
  • During the show in Atlanta on August 25 that year, Bret Michaels and Dall had to be separated by members of the road crew and the rest of the band after the two came to blows right before the encore, with Michaels throwing his mic at Dall, and Dall retaliating by slamming his bass into Michaels, injuring his knee.
  • On 14 February 2007, it was announced by VH1 that Bret Michaels is going to have his own reality show called ROCK OF LOVE, where women will have to compete for his love and prove they can keep up with his rock star life. Rock of Love premiered on 15 July 2007.
  • On 22 April 2010, Michaels was rushed to the hospital, this time with an "excruciating" headache. Doctors discovered that he had suffered a massive subarachnoid hemorrhage.
In November 2010, a double cd package titled "Nothin' But A Good Time: The Poison Collection" was released which includes one compilation album (The Best of Poison: 20 Years of Rock) and one live album (Swallow This Live - single disc edition).

This is POISON, a true Rock N' Roll band with its ups and downz! A career full of success but most of all great music that stands through time........nothing but a good time!!!!

Vassilis (Heavy Paradise, The Paradise Of Melodic Rock

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