Poison
Greatest Hits: 1986-1996


4.5
superb

Review

by Pedro B. USER (303 Reviews)
July 16th, 2010 | 12 replies | 4,891 views


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A stellar example of a Best Of done right.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

As most people know, the mid-90s were far from a good time for hairsprayed cock-rock bands. With the rise of grunge, many of these poser outfits either called it a day or tried to mature their sound, in a last bid for relevance. Poison were among this latter group, but unfortunately for them, their experiment bombed, with Native Tongue being the nadir of the group’s original discography. Still, after firing Tongue axeman Richie Kotzen, the band started work on what would be their fifth album, Crack A Smile. Alas, this too was cut short after Bret Michaels was involved in a motorcycle accident, forcing Capitol to shelve the almost-completed album. However, the recording company did not sleep on the job, and pilfered a couple of tracks from Crack A Smile for the ten-year anniversary Best Of, creatively titled Poison’s Greatest Hits 1986-1996. And while things really weren’t going well for the band, at least the label managed to profit from the entire situation, with the final product constituting a stellar example of a Best Of done right.

In fact, unlike many other such compilations – which go for strange choices in the place of obvious ones, lack bonus material or are shoddy in the graphics department – Poison’s Greatest Hits manages to succeed in all three fronts. The first point is scored with the lineup itself, which very few would argue against as representing the best of Poison. The selection is large, spanning the band’s four albums and including all the songs the foursome became known for, with very few omissions or debatable choices. One could have argued in favor of Good Love, the fun stomp from Open Up And Say…Aah!, but other than that there are very few gripes anyone will have with this lineup. The attention to detail even goes as far as including So Tell Me Why, the single and one of the four studio tracks of live album Swallow This Live. And while Native Tongue predictably gets the short shrift, with only Stand being included, this stands to reason, as that song was just about the only good thing to come out of that album. All in all, the selection borders on perfect, and it is only heightened by the two aforementioned bonus tracks, which despite not being anything special, nicely round up the package, and offer fans an excuse to buy this album.

However, as if the excellent lineup wasn’t enough, Capitol went to the trouble of contacting recovering singer Bret Michaels and have him write liner notes explaining all these songs. These are absurdly interesting – for a fan, at least – and effectively heighten the value of this package. It is here that we learn that most of the group’s songs were based on real-life events, that Nothing But A Good Time is a reworking of a pre-Poison hit and that Unskinny Bop was made up in the spur of the moment, when Michaels was trying to impress a pornstar. And while this latter story in particular smells a little fishy, there is no reason not to believe everything else that is said on the booklet, making this another notch in this album’s expanding belt. Couple that with a few hilarious photos (in a good way) and you have a pacjage no 80’s fanatic will want to do without.

In the end, then, Poison’s Greatest Hits 1986-1996 is a strongly recommended buy, effectively sparing casual fans the hassle of going after Poison’s discography and introducing them to the band the proper way. And while Best-Of compilations are seldom the right way to get to know a band, this one will have to be regarded as an exception. Stellar.

Recommended Tracks
Unskinny Bop
Fallen Angel
Ride The Wind
So Tell Me Why



Recent reviews by this author
Big Ball Hotter than HellChosen Resolution
Werefox I Am MemorySound City Players Sound City: Real To Reel
Nirvana NevermindEnforcer Death By Fire
user ratings (39)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Counterfeit
July 16th 2010



17819 Comments


Not gonna rec Talk Dirty To Me or Every Rose has its thorn?

Willie
Moderator
July 16th 2010



15887 Comments


Nice review. This is probably the only Poison album worth owning (for those that even like these guys). Get this, Decade of Decadence, Vault and 40 Seasons and most people are pretty well set for the best that 80s cock rock had to offer.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

ReturnToRock
July 16th 2010



3448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Talk Dirty is like, the fifth recommended track, but I tend to avoid more than four recommendations.

Also, where did I get the idea that Crack a Smile was their second album!? Blame it on illness...

WatchItExplode
July 16th 2010



3207 Comments


what is 40 seasons? right on about the rest though, I own those

Willie
Moderator
July 16th 2010



15887 Comments


what is 40 seasons? right on about the rest though, I own those
The Best of Skid Row.

Bitchfork
July 16th 2010



7584 Comments


Tbh, I could never listen to this.

acADHDemy
July 16th 2010



1129 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

easily one of my favorite greatest hits compilations... listened to this so much growing up. great shit, pos'd

acADHDemy
July 16th 2010



1129 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

just gave 40 seasons a 5 also, altho skid row's discog is so much stronger as a whole that 40 seasons isn't all that important... still, loved that shit so much when i got it

BigHans
July 16th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't need this album cause I have all of their studios but this is a very well put together compilation.

AtavanHalen
July 16th 2010



17927 Comments


Honestly, dude, I'd like your reviews a lot more if you didn't have such a fucking terrible taste in music.

Awful band.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
July 16th 2010



4940 Comments


didnt these guys do that song

acADHDemy
July 16th 2010



1129 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Honestly, dude, I'd like your reviews a lot more if you didn't have such a fucking terrible taste in music.


this is so beautiful.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy