Open Up and Say ... Ahh!

Poison

What is it with a strong side 2? It's amazing that 80s record producers allowed so many bands to stack their side 2. I am personally for it. First Open Up and Say Ahh, then The Great Radio Controversy, there seems to be a trend. Anyway, Poison's Open Up and Say Ahh has a dominant side 2, with a decent first 5. This really is a great 80s hair metal album.

Open Up and Say ... Ahh!: Poison’s nearly perfect Hair Metal album gives us Nothin’ but a Good Time

Poison did have some SOLID metal names, names like Bret Michaels and C.C. DeVille, strong rock names, are overshadowed by Rikki Rocket and Bobby Dahl. Seriously, Bobby Dahl … pronounced exactly as you hope it would be.

Rating

I give Open Up and Say Ahh a 8.510

A strong second half, with absolutely legendary 80s hair metal tunes, saves a few low spots on Open Up and Say Ahh.

Track listing

  1. Love on the Rocks
  2. Nothin’ but a Good Time
  3. Back to the Rocking Horse
  4. Good Love
  5. Tearin’ Down the Walls
  6. Look but You Can’t Touch
  7. Fallen Angel
  8. Every Rose Has Its Thorn
  9. Your Mama Don’t Dance
  10. Bad to Be Good

Open Up and Say Ahh notes

Love on the Rocks

Starts like EVERY Poison song. They play the same riff in every upbeat song and yet C.C. DeVille consistently wonders why he isn’t the best hair metal guitar player. Dude had speed, but he was always running the same race.

Can’t mad about Love on the Rocks though, it’s a Camaro’s tape deck is really pumpin’ kind of tune.

Nothin’ but a Good Time

A phenomenal riff. It really is. The party anthem of party anthems, Nothin’ but a Good Time is the quintessential party riff.

I seriously don’t have more to say because it’s truly one of the biggest party songs of all time. Nothin’ but a Good Time is legendary. I’ve drank high single digit, low double digit, hundreds worth of PBRs to this song.

Really.

Hell, I know dudes who’ve lost their beer virginity to this song.

Back to the Rocking Horse

Look, kids, a Poison song! Nothing different here. The first time I heard this song, I was heading to a wedding at a Rod & Gun club. My cousin was telling my grandmother to turn it up as loud as it goes. Her, being deaf, completely obliged. That kid was/still is one bad ass son of a bitch!

GET GET GET BACK!

Good Love

Wait, harmonica solo?!? Dig it …

Poison definitely did hair metal better than anyone else, but they also did a 50s/60s rock thing too. Where most bands borrowed Zeppelin, Poison leaned on an earlier brand of tunes.

Nice little blues-based solo by DeVille. Way to bring the harmonica back. Definitely not a staple of the 80s.

Tearin’ Down the Walls

Finally, a song that doesn’t sound like Poisssss … nevermind. As soon as Bret Michaels sings, Poison is all you hear. Poison CANNOT do bad ass metal, it’s just not their thing. They are strictly pop hair metal.

Mark Slaughter might be a better singer, but what separates the Poisons from the Slaughters is more “fun” songwriting. Chicks dug this stuff.

Look but You Can’t Touch

Invokes some Scorpions to start, until it goes straight back to Poison. At least they changed it up for 10-12 seconds. Regardless, this is a super fun tune.

I swear this song is the basis for the greatest male character in a rom-com ever, Doug Dorsey, of The Cutting Edge. He is literally written as an 80s guitar god. D.B. Sweeney slays the role!

Look! You can Look! But don’t touch!

(Mostly) bitchin’ tune!

Fallen Angel

I LOVED this tune. Still do.

Every note in this song is EXACTLY where you expect it to be. But hey, that’s the 80s. You know EXACTLY where it’s going, when it’s going to go minor, when it resolves to super huge 80s positive chorus (with not totally complimentary lyrics).

Fallen Angel has it all. This song is completely a way for the band to make girls feel bad, but good enough to hop on their tour bus.

A sprinkle of angst in the pre-solo bridge-y breakdown part … you know, to make her feel like it’s “her fault” …

Gosh, NO ONE could get away with this stuff today. Except maybe R. Kelly.

Huge stick throw into twirl at 3:36 in the Fallen Angel video. Judges? 6.7, 6.5, 6.6!

Ending is an excuse for C.C. DeVille to do what he does best, whatever it is he in fact does. Just notes for notes really …

Anyway, Fallen Angel is totally a bitchin’ tune. Get on that!

Every Rose Has Its Thorn

POWWWWWWWWER BALLAD. Maybe THE power ballad of all hair metal. Home Sweet Home may have more power, but Every Rose Has Its Thorn has WAY more ballad.

Besides, the Great Ones themselves quoted this to get into Heaven. When asked, “What is the meaning of life?” they, along with Death, waxed poetic, reciting the lyrics to Every Rose Has Its Thorn, power ballad emeritus, and thusly earned their entrance through the pearly gates.

EXCELLENT! (insert air guitar)

Here is the paradox of ALL paradoxes. If Bret Michaels, “Listened to her favorite song, playin’ on the radio,” then would it be safe to say that her favorite song was in fact his own, and that Bret Michaels was listening to Every Rose Has Its Thorn?

If we are to believe in the mystical time travel of Bill and Ted, it’s possible that Michaels wrote Every Rose in the future, recorded it, then it got played on the radio, and then past Bret Michaels heard it, and thus knew he had to record it - just like Bill and Ted leaving the keys, the tape recorded, and the trash bucket at Ted’s Dad’s jailhouse.

Think about that!

Not to mention, the lyrics to Every Rose Has Its Thorn, when recited, will grant you access to heaven. Thanks, Bill & Ted

Your Mama Don’t Dance

As if Kenny Loggins didn’t own 80s soundtracks (Rocky IV, Top Gun, and Over the Top), here he is again with Your Mama Don’t Dance. Dude is a legend.

Bret, C.C., Rikki, and Bobby definitely got all the funk that Loggins and Messina left out.

Actually, I’m not joking, this was an upgrade, even though Loggins is a LEGIT boss. Poison just makes it really fun.

GET OUTTA THE CAR LONG HAIR!!!

Rockers seem to have a perpetual problem with long hair - see Signs by the Five Man Electrical Band.

Bad to Be Good

Ooooh, actually, this has got a groove. Doesn’t actually feel like Poison. Bad to Be Good sits solidly in the genre, and I appreciate that.

Wheelin’, dealin’, cheatin’, stealin’ are ALL things that one should do in a hair metal band.

C.C. has some absolutely worthwhile tone on this track. He even rolls out a captivating solo, beyond the main riff, which is equally attention grabbing.