Bret Michaels, bassist Bobby Dall and drummer Rikki Rockett formed Poison in 1983 in their home state of Pennsylvania, adding guitarist C.C. Deville after moving west a year later. It wasn't until 1986 did they release their spectacularly successful debut album, 1986's 'Look What the Cat Dragged In,' which featured this anthemic statement of intent as its lead track and first single.
'I Want Action'
Poison's third single from 1986's 'Look What the Cat Dragged In' firmly entrenched the eyeliner and hairspray-loving glam-metallers as music television superstars. Over the years the band would steadily tone down their original, make-up heavy appearance, with Bret Michaels trading in the neon and bangles for his now trademark bandannas and cowboy hats.
'I Won't Forget You'
The blues-influenced fourth single from 1986's 'Look What the Cat Dragged In' showed Poison to be early masters of the power-ballad songwriting style. In the finest Motley Crue / 'Home Sweet Home' tradition, the song's video features slowed-down montages of the band performing in front of huge crowds, destroying hotel rooms, and silently reflecting on... who knows what?
This tale of a small-town girl (whose dreams are shattered when she moves to the big city) was the second hit single from 1988's 'Open Up and Say..Ahh!' Poison was forced to censor the album's original cover art, which featured a female demon sporting a tongue that would make even their idol Gene Simmons blush.
'Look What the Cat Dragged In'
This top Poison song – the title track from Poison's 1986 debut -- tells of the price you pay the morning after a particularly long night. Poison frontman Bret Michaels champions the rock 'n' roll party lifestyle heroically, despite having been diagnosed with diabetes early in life.
1990's 'Flesh & Blood' was Poison's second straight multi-platinum album. Just don't ask the band what the title of the album's first single, 'Unskinny Bop,' means. The phrase was originally meant just to fill space as they wrote, but they couldn't find anything they liked better, so they kept it in, just like Phil Collins and his 1985 let's-invent-a-word hit 'Sussudio.'
'Something to Believe In'
For the cover art of this single from 1990's 'Flesh & Blood,' Bret Michaels got a tattoo featuring the song's title on his arm. Problem is, the tattoo artist spelled it 'beleive." They tried to cover it up, but it wasn't until years later, on an episode of Bret's hit reality show 'Rock of Love' that the job was finished properly.
'Talk Dirty to Me'
Reportedly, C.C. Deville beat out none other than Slash from Guns N' Roses for the guitarist gig with Poison, partly by playing the band his own song, 'Talk Dirty To Me.' The Poison song went on to become a massive hit single from the foursome's 1986 debut 'Look What the Cat Dragged In."
'Nothin' but a Good Time'
The first single from 1988's 'Open Up and Say..Ahh!' has gone on to serve as Poison's ultimate anthem, much like 'Rock and Roll All Nite' has for the band's longtime heroes, Kiss. In fact, the video for this Poison song starts off with Poison's cover of that Kiss classic, which was featured on the soundtrack to the 1987 movie 'Less Than Zero.'
'Every Rose Has Its Thorn'
Apparently some of Bret Michaels' bandmates were uncertain of releasing 'Every Rose Has Its Thorn' -- a largely acoustic guitar-based tale of regret and loss -- as a single from 1988's 'Open Up and Say..Ahh!" Turns out, it is widely considered the best Poison song ever, and it turned out to be their first and only No. 1 hit.