Open Up and Say... Ahh!

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Open Up and Say... Ahh!
Open Up and Say Ahh Cover.jpg
Original version of the cover art
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 3, 1988
RecordedLate 1987 - early 1988
StudioConway Recording Studios, Los Angeles
GenreGlam metal[1][2][3][4][5][6]
ProducerTom Werman
Poison chronology
Look What the Cat Dragged In
Open Up and Say... Ahh!
Flesh & Blood
Censored cover
Open Up and Say Ahh Censored.png
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
Allmusic4/5 stars[7]
Robert ChristgauB+[8]
Rolling Stone1/5 stars[9]

Open Up and Say... Ahh! is the second studio album by American glam metal band Poison, released in 1988 through Enigma Records. It proved to be the band's most successful release, and spawned four hit singles: "Nothin' but a Good Time", "Fallen Angel", "Your Mama Don't Dance" (a Loggins and Messina cover) and their only #1 single to date, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn". The album peaked at #2 on the US Billboard 200.

Open Up And Say Ahh was certified platinum in 1988 and 5x platinum in 1991 by the RIAA.[10] It also has been certified 4x platinum in Canada and gold by the BPI.

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.


The original front cover of the album, which featured model Bambi dressed as a luminous red demon with a protruding tongue, caused controversy among parental groups. The band changed the cover so that only the model's eyes were visible.[11][12]

Track information[edit]

Vocalist Bret Michaels allegedly 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.[13]

The first single "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.

The music video for the second single, "Fallen Angel", features model and then aspiring singer/actress Susie Hatton (Bret's then-girlfriend, who released one solo album Body and Soul in 1991).

The fourth single, "Your Mama Don't Dance", was a cover version of the 1972 song written by Loggins and Messina from their 1972 self-titled album, which was recently covered by another glam metal band Y&T on their album Down for the Count.

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

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are 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" 3:43
3."Back to the Rocking Horse" 3:34
4."Good Love" 2:51
5."Tearin' Down the Walls" 3:50
6."Look but You Can't Touch" 3:25
7."Fallen Angel" 3:56
8."Every Rose Has Its Thorn" 4:20
9."Your Mama Don't Dance" (Loggins and Messina cover)Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina3:00
10."Bad to Be Good" 4:03
Total length:36:11
20th anniversary remaster bonus tracks:
11."Livin' for the Minute"2:41
12."World Premiere Interview" (radio interview)10:45


Additional credits:



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[24] 3× Platinum 210,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[25] 4× Platinum 400,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[26] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[27] 5× Platinum 5,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "Top 50 Glam Metal Albums". Metal Rules. Archived from the original on November 26, 2017. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  2. ^ Westhoff, Ben (6 December 2011). "Chuck Klosterman's Favorite Hair Metal Albums". LA Weekly. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  3. ^ Joe DiVita (November 9, 2016). "Top 30 Hair Metal Albums". Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  4. ^ July 1, Bryan RolliPublished; 2021. "Top 30 Glam Metal Albums". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2021-07-17.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Matt, Metal (2010-07-22). "METALSUCKS & BRING BACK GLAM! PRESENT THE TEN BEST MUST-HAVE GLAM METAL ALBUMS: DAY THREE". MetalSucks. Retrieved 2021-07-17.
  6. ^ Weingarten, Tom Beaujour,Richard Bienstock,Chuck Eddy,Reed Fischer,Kory Grow,Maura Johnston,Christopher R.; Beaujour, Tom; Bienstock, Richard; Eddy, Chuck; Fischer, Reed; Grow, Kory; Johnston, Maura; Weingarten, Christopher R. (2019-08-31). "50 Greatest Hair Metal Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2021-07-17.
  7. ^ "Open Up and Say... Ahh! - Poison | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  8. ^ "Robert Christgau: CG: Poison".
  9. ^ "Rolling Stone review". Archived from the original on April 5, 2008. Retrieved June 18, 2009.
  10. ^ "RIAA Gold & Platinum". 2010. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015.
  11. ^ Ouellette, Mary. "30 Years Ago: Poison Break Through on 'Open Up and Say … Ahh!'". Ultimate Classic Rock.
  12. ^ Edwards, Gavin; Stone, Rolling (15 January 2015). "Banned in the U.S.A.: 20 Wildest Censored Album Covers".
  13. ^ Archived from the original on November 13, 2006. Retrieved September 15, 2006. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ " – Poison – Open Up and Say... Ahh!". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  15. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 8670". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  16. ^ " – Poison – Open Up and Say... Ahh!". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  17. ^ " – Poison – Open Up and Say... Ahh!". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  18. ^ " – Poison – Open Up and Say... Ahh!". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  19. ^ " – Poison – Open Up and Say... Ahh!". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  20. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  21. ^ "Poison Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  22. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1988". Billboard. Archived from the original on January 23, 2015. Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  23. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1989". Billboard. Archived from the original on January 24, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2021.
  24. ^ "ARIA Australian Albums Chart 1989". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  25. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Poison – Open Up and Say... Ahh!". Music Canada. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  26. ^ "British album certifications – Poison – Open Up And Say... Ahh!". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 25, 2020.Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Open Up And Say... Ahh! in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Poison – Open Up and say ... Ahh". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 25, 2020.

External links[edit]

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