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VINE VOICEon February 3, 2004
There's one in every family. You know, the kid who isn't that talented or intelligent, but manages to make it big time. In the hair band era, Poison was that kid. None of the songs on this disc are epic, but I bet that anyone reading this review can sing at least one of Poison's songs word-for-word.
Their songs are just infectious. From "Unskinny Bop" to "Nothin' But a Good Time," Poison cranked out hits that just wouldn't go away. You were forced to tap your toes or bang your head to every song they put out. "Talk Dirty To Me" set teenagers across the globe into giddy abandon. Every song, with just a couple of exceptions, was pure, out-and-out fun. Poison looked like they had fun playing the stuff and the fans had fun listening to it.
The exceptions were "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" and "Something To Believe In." These songs showed that even the happiest kids on the block had a heart.
Later songs(post "Flesh and Blood")seemed to signal the end of the fun days of Poison. As a matter of fact, "Flesh and Blood" was probably the last good album these guys put out.
Listen to this album if you're still trapped in the boring gloom-and-doom days of Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Poison knows how to have a good time, and this disc will definitely pick you up.
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on May 7, 2000
Poison never has and never will get critical praise, but they should. These guys have released tons of great FUN rock n' roll over the past 14 years...and they're not done yet. The guys had an awesome tour last summer that averaged well over 10,000 a show and are hitting the road again this summer. This album is a great warm-up for the Poison concert experience. Who cares if you like big hair? There are some great rock tracks on this Greatest Hits album. (Besides, the total glam image only lasted for their debut album anyway). The #1 Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Nothin But a Good Time, Fallen Angel, Talk Dirty to Me, ect. To me those songs will NEVER get old...and I can't wait for NEW material from the band. Keep checking the internet...God knows you won't hear of any new Poison release on the channel formerly known as Music Television. Kids out there need to discover Poison and music that you can have a good time to...this rap rock garbage just doesn't cut it.
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on January 31, 2006
In the past twenty years, few bands have been as beaten, kicked and ripped apart as much as Poison. Right from the start they were absolutely reviled and HATED by the critics. Throughout their tenure they were the popular whipping boy of many a rock magazine. They were bashed by musicians and critics alike for their lack of technical skills, songwriting, and just plain cheesiness.

But unlike, say, Radiohead, Poison was never meant to be a band of the critics. Poison was always a band of the people. Despite extremely harsh reviews, the fans bought their records. For a short time, during the second-half of the 80s and into the early 90s, Poison sold millions and millions of albums. And a decade later, fans still wanted to hear the classics. In 1999 when Poison embarked on a reunion tour, the band played to sold-out arenas, as though it were 1990, at a time when people heard the word Nirvana they thought of only the Buddhist state of spiritual enlightenment. Add to this the fact that Poison's "Greatest Hits" has sold over one million copies in the US alone and if you go to any bar in America, you're just as likely to hear "Fallen Angel" and "Every Rose Has it's Thorn" as anything else. In short, despite being lambasted from day one, Poison wrote good, fun, catchy tunes that struck a chord with blue-color, middle-America.

Poison is a band you either get or don't get. It would be easy to dismiss the band right off the bat...but that would be too easy, simplistic, and immature. Brett Michaels explains Poison's appeal as he writes in the liner notes of Poison's "Greatest Hits," "with Poison, rock n' roll has always been a lifestyle, based part in reality and part in escapism." Poison is in many ways the ultimate escapist band...a band about rock n' roll excess, irrelevancy, a way for fans to forget about their problems.

While Poison may have started out playing escapist, irrelevant rock n' roll, the band actually grew and became more ambitious over time. They went from a super-glammed-out punk outfit with their debut "Look What the Cat Dragged In," (1986) to Van Halen-lite, with "Open Up and Say Ahh," (1988) to a more refined rock band on "Flesh N' Blood," (1990) to a more mature, blues-based outfit with "Native Tongue," (1993) back to more grounded, but technically proficient hard-rock with "Crack a Smile" (2000).

Guitarist C.C. Deville may be sloppy and is no technical wizard, but the dude sure came up with some catchy riffs. Singer Brett Michael's charisma was contagious, as it's easy to want to sing along to any of the band's biggest hits. Rikki Rocket (drums) and Bobby Dall (bass) provided an exciting and stable rhythm section, even if they weren't Bonzo and John Paul Jones.

If you are a casual fan "Greatest Hits" contains every song, hit single and album cut that you will ever want or need. "Greatest Hits" curdles a majority of its songs from the band's first three albums "Look What the Cat Dragged In," "Open Up and Say Ahh," and "Flesh and Blood." While such pop-metal gems as "Nuthin' But a Good Time," "Something to Believe in," and "Talk Dirty to Me" may be relics of a bygone era, they will surely bring back a lot of good memories for people and they remain ear candy to this day. The disc is a bit skimpy with the Kotzen era (only the minor hit "Stand" is included) but that makes sense as the mood of that album doesn't really mesh with the rest of Poison's catalogue. The would-be follow-up "Crack a Smile" (shelved by Capital until 2000) with guitarist Blues Saraceno is represented with the more traditional Poison sounding "Lay Your Body Down" and the hard-rocking "Sexual Thing."

The band did record many other memorable songs that weren't hits from each album. So if you like what you hear here, it's worth delving into the band's catalogue to see what else the band has to offer. But for 60+ minutes of essential, memorable "hair-metal," (a term that the band hates) this CD is sure to deliver. The CD is well packaged with detailed liner notes by Michaels and cool photos.
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on December 8, 1999
Like I said the best from the best, Poison is my favortite "hair" band from the 80's and they were the best at what they did, make people rock and listen to some of the best music then and now! Poison is still going strong and if you like the 2 unreleased songs, then buy their new album thats coming out in 2000 sometime. Last note is that Poison RULES! -Cheers Sean
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on December 22, 2000
This album is great. It hilights the career of one of the greatest bands to ever walk the face of the earth. I honestly can't say enough about Poison. Greatest Hits 1986-1996 is an excellent retrospective of their career. The album begins with the party rock anthem Nothin but a Good Time, this can be easily interpreted as Poison's answer to Rock and Roll All Nite by that other makeup wearing band. The next songs are two of their biggest hits, the song that put them on the map, Talk Dirty to Me, and Unskinny Bop. The next song is their biggest hit, Every Rose Has It's Thorn. The power ballad went to number one in 1988. It really is a great song. Fallen Angel is another party rock stadium ready anthem. I Won't Forget You is a power ballad off of their debut album. Stand is the only song representing the Native Tongue album which featured Richie Kotzen on guitar. This song like the whole album was nothing really exctitng. Ride the Wind is off of Flesh and Blood, it stays in the same style Poison's know for, and Cc DeVille's solo is excellent. The next songs are the concert favorites Look What the Cat Dragged In and I Want Action. These anthems are excellent songs that have stood the test of time. The next songs are both from Flesh and Blood. Life Goes On is another excellent power ballad and Sacrifice is a great rocker. Their first single Cry Tough is next. Even though the single bombed it still deserves a place on this album because it is an excellent song. The next track is a cover version of Your Mama Don't Dance which Poison made famous. The guitar solo in that song like every other Poison song featuring CC is amazing. So Tell Me Why is a studio track from Swallow this Live, the song is great, I wish that Poison would have recorded a whole album at the time they recorded this song because it probably woul've been great. The last of the greatest hits is the power ballad Something to Believe In. This was a really popular song and in my opinion a better song than Every Rose Has It's Thorn. The last two songs were bonus tracks at the time of the release. Sexual Thing and Lay Your Body Down feature Blues Saraceno on guitar. They were off of the shelved Poison album Crack A Smile which was eventually released in 2000 making these songs not bonus songs anymore. Either way this is a great compilation of the best songs from one of the best bands ever. I reccommend this to anyone who likes good music.
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on May 12, 2000
If you're not a huge fan of Poison to the point where you need all their albums and rarities like me, then this is the album for you. It's loaded with all of their hits such as "Every Rose Has Its Thorns," "Talk Dirty To Me," "Unskinny Bop," "Nothin' But A Good Time," "I Want Action," etc. There's even a few "new" extra songs that sound heavier and less poppy than the band's earlier material. This is a great collection for those of us who want to listen to Poison every so often without having to have five CD's we don't really want. Hair metal is definitely dead, but I must admit these songs are still fun to hear once in a while.
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on June 20, 2001
This album is just great rock-n-roll that's fun to listen to. This music brings back great memories from growing up in the 80's, a time when rock bands put alot of feeling into their songs and really knew how to play their own instruments. This album is a great example of that, it is packed with great singing by Bret Michaels, and cool guitar playing by C.C. DeVille. You also have Bobby Dall on Bass guitar and the ever-so-cool Rikki Rockett on the drums. There are fun songs like, "Nothin But A Good Time", "Talk Dirty To Me", "Look What The Cat Dragged In", "Your Mama Don't Dance" and "Unskinny Bop". There are also three of the greatest rock ballads ever recorded, "I Won't Forget You", "Something To Believe In" and my absolute all-time favorite Poison song, "Every Rose Has It's Thorn". Ignore what all of the critics say who never gave Poison a chance because of their image. If you are a fan of great 80's music, don't let this one pass you by. Especially if you are just now being introduced to Poison's music, this one would be an excellent album to start with. I highly recommend it!
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on March 28, 2003
In the mid 1990s Poison recorded an album titled Crack a Smile. However, [the] record executives ...felt that it wasn't that good. So they threw together a Greatest Hits collection. Under the circumstances, you may think it would have ended up being some cheap retrospective that only covers the band's biggest hits while leaving their best material out.
Instead, we get a collection that covers EVERYTHING!!! First, almost every single the band had recorded is here. I think the only song that is not here is "Until You Suffer Some (Fire and Ice)" from '92's Native Tounge. However, I don't think that song went very far. But the amount of material here more than makes up for it. Of course you've got the big hits like "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," "Nothing But a Good Time," "Unskinny Bop," and others, but you've also got lesser known singles that are just as good. Some include "Cry Tough," "Stand, "I Want Action, "Ride the Wind," and more!
This compilation is even goes beyond the singles and includes the popular concert favourite "Look What the Cat Dragged In." Later followed by "So Tell Me Why," one of my favourite songs on the album. The fact that it is even here is amazing since it was a bonus track on their live record and wasn't even a hit either! And if that wasn't enough, two of the songs from what this LP was supposed to be, "Sexual Thing" and "Lay Your Body Down" are prime examples of what 80s metal would sound like today (or at least 5 years ago). And to top it off, the linear notes are top notch with stories behind the music from vocalist Bret Michales!!!
This CD could get a 5/5 if it had only half of the songs here. However, for once those greedy music execs decided to be nice and and go above and beyond what anyone could have ever expected! This has everything a hardcore fan could ever want and more than enough to warrant this as the only Poison disc you ever need. Get if you like Poison, get it if you like pop-metal, get it if you like music! Just get it!!!
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on March 4, 2014
Sorry, I could not resist. Poison's Greatest Hits is pure '80's hair-band rock, cheese and all. Picked this up with an MP3 credit and it gets plenty of play. Poison is better musically than they get credit for, too.
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on September 27, 2006
This is a reminder of the good time we had in the 80's. Music was meant to be fun and enjoyable and Poison topped the list. "Nothin' But A Good Time" is the best choice for an opening track, because it defines not only what Poison was about, but it also was the case for this genre of music. Some other fun songs were "Talk Dirty To Me" and "Unskinny Bop." The cover of "Your Mama Don't Dance" was always a nice touch for this group.

On the other side of the coin, Poison showed their softer side with "Every Rose Has It's Thorn" and the surprisingly deep "Something To Believe In."

In addition to being a good representation of who this group is, the liner notes are excellent, as well. Overall, this is one for the collection. The 80's probably would not have been the same without this group and the songs that we all should come to know and love.
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