Say what you will about these LA rockers from the 80s, but the fact is, they have some resilient chops. Dipping into a cauldron of ‘70s materials and putting the unmistakable Poison stamp on them, this band does an admirable job of revisiting – and updating - some of that early era’s Top 40 classics. And while they sound like Poison, sure enough, these original members do not stray too far from the cover’s original take, taking every care to replicate the heart of most songs.
This album of covers contains 8 new cover recordings and gets the rest from past recordings for various projects over the years. Beginning with a “picture-perfect” song of “Little Willy” from Sweet (pre- “Fox on the Run,” and “Ballroom Blitz”), Poison sounds as if they had a load of fun with this one. It’s followed by another excellent cut, this time of “Suffragette City,” a song from early David Bowie and his Ziggy Stardust (1972) album, itself trailed by a very good rendition of a classic Alice Cooper solo effort, “I Never Cry.” Other new cover cuts include “I Need to Know” from Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ excellent You’re Gonna Get It! (1978) album, “What I Like About You,” by The Romantics, and two gems, “Can’t You See,” from The Marshall Tucker Band, and a genuine “Dead Flowers,” a country-flavored tune from The Rolling Stones’ classic Sticky Fingers (1971) album.
The remaining songs arrive via projects such as the Less Than Zero soundtrack (“Rock and Roll All Nite” – 1987), an inclusion from the Poison album, Hollyweird (“Squeeze Box” – 2002), an updated “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” from their Open Up and Say…Ahh! (1988), and a very good “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” which originally showed up as a bonus track on their 2006 reissue of Look What the Cat Dragged In. They finish with a sturdy reinterpreted cover of Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re An American Band” found on their The Best of Poison: 20 Years of Rock (2006).
All in all, Poison, who have left their mark as one of the better LA bands from the 80s, have not only paid their respects to the bands whose songs they cover, but also nods to the era that they represent. I thoroughly enjoyed Poison’d! and I’ve a feeling that you will too.