Open Up and Say... Ahh!

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Open Up and Say... Ahh!
Original version of the cover art
Studio album by Poison
Released May 3, 1988
Recorded Late 1987 - early 1988 at Conway Recording Studios, Los Angeles
Genre Glam metal, rock
Label Enigma
Producer Tom Werman
Poison chronology
Look What the Cat Dragged In
(1986)
Open Up and Say... Ahh!
(1988)
Flesh & Blood
(1990)
Edited version of the cover art
Singles from Open Up and Say... Ahh!
  1. "Nothin' but a Good Time"
    Released: April 6, 1988
  2. "Fallen Angel"
    Released: July 6, 1988
  3. "Every Rose Has Its Thorn"
    Released: October 12, 1988
  4. "Your Mama Don't Dance"
    Released: February 1, 1989
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau (B+) [2]
Rolling Stone 1/5 stars [3]

Open Up and Say... Ahh! is the second studio album by American glam metal band Poison, released in 1988 through Enigma Records. Having ultimately sold 8 million copies worldwide[citation needed], it proved to be the band's most successful release, and spawned four hit singles: "Nothin' but a Good Time", "Your Mama Don't Dance" (a Loggins and Messina cover), "Fallen Angel" and their only #1 single to date, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn".[4] The album is widely considered a classic in the glam metal genre.[citation needed] It peaked at #2 on the US Billboard 200,[5] being denied the top spot by Bon Jovi's massively popular New Jersey album, Guns N' Roses' debut record, Appetite for Destruction and Def Leppard's most successful album, Hysteria.

Open Up And Say Ahh was certified platinum in 1988 and 5x platinum in 1991 by the RIAA.[6] It also has been certified 4x platinum in Canada and gold by the BPI.

Musical style[edit]

Open Up and Say... Ahh! reflects a style commonly characterised as glam metal, a form of heavy metal which had its genesis on the East Coast of the United States (and, in particular, the sound of New York City band KISS), but which was transplanted to the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, California in the 1980s. Despite being one of the most successful glam metal albums, it contains less of a heavy metal influence than a typical glam metal album, rather being more traditional hard rock-based. The west-coast influence is reflected more prominently on the album than on its predecessor, Look What the Cat Dragged In, with aspects of Van Halen styled Californian stadium rock becoming increasingly apparent.

Production and marketing[edit]

The album was recorded and mixed at Conway Recording Studios in Los Angeles. Paul Stanley from KISS (whose song "Rock and Roll All Nite" had been covered by Poison the year before) was originally selected to produce the record, but was unable to fulfill the role due to scheduling conflicts. Instead, the band worked with Tom Werman. Werman was an experienced rock producer, having worked with artists such as Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick, Twisted Sister and Mötley Crüe.

Following the album was the release of the band's first video compilation titled, Sight for Sore Ears which featured all the music videos from Open Up and Say...Ahh! and Look What the Cat Dragged In.

Cover[edit]

The original front cover of the album, which featured model Bambi[who?] dressed as a luminous red demon with a protruding tongue, caused controversy among parental groups. The band apologized and changed the cover so that only the model's eyes were visible.

Track information[edit]

The album's themes are partying ("Nothin' But A Good Time" and "Your Mama Don't Dance"), lost innocence ("Back to the Rocking Horse" and "Fallen Angel"), lost love ("Every Rose Has Its Thorn"), anti-social behavior ("Bad to Be Good") and sex ("Love on the Rocks", "Good Love", "Tearin' Down the Walls", and "Look but You Can't Touch").

Vocalist Bret Michaels wrote the band's most successful single, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn", in response to a failed love affair with a Los Angeles stripper. Poison had been playing at a cowboy bar called The Ritz in Dallas, Texas. After the show, Michaels called the woman at her apartment and heard a man's voice in the background. Heartbroken, he wrote the song with an acoustic guitar in a laundromat.[7]

"Nothin' But A Good Time" was born from the merger of a guitar riff by C. C. DeVille and a chorus by Michaels. Michaels later explained that he was in search of a "kick ass big arena rock song" which would make him feel good about his life. The song was about "not wanting to be held back by working a job and being depressed", as portrayed in its music video.

"Your Mama Don't Dance" was a cover version of the 1972 song written by Loggins and Messina from their 1972 self-titled album.

Two additional songs written for the record, "Livin' For The Minute" and "Face the Hangman", were later released as B-sides (although "Face The Hangman" was later included on Crack a Smile... and More!).

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Bret Michaels, C.C. DeVille, Bobby Dall and Rikki Rockett, except where noted.

  1. "Love on the Rocks" - 3:33
  2. "Nothin' but a Good Time" - 3:48
  3. "Back to the Rocking Horse" - 3:35
  4. "Good Love" - 2:52
  5. "Tearin' Down the Walls" - 3:51
  6. "Look But You Can't Touch" - 3:26
  7. "Fallen Angel" - 3:57
  8. "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" - 4:20
  9. "Your Mama Don't Dance" (Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina) - 3:00
  10. "Bad to Be Good" - 4:05

20th anniversary remaster bonus tracks[edit]

  1. "Livin for the Minute" - 2:45
  2. World Premiere Interview (Radio interview)

Singles[edit]

  • "Nothin' but a Good Time" - #6: Billboard Hot 100
  • "Fallen Angel" - #12: Billboard Hot 100
  • "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" - #1 (for three weeks): Billboard Hot 100
  • "Your Mama Don't Dance" - #10: Billboard Hot 100

Personnel[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

In other media[edit]

  • "Nothin' but a Good Time" is featured in the following films:
    • Grind, when the characters are in Sweet Lou's truck, Sweet Lou puts in a CD containing the song.
    • Mr. & Mrs. Smith, when John Smith (Brad Pitt) listens to it while driving through the desert in a dune buggy. The song is also on the official soundtrack of the movie.
    • Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, when Harold and Kumar attend the "Girls Girls, Girls" whorehouse.
    • Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, when a young Connor Mead enters a party in a flashback, carrying a copy of the album with him.
    • Yogi Bear, on the radio at the lake when they are about to blow the fireworks, before the party gets destroyed.
  • "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" is featured in the following films and television shows:
    • Beerfest, when the rest of Team USA is remembering their fallen teammate Landfill.
    • Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, as Bill & Ted's answer to the question "What is the meaning of life?", they recite the chorus of "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" to demonstrate their suitability to enter Heaven.
    • Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, when honoring the fallen gigolos.
    • 500 Days of Summer, in a karaoke lounge Tom's friend McKenzie sings this.
    • "Yes Dear", when the main characters meet Bret Michaels. They party at his house for one of the character's birthdays and at the end, Michaels sings "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" as he serves breakfast to the family as a reference to a joke made earlier about catering to the crew of A Letter from Death Row.
    • South Park, in the episode "Guitar Queer-O" while Kyle is playing at the local bowling alley and drinking Fresca to ease the pain of his breakup-up with former Guitar Hero teammate Stan.
    • The O.C., in the episode "The Rager" while playing at the jukebox, Julie Cooper is singing with Lance.

The song also appears in the Television show Supernatural, in the episode 'Malleus Maleficarum' where a man is eating a spelled burger filled with maggots.

  • Both songs appear in the "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge" episode from The Simpsons: first, Otto plays "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" to propose to his girlfriend Becky; later at their wedding ceremony, a Poison cover band named Cyanide appears playing "Nothin' But a Good Time", to which Becky reacts negatively, making Otto leave her.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • [1] theGAZZ.com, Interview with Bret Michaels. Retrieved October 13, 2006.
  • [2] Classic Rock Revisited, Classic Trax, Interview with Bret Michaels. Retrieved January 6, 2005.