POISON - Of course the extremely world famous Poison has and forever will be classified as a Hair Metal Band. You know what… at the end of my Metal day… it’s all Rock ‘N’ Roll anyways. I like Poison a good deal, always have. What’s really not to like? C.C. Deville has delighted my Metal ears for many years with his guitar play, plus his affiliation with the legendary Motorhead is forever etched in Metal… C.C. appears on the 2007 Motorhead album – Kiss Of Death, playing the guitar solo on God Was Never On Your Side.
Bret Michaels really is the real deal front man, a showman and he can surely sing. My Metal take on Bret Michaels has always been that he is the total Rock ‘N’ Roll package as a lead singer. I’m not saying he is the greatest lead vocalist in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal history… he just fits right in to the whole Poison persona, without him… no Poison. (In my Metal opinion). I or anyone can make their own “personal” list of “total package” Rock ‘N’ Roll musicians and/or singers… it’s all about Metal preference. It’s just very hard to argue that Bret Michaels is not really great at what he has done/does for Poison and Rock ‘N’ Roll in general.
Poison became a gigantic brand over the decades due to their loyalty to their fans and vice versa, constant touring and staying extremely relevant. It’s actually a refreshing example, that Poison never called it a day when all the nay sayers were out there putting down Old School Hard Rock and Heavy Metal in the early to mid 1990′s. Poison just kept doing what they always did best… tour and play their songs. Poison never went away… Metal be thy name.
I did get to see Poison once, back on Saturday, June 8, 1991 at Lake Compounce Amusement Park in Bristol, Connecticut. I will attest to the Metal fact, that Poison played LOUD and were very, very, very, good live. Slaughter and Bulletboys opened up for Poison on that night. Slaughter played an all acoustic set. That was a night I’ll never forget… a damn good time we had, my wife, (she was my girlfriend at the time), was with me for this night of Hair Metal glory. My wife’s sister and boyfriend also were with us at this concert… they eventually married each other too. This Metal memory of that Poison concert so many years ago, gets rekindled each time I play Great Big Hits Live! Bootleg.
Great Big Hits Live! Bootleg may not go down in Rock history as the greatest live album ever… still it is a cool listen into Poison’s live Rock ‘N’ Roll. All the crucial hits are on this album, my favorite song being Unskinny Bop. That funky bass line I hear on Unskinny Bop gets me every time. Look What The Cat Dragged In and Talk Dirty To Me are two Poison classics… these two songs for Metal sakes flat out ROCK. To see and hear Poison play these two songs live, is proof in the Metal pudding as to what I exactly mean. I’ve never been the most thrilled fan of the ballad – Every Rose Has It’s Thorn, (hey, I can’t like ‘em all!), regardless, the live version proves to be a more cool listen to my Metal ears.
There are live albums that will go down in Rock history as being impeccable… this live Poison album should just go down in Rock history as being a Rockin’ good time listen and (gasp) fun. There are many moments on this live album where the songs do not run into one another… the lack of continuity may be a minor downer. At the end of I Want Action, the song is cut off while Bret Michaels is chatting up the crowd. Overall, this is a live Poison album that I will listen to without giving a second Metal thought.
The more I listened to this live Poison album recently, the more I realized that Bret Michaels, with his amazing and inspiring medical recovery, really has given his fans… Something To Believe In.
* Here is my concert ticket stub from that cool night of Hair Metal, back in 1991:
Bret Michaels – vocalist
C.C. Deville – guitar
Bobby Dall - bass
Rikki Rockett – drums
Track Listing For Great Big Hits Live! Bootleg:
Look What the Cat Dragged In
I Want Action
Something to Believe In
Love on the Rocks
Let It Play
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Nothin’ But a Good Time
Talk Dirty to Me
* The songs on Great Big Hits Live! Bootleg were recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, Atlanta Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina in 1999.
* Great Big Hits Live! Bootleg was released on July 4, 2006, on Sony/BMG Music Entertainment.
LONG LIVE POISON ROCK ‘N’ ROLL!
KEEP THE FAITH, KEEP FIGHTIN’ BRET MICHAELS.