Impact Album- Poison: Open Up and Say Ah(1988)

‘When it’s said and done and you’re on the run
And the only law comes under the gun’

This album over time(31 years it took) in my world of listening habits has gone from  what I would consider a pretty decent spin of Goofy Kiss Rock into an Impact Album!

How the Hell did this happen?

Let’s rewind back to May 1988 with a pretty decent Buzz surrounding Poison unleashing the followup to there Mega Million selling debut 1986’s Look What The Cat Dragged In!

If you read my original Poison review of Open Up and Say Ahh that I wrote a ways back you all know the story of how Tbone snagged this album before I got my paws on it in. That is what you could call  an Impact  Moment as I still remember that moment precisely as I headed up to Tbone’s house as he was painting his boat outside that lazy May-day when as I approached his backyard I could hear what sounded like Poison but was it Poison? Nah! In a WTF moment Tbone told me he just picked up the newbie Poison album just hours earlier that day!

First Day Buyer Alert for Tbone!

‘Son of a Bitch T’ came to my mind and from what I heard Poison had upped their game. I cannot tell you what song was playing  or tunes of this album I heard that afternoon at Tbone’s  but for sure I can tell you it wasn’t the Ballad (more on that later) or the cover tune on the album(Your Mama Don’t Dance) as the cover tune is which  I tortured  him  back in our last year of High School (1985) as  Tbone and Jack Loaf thought they could fool me on Your Mama Don’t Dance  coming from  the much maligned Y&T release Down For The Count! For the record I didn’t even guess that it was Y&T I just commented that was a weak cover..haha…

But here we are in 1988 and Tbone may have been gun-shy to play Poisons cover of Your Mama Don’t Dance do to me just in case of the fallout he might have had to listen to that day! Who knows hahaha….

Still though I liked what I heard and quickly went and purchased  this on CD as CD’s were the rage back than!

I liked it right off the bat and as I have stated many times before back in the 80’s there’s was always a ton of music being released  and sometimes it was crazy to be able to keep up with all of  it. So if something stuck sonically at that point  you would go back to it. If it didn’t  grab you right away you moved on…

Funny Thing Happened…Part 1

Poison stuck around but than a funny thing happened.  I caught them live in January 1991. (They didn’t impress me that night I kinda soured on them. Guitar Solos and Drum Solos ate up at least 20 minutes of the show. Bobby Dall was a mess and if you want further proof I reviewed that show a ways back as well…)

Soon after CC Deville bolted or was booted and was replaced by Ritchie Kotzen  and Poison released the very grown up Native Tongue album but then  Kotzen was caught  banging drummer Rikki  Rocketts  wife and then  Richie was turfed…

Than Poison hired Young Gun Blues Saraceno on guitar which I thought was a great addition and then that album was shelved for a while and by that point I gave up…on Poison…

Funny Thing Happened…Part 2

About a week ago everyone’s favourite blogger Mikey Ladano started posting old MuchMusic videos transferred from VHS to Digital that Mikey has been blogging about which has been a real hoot to watch.

One of the vids that Mikey posted was of Bret Micheal’s from back in 1988 who was hyper as a Mexican Jumping Bean talking at 90 mph and preaching to the masses about Rock N Poison Roll!

Funny Thing Happened…Part 3

Just last Friday(February 15th) Myself and my daughter Lauren were checking out vinyl. Ok let me clarify that I was checking out vinyl Lauren was too busy taking SnapChats pics of me and commenting as I was rummaging though the album bins at Moon Money Vintage which here in Thunder Bay has become my favourite place to now purchase  used vinyl from. Plus the owner’s name is Derrick! Yep case closed!

Seriously though Derrick takes care of the vinyl he is selling and its in great shape as many of the albums are on consignment so for himself as well  the vinyl needs to be in tip-top shape and it is. In the past 2 weeks I have picked up 9 albums from Moon Money Vintage and they all play excellent  and the covers/inserts look fantastic!

Anyhoo…

I was going through the bins and already had a few records that I was going to purchase and then I hit the Letter P Section! Sitting in there was a copy of  Open Up and Say Ahh in mint shape well taken care of for the cost of $20!

As  I mentioned at the start of this story(thanks for hanging in there) I only ever owned this on CD. Here it was on vinyl! Mint copy and I had no problem getting it at $20! I was kinda psyched that I scored this as it’s an album but to see it on vinyl. That was the clincher!

Brought it  home with my other scores for that day(you will see reviews and a Back Covers post coming up at some point on the other albums I snapped up) and man what a great revisit!

The Songs….all 36 minutes and 11 seconds of it!

I said it before and I’ll say it again as opening track Love On The Rocks has one of the greatest opening lines when Micheal’s sings ‘She goes down slow like a shot of Gin’ which is brilliant and hilarious at the same time as from here on out the Poison Party has started!

Second song in is Nothing But A Good Time and that’s what the party is about right?  CC Deville as he does on lots of Poison songs to my ears that is solo’s like he’s off the rails but kinda keeps it together in the context of the tune.

Back To The Rocking Horse another simple straight ahead rocker that comes across real well on vinyl. I think I commented on Ladano’s review on Open Up that I said it sounded like producer Tom Werman recorded this album in an Aluminum Shed. I must apologize to Mr Werman now  as the songs sound pretty crisp on vinyl.

Michael’s honks on the harmonica on Good Love which shows Poison doing some Hard Blues Rock in a basic yet effective manner. Keeping it simple is Poisons motto or it should be!

Tearin Down The Walls ends Side 1 with Poisons twisting and turning and kicking down the walls with this mid tempo rocker.

Look But You Can’t Touch which kicks Side 2 of the album in party fashion as Bret teaches us all that the best things in life aren’t free! A great hard rocking not Einstein over thunk rock track!

Fallen Angel tells the tale of a girl  taking a drive down Wrong Avenue in Life. Simple yet dare I  say it effective hard rock number that thanks to the CC Guitar Riff that sticks in your head for minutes/hours or in my case decades later!

Yup so here it is. Every Rose Has Its Thorn. Poison playing the 1988 Ballad Release as a Single Game. Back in 88 I was bored with these kinda tunes as everyone was doing it that were in the business of  the Melodic Hard Rock Market! I get it but man it got so over saturated that it made me nauseous! I even bought the damn 45 of Every Rose just for the non album tune Livin For The Minute. Here we are 31 years later and I will add that it’s a decent track. Yeah I still have hard time listening to it as it’s a little to obvious for my liking but I get it that Poison would get the spins/the sales and the girls from this tune and it worked….yeah I sound bitter! Ha!

So up next is the cover tune which is indeed Your Mama Don’t Dance which is an ok cover. I wasn’t big on it back than and maybe I can tolerate it a little more now as this another game that Poison kinda played with. Play the cover song and release it as a single. It worked for Poison and my issue with this  is when I seen em live they played this tune. So add that along with 20 minutes of solo’s that’s basically 25 minutes that you lost me in regards  to your live show…..

So after the wee bit of a dip with tracks 8 and 9 comes what I would consider one of the best Poison tracks ever in Bad To Be Good. I love the opening of this tune where you have Poison sounding like they are ready to rumble but you know they would get there asses kicked physically but sonically this tune kicks all kinds of Ass! Wheeling/Dealing/Cheating/Stealing ..Ya gotta be Bad To Be Good. A smart well written piece of Hairspray Rock that is sooo good that its amazing this song is buried at the end of the album and never given any credit whatsoever about it…Well Fuck That…times a changing! Winner Winner Bret and the Boys get the Chicken Dinner with this one!

Smart move as all four members of Poison split the songwriting  four ways on this album! Maybe thats another reason they are still playing shows nowadays!

Well how about that Huh? Did ya see this one coming? Nope neither did I but it  sure it can be classified as an Impact Album as in my world its the perfect balance of  catchy written rock mashed up with funny at times silly lyrics and real catchy hooks! Nothing to serious here Folk’s. I’m sure your thinking there are better albums from the genre so to speak and you may be right but for some kooky reason it resonated with me again after all the years away!

Life is way to serious at times and this album is basically my Gateway Vinyl  Drug back to a simpler time!

18 thoughts on “Impact Album- Poison: Open Up and Say Ah(1988)”

  1. Great write-up, Deke. I haven’t heard much Poison, as I kinda dismissed them as one of the atypical ‘hairspray rock’ outfits. But… I’m gonna give this one a listen off the back of your post here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks J!
      Let know what ya think. Like I said there are perhaps better albums from the genre so to speak but for some kooky reason it just resonates a little different with me now. 31 years later! haha

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review Deke! I love the cover on this album. I bought it on vinyl about a year ago just for that cover…okay, I like Poison so I bought if for more than that, but mostly for that cover. The CD doesn’t do it justice. I needed the large album jacket. oh yeah, I truly hate their covers. They are so over the top cheesy for me. I like their more bluesy songs which they dive more in to Flesh & Blood before going full on in Native Tongue. Still a great overall album.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Flesh and Blood is good as well but for some reason its this albums that I just wanna go back to a simpler time
      Where nothin’ really mattered at all…hahaha
      To Quote Bret …

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dude. This album is just a great simple throwback album. No rocket science involved with these guys but It was almost as fun writing about the story hitting 21 years old and digging this album and than at 51 finding it again…haha
      Thanks for reading. I appreciate it even thought this isn’t your cup of tea or Poison! haha

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really love this LP, even though I always hated ‘Your Mama Can’t dance’. Yuk!

    I still really love ‘Every Rose’, I know it’s contrived but it still just gets me every time.

    Liked by 1 person

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