POISON – The Best of Poison: 20 Years of Rock

POISON - The Best of Poison: 20 Years of Rock


Capitol Records/EMI
Release date: April 4, 2006

Run Time: 71+ minutes

User Review
8/10 (1 vote)

Metal had fought so hard since 1980 to gain a stronghold in the market place, and was largely gaining noticeable, if not methodical, success with “ugly” bands such as Dio, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, and others carrying the torch and “defending the faith,” if you will. Then, the Hair/Glam Metal movement began, and spiked wristbands, biker boots, and leather jackets were suddenly being substituted for teased hairdoos, lipstick, and as much flamboyance in attire as humanly possible.

When Poison hit the market with their debut album in 1986, Look What The Cat Dragged In, they pulled out all of the stops, and further propelled the Hair Metal movement into meteoric growth … Metal began to become mainstream, and even legendary “True Metal” bands like The Scorpions, Krokus, and Judas Priest changed their look and played along with the pervasive trends for a woeful period. Of course, everyone knows what happened in due time … Hair Metal and the Power Ballad concept hit the wall hard in the early-mid 1990’s, and virtually all sub-genres of Metal took a quick back seat to the Grunge scene, which in and of itself started up as the mainstream antithesis to the Hair/Glam Metal genre.

Although it’s easy to blame bands like Poison for possibly causing Metal to grow too quickly by becoming appealing to too many non-Metalheadz, therefore causing Metal to virtually disappear in a catastrophic fashion as well, time has passed, and Metal has thankfully survived. When the ashes of the past are sorted through, what can indeed be found is some quality, enjoyable, easy-to-listen-to music from that era … and there is no doubt that Poison is one of a small handful of bands that will live on in perpetuity, mainly because when looked at objectively, Poison were simply remarkably good at what they were doing … and at what they are still doing.

Now 20 years since the release of their debut, Capitol Records is releasing an 18-song compilation of Poison’s biggest hits/best-known tracks. Included within this compilation is a newly recorded cover of “We’re An American Band,” which, when you think about it, is a completely true statement. Poison and the Hair Metal movement was America’s response to the NWOBHM, and the formula worked incredibly well. In 1996, Poison released Poison’s Greatest Hits 1986 – 1996 … if you’ve been following the band closely, the obvious deduction is that the 18 tracks on that album inevitably are going to be similar to this new The Best Of Poison: 20 Years Of Rock release. In fact, 14 of the 18 songs are indeed identical. The differences are the aforementioned Grand Funk Railroad cover, “Rock And Roll All Nite” (Kiss cover), and “The Last Song” and “Shooting Star” from their most recent albums.

In the end, this latest and greatest compilation is about as good as Greatest Hits albums come … after all, few bands have had such great commercial success to create a compilation that has 14 songs that virtually everyone into Hair Metal/Glam Rock/Top 40 Rock Music has heard, not to mention 2 cover songs that are among the most recognizable Rock songs of all time … but, if you already have the 1996 release, and aren’t a “gotta have everything the band every released” fan, then this 2006 release probably doesn’t contain enough incentives to delve into another purchase. However, if you’re fairly new to the Metal scene and want to grab a true piece of Hair Metal history, this is a must have CD … it’s also a must-have release if you never got around to purchasing that 1996 compilation.

Poison will be touring extensively during the summer of 2006, with Cinderella as a supporting act. Do check out the tour … there’s a reason why people will flock to these venues. Although no true “hits” have been produced by Bret Michaels and the boys in a number of years, few bands possess the energy on stage displayed by the likes of C. C. Deville and Rikki Rockett, and that energy definitely fuels the audience, indeed making for “Nothin’ But A Good Time” for all in attendance. With Cinderella as Poison’s warm-up band, it really doesn’t get much better …


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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