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You Wanted the Best...Number Five

bretatrok_wm.JPGOur top ten glam band countdown continues.

Here’s what we’ve got so far:

10) Badlands
09) Winger
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.


Reader Comments (9)

My first show in the US was Poison with Cinderella opening. I was there more for Cinderella, but Tom's voice is shot, and the show wasn't that great. In contrast, Poison were amazing. I left knowing why they were the headliners, and why they were so successful. I saw them again at Rocklahoma ( but not in the 3rd row this time :( ) and they were one again, really good.
December 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterChristian Graus
I really regret not buying tickets to see them when they played with Ratt and Vains Of Jenna in Irvine a few months ago. REALLY regret it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all three will be at Rocklahoma 2008 (Still anticipating the arrival of my ticket! Oy.).

That video will never, ever get old :).

(Random *wave*. Hi :] this is the first time I've actually decided to comment. Been reading BBG for a few months now thanks to my amazing friend Ria, and I've loved pretty much every post of yours! Just thought I'd say hello. Hopefully I run into you at Rocklahoma; it'd be fun to meet you!)
December 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie
Poison is one of my favorite bands. I went to see them in concert for the first time this summer, and they put on an unbelievable show!
I'm just surprised that Poison isn't ranked higher on this list...In my opinion they could even be considered #1.
December 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenteraXe mAn
I don't think anyone really got over Bobby Dall. Hes definatly my fave. lol great choice but they should have been higher. lol
December 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterChey
December 15, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdr. loveless
Poison should be number 1 Allyson. I cant even imagine who would be ahead of them. Unless you are going to go Motley. But still, with Bon Jovi gone, I cant see anyone else worthy.
December 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz

*Random wave right back.* Glad you're here! Just 7 months to Rocklahoma 2008!!!

Kenny, AxeMan and Chey - Poison is definitely one of my favorite bands. Remember, this list is weighted on more than just my opinion. I'm taking into account album sales, influence on other bands, year formed, current status, etc.

December 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAllyson
This was my guess for either #1 or #2 with Bon Jovi #3. Now I have to re-think the Top 3.

Poison were one of the most successful glam bands in the mid to late '80s sales wise but I never hear them as an influence to newer bands. A good pick for the Top 10, actually they are an essential pick.

Heavy Metal Addiction
Been busy with the Holidays. Just catching up on BBG. I thought Poison would have been #1 for this list. Collectively, I think Flesh and Blood is their best work, but some of their best songs frmo other albums are "Cry Tough" (which is very underrated), "Nothin' But a Good Time" "Party Rock Band" "I won't forget you", "Every Rose..."

Peace everyone!
December 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterfletch

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