The ’80s were a transcending period of time for music acts in the U.S. With the emergence of glam rock, bands across the land were selling out arenas and taking over MTV’s airwaves. Most prominently, Poison rose to fame, with their flamboyant charisma and looks, led by bad boy singer Bret Michaels. The band has sold over 50 million records worldwide, breaking through with their debut album, Look What the Cat Dragged In. Poised to keep the party going, the band is back on the road and you can catch them live this week supporting Def Leppard, with openers Tesla. Relive your hair band glory years June 14th at the Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, June 16th at the Sleep Train Ampitheatre in San Diego, and June 17th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. In honor of the return of these glam rock bad boys, here’s our list of the 10 best Poison songs.
10) “Ride The Wind”
Thought to be one of the band’s best-written songs, the track peaked at #25 on the modern rock charts. It’s been said that the lyrics foreshadow a country western vibe and connect with audiences across the heartland . Don’t forget the guitar solo and a memorable, sing-along chorus solidifies Poison’s trademark sound.
9) “Life Goes On”
Tragedy can lead to great music and story telling. So is the case with this 4th single from the band’s Flesh & Blood album. The lyrics were written after a girlfriend of C.C.’s was shot and killed in a bar fight in Palm Springs. This song is considered a fan favorite in part to C.C.’s guitar solo and is about trying to find the light at the end of the tunnel.
8) “Unskinny Bop”
Fireworks? Check. Cowboy chaps? Check. Guitar solos? Double check. Everything you could ask for representing glam rock up through the ’90s are on full display in this song’s music video. Drummer Rikki Rockett dawns a cheetah striped vest and slams his kit with fury while guitarist Bobby Dall wails away. The track name itself has no actual meaning, but the band thought it worked well with the timing and chorus.
7) “Fallen Angel”
The song depicts the classic story of a young girl from small town USA who moves to Hollywood looking to make it big. The members of Poison all can relate as they packed up and moved to Los Angeles in the early ’80s from their home state of Pennsylvania. The girl in the music video was Bret Michael’s then girlfriend, Susie Hatton and arguably could be the inspiration behind Michael’s hit reality TV dating show, Rock of Love.
6) “I Won’t Forget You”
Their first power ballad was a memorable one, perhaps for the wrong reason. It was subject of a lawsuit in 2011 by members of the defunct band Kid Rocker. They claimed that four Poison songs were based on Kid Rocker tracks played to guitarist C.C. DeVille, before he was a member of Poison. They even stopped playing the song live in 1988, luckily it returned back to their set lists in 2003 and fans have rejoiced ever since.
5) “Your Mama Don’t Dance”
Originally recorded in 1972 by pop duo Loggins and Messina, Poison went on to cover the sing-along track and put their spin on it. The ’80s were full of hair metal bands and Poison looked to stand out with this pop classic rendition. The music video starts with a couple of skateboarders riding through Central Park, rocking a boom box, and setting the tone for the up-tempo version.
4) “Nothin’ But A Good Time”
First released in 1988, this song and the style of Poison personified what ’80s glam rock was all about. Big hair, bright lights, black leather pants and bandanas galore! If you need a go-to single for starting the party or pumping up a crowd, this song delivers every time.
3) “Talk Dirty To Me”
The second single from Poison’s album, Look What the Cat Dragged In, was the band’s first big international hit. It’s a staple of their live shows and was named the 40th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1. The song is featured on Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and is a karaoke favorite among Baby Boomers.
2) “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”
Poison’s career highlight came from this power ballad off their Open Up and Say… Ahh! album. The single skyrocketed to #1 in 1988 and remains their sole number one hit. In an interview with VH1’s Behind the Music, Michaels said the inspiration for the song came from a night at a laundromat after calling his girlfriend on a pay phone. Michaels heard a male voice in the background and was devastated. Later that night he wrote the lyrics to the song and the rest is history.
1) “Something To Believe In”
From 1990, this was the second single released off the highly acclaimed Flesh & Blood album. The song has a personal tribute from lead singer Bret Michaels to his security guard and longtime friend James Kimo Maano. The song peaked at #4 on the Top 100 Billboard charts and was the last top 10 track the band released.
Poison performs tomorrow, June 14, at Citizens Bank Arena. For full info and tickets, click here.