Poison Ivy (song)
|Single by The Coasters|
|B-side||"I'm a Hog for You"|
|Recorded||July 16, 1959|
|Writer(s)||Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller|
|The Coasters singles chronology|
"Poison Ivy" is a popular song by American songwriting duo Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It was originally recorded by The Coasters in 1959. It went to #1 on the R&B chart and #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This was their third top-ten hit of that year following "Charlie Brown" and "Along Came Jones."
The song discusses a girl named Ivy, calling her "Poison Ivy" because of her reputation with men as a player. In a recently published biography about Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, the song's authors, it was confirmed that they also intended Ivy's "poisonous" nature to be a code for her actually carrying a sexually-transmitted disease. She is compared to measles, mumps, chickenpox, the common cold, and whooping cough, but is deemed worse, because "Poison Ivy, lord, will make you itch."
- The Paramounts - as both a single (1963) and as part of a E.P. (released 1964). The single version got to #35 on the U.K Charts.
- The Rolling Stones recorded two different versions in 1963, the second version appeared on the EP The Rolling Stones, released early 1964. The first version appeared on a 1972 compilation of the Rolling Stones called More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies).
- Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs - Australia #1/1964. It famously kept The Beatles from the #1 spot on the Sydney charts at the very moment that the group was making its first and only tour of Australia—a feat which resulted in Thorpe being invited to meet the Fab Four at their hotel.
- The Hollies released a version in 1963 on their first Australian LP.
- The Kingsmen released a version on their 15 Great Hits album in 1966.
- The Lambrettas - 1980. Their version reached #7 in the British charts.
- The Romantics - on the 1985 album, Rhythm Romance.
- Linda McCartney - recorded the song in 1987 and her cover was released on her posthumous album Wide Prairie in 1998.
- Young & Restless - 1988
- The Nylons - Recorded A Version In 1988 For The Stealing Home Soundtrack.
- Hanson - on their 1995 album, Boomerang.
- Meshell Ndegeocello - 1997, with slightly altered lyrics. Her cover was included on the Batman & Robin soundtrack, in which Poison Ivy the villainess, was a main character.
- Los Straitjackets - in 2007 released a Spanish-language cover of the song titled "La Hiedra Venenosa," on their album Rock en Español, Vol. 1.
- Giuliano Palma & the Bluebeaters - on their 2008 album Boogaloo.
- Chris Burke
- The Lords
- Manfred Mann
- Los Rebeldes del Rock - a Mexican band formed in 1957 by African-Mexican singer Johnny Laboriel. Version in Spanish, "La Hiedra Venenosa", released on EP (Orfeon, 1964).
- The Puppets
- Rita Lee released a cover version of "Poison Ivy" on her album 3001 in 2000. It was translated into Portuguese and titled "Erva Venenosa", Herva Docê and Golden Boys also recorded it.
- Los Flippers, a Colombian rock and roll band of the 1960s, recorded a version in Spanish called "El Melenudo".
Popular culture references
- The song is sung by Rack 'Em Rack Willie from The DAMN! Show on numerous occasion.
- The song was included in the musical revue "Smokey Joe's Cafe."
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 125.
- "The Dave Clark Five". unknown. c.late 90s-2000s. Archived from the original on 2009-10-24. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
- Nuttall, Lyn (2000s). "Feature Item - poparchives.com.au - Poison Ivy". Lyn Nuttall. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
- "The Paramounts". unknown. c.late 90s-2000s. Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
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|Billboard Hot R&B Singles number-one single
October 5, 1959
October 26, 1959 - November 9, 1959
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