Our top ten glam band countdown continues.
Here’s what we’ve got so far:
08) Twisted Sister
07) L.A. Guns
06) Bon Jovi
In the fifth spot…Poison.
When people think glam, Poison typically comes to mind. It’s the hair, the make-up, the clothes…the stage names. Say what you will, Poison is a party band and when their music comes on the radio everyone is invited to the biggest soirée of the year.
Bret Michaels, Rikki Rocket, Matt Smith and Bobby Dall formed Poison in the early 80s – way back then they were known as Paris. When the band decided to go professional, they left Pennsylvania and headed west for the sleaze of the Sunset Strip. Personal reasons lead to guitarist Matt Smith’s departure and the hunt was one for a new guitarist. The remaining members of Poison auditioned a ton of players, most notably Slash. In the end, C.C. DeVille won the role.
Poison was originally managed by Vicky Hamilton. The band didn’t make any money, but Hamilton worked out a deal that the members of Poison would have “party stipends” in exchange for gigs on the Strip.
Many - including myself - regard Look What the Cat Dragged In (1986) a classic glam album. It’s also pretty well documented that the band wanted the cover art to look like something out of Vogue. For many years in the 80s, androgyny and glam went hand and hand, and it’s hard to tell the gender of each band member of that particular cover.
Critics say Look What the Cat Dragged In is Poison's best work. I don't know if I agree with this, but music buyers made Open Up and Say...Ah! the band's biggest seller. It includes "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" and my mom's favorite "Fallen Angel."
A note about color: the boys in Poison know how to rock green. They created a marketing brand out of “Poison Green,” using the color for more than two decades in fliers, shirts, gear and lasers. Even in the beginning and dirt poor, Poison understood the importance of an elaborate stage show.
Poison are largely important to glam because they really cemented the notion that Metal could be fun. With fun came mainstream appeal and a lot of album sales. These days, Poison headlines a shed tour about every summer. I’ve seen Poison live several times and they are always consistent. Bret Michaels was a good humored ass in Rock of Love and the band as a whole is pretty great about supporting other artists from the old – and current – scene. In recent years, Poison has toured with Cinderella, Endeverafter, Vains of Jenna, RATT, Vince Neil, and Skid Row among others.
Here’s the once banned video “Flesh and Blood (Sacrifice)” from the album Flesh and Blood. Yes, I still have a crush on Bobby Dall.
Don't agree with my choice? Come back tomorrow and see who lands at number four on the ten best glam bands of all time list.