The music scene was a very different place 20 years ago. There was no such thing as grunge or nu-metal, it was a time when hairspray and makeup was marching its way up the charts. 1986 was a big year, with big releases by Bon Jovi, Europe, and Cinderella, but it was probably Poison that had the biggest impact on the glam-rock scene.
Poison released Look What the Cat Dragged In in 1986, their debut, and the start of their chart topping dominance they would have for the next 4 years. That first album featured such hits as "I Want Action," "Cry Tough," and "Talk Dirty to Me." They followed that up with the 1988 album Open Up and Say.... Ahh!, which was instantly notable for it's censored cover. It proved to be an even bigger smash, featuring chart toppers like "Your Mama Don't Dance" and "Every Rose has its Thorn." Two years later, completing their classic hairspray trilogy, they unleashed Flesh & Blood, leading with the infectious "Unskinny Bop." The album also spawned the power ballad "Something to Believe In."
To be honest, they may have just been a party rock band that wore a lot of makeup, but there is something to be said for their ability to craft those catchy hooks and speak to a generation. They'll never be songs that will change the world, but they marked a time when excess was the name of the game. Poison took everything to the limit. Over the top stage antics, crazy back stage tour stories, and legions of fans marked their years at the top.
To celebrate the two decade anniversary of that first album, and perhaps to cash in on the recent reunions and subsequent nostalgia tours of many bands of the era, Capitol Records is releasing their first three platinum selling in newly remastered packages, complete with some bonus tracks on each.
All three of these albums were in sore need of a retooling. I don't know how many of you have the original CDs, or any CDs from those years, but when you play them next to a more recent recording, you are sure to hear a little bit of a difference. The biggest thing is the change in volume, the recordings were so much lower than they are now, so much you have to turn the volume way up to get a similar level to a current recording. Now, if you have these mixed in with newer recordings, you are going to need to keep a close eye on your volume control, lest you get blasted out on the song changes.