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Poison

4.6 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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In 1990, it was still fairly novel to mix R&B songcraft with overpowering hip-hop beats, so this spinoff by New Edition members Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe seemed innovative and exciting. Sadly it hasn't aged well. None of the three are compelling singers, and they lack the ability to plead for love effectively (anyone can demand love, but a true soulman has to convince a reluctant participant). Nor are they imaginative rappers--neither their words nor their delivery stand out. But this disc came before the likes of Missy Elliott, Puff Daddy, Jermaine Dupri, or Dallas Austin made a big impact on the scene. As such it's a fine document of black teenage lust during the Gulf War months. --Martin Johnson
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 23, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Special Products
  • ASIN: B000002O6V
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,517 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Either you all weren't listening to and buying music in the early 1990s or are jumping on the Bell Biv DeVoe/New Edition-bashing bandwagon, but "Poison!" was one of the best soul albums of that decade. "Poison!" was the predecessor of what is heard in soul music today -- the influence of the hip-hop culture, sexist and doggish slang and cutting-edge, slap 'n' swing beats.
The album produced five Top Five soul hits -- the title track, "Do Me!," "BBD (I Thought It Was Me)?," "When Can I See You Smile Again?" and "She's Dope!" -- and sold some 4 million copies, so you can't say it wasn't successful. Moreover, the album bridged the formerly distinct worlds of soul and rap; hip-hop's acceptance into mainstream soul music was easily sped up thanks to "Poison!"
The success of "Poison!" also made the New Edition umbrella a supergroup -- in early 1990, no one thought former N.E. members Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe could be successful without headliners Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill, yet BBD was more successful than Tresvant and Gill as solo acts. To this day, New Edition is still the only act in which all of its members garnered platinum albums as solo acts.
And another sign of success is imitation: TLC was created as a female version of BBD (which it still is), and the "Poison!" album allowed Bivins to parlay that success into a record label (Biv 10) and discover, among other acts, Boyz II Men -- yet another New Edition clone.
The album also got rave reviews when it was released (including even from Rolling Stone magazine). When you add it up, "Poison!" dropped a gigantic bomb on the popular soul music landscape.
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Ok, so Ricky Bell isn't the best singer in the world, and Lord knows that Mike Bivins and Ronnie Devoe are not great rappers, but damned if they don't know how to get a party started. Man, back in the day when you heard the opening chords of "Posion" you couldn't help but move. I disagree with those who claim that this CD has not aged well because I still enjoy this music, as do many of my peers. It feels kind of weird to already have oldies at this age, but it has been 11 years since this CD dropped.
The genius of this group lies not so much in their talent or lyrics, but in their foresight to combine hip hop and R&B for a different type of sound. They were among the first to do this, and people loved it! To this day, if you start the phrase "Smack it up, flip it, rub it down.." among certain folks over 25, they will finish it up with "Oh nooo..." Heck, this is the group that coined the verse "Never trust a big butt and a smile." All of which is to say that no matter what your opinion of the music, you have to acknowledge that have left an imprint on the musical landscape.
The music is sexually blatant, but is way milder than Luke AKA "Me So ..." Luther Campbell who also let his imprint during the 90's with booty music.
The boys smooth things out with a couple of Bell-led ballads "When Will I See You Smile Again" and "I Do Need You" just to round things out. Ricky's falsetto is kind of thin, but he is so earnest that you don't even mind.
Overall, this is a classic CD that reminds me of my early years. I was young, in college and having a ball. Years from now I can still see myself playing this CD and breaking out into the running man and maybe even cabbage patch as I tell my kids "You don't know anything about this."
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Format: Audio CD
Before Bell Biv Devoe, it was New Edition (Ralph Tresvant, Michael Bivins, Ronnie Devoe, Ricky Bell, Bobby Brown, and Johnny Gill) After New Edition Ricky Bell, Ronnie Devoe, and Micheal Bivins formed a three man group called Bell Biv Devoe. Bell Biv Devoes 1st Cd Poison is a New Jack Swing Classic. Songs like "Poison," "Do Me!," "B.B.D. (Thought It Was Me)," and "Shes Dope," are 4 New Jack Swing Classics, and are by far the best songs off Poison. Bell Biv Devoe didn't really make any soft tunes, but they made one good one called "When Will I See You Smile Again?) which was also a big hit. So people who diss and make fun of Bell Biv Devoe just look at how many classics they have, they got atleast 5. After this Cd they made Hootie Mack, and then did one last New Edition CD. Ricky Bell and Ronnie Devoe didn't do anything after 1996, but Michael Bivins in the early 90's made debut albums for Another Bad Creation and Boyz II Men, which are two great albums.
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In 1990, these three members of New Edition did their own thing: a mix of R&B, hip-hop beats, and sexually charged lyrics called "New jack swing." (Let's be honest; track 4 is "Do Me!" and they don't mean impersonations.) But whether you like the dancibility of the title track, the funk of "BBD (I Thought It was Me)?" or the ballad singing on "When Will I See You Smile Again?", this will not disappoint you.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Girl I Must Warn Youuuuuuu!" "I sense sumthin' strange in my mind." "Situation is seriouuuusssss!" "Let's cure it, 'cause we're runnin' outta time...." Ok. Now let me get to the review. It's Bell Biv DeVoe, dude!!!! By far 1 of the hippest & hottest r & b groups of the 90's. Everybody & their momma knows how to jam to "Poison". LOL! ;*) Right?

These boys just took advantage of their opportunity to break free, express their talents in a different way, and they made hits..., They also created all sorts of fashion-trends at the exact same time. They definitely taught a Brother how to "smack it up, flip it, & rub it down".... "Oh nooooooo!"
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