Poison (Alice Cooper song)

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Poison (Alice Cooper).jpg
Single by Alice Cooper
from the album Trash
Released7 July 1989
GenreHeavy metal, hard rock, glam metal
Producer(s)Desmond Child
Alice Cooper singles chronology
"Bed of Nails"
Music video
"Poison" on YouTube

"Poison" is a song by American rock musician Alice Cooper. Written by Cooper, Desmond Child, and John McCurry, the song was released worldwide as a single in late-1989 from Cooper's eighteenth album, Trash (1989). The song was one of Cooper's biggest hit singles in the United States, peaking at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, while peaking at number 2 in the UK Singles Chart, only being held off the top spot by the dance record, "Swing the Mood" by Jive Bunny & the Mastermixers. "Poison" is one of Alice Cooper's best known songs. It is ranked by Billboard as the "91st top song of 1989", while Ultimate Classic Rock ranked it as the "7th best Alice Cooper song", commenting "Poison sounds like a typical ’80s pop-metal number at times, but Cooper’s intensity brings it to a whole other level."[1]

The song is available as downloadable content (as part of the Alice Cooper pack or as a single) for use in the music video game Rock Band, and a re-recorded version is also available as downloadable content for Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.

Music video[edit]

There are three versions of the video to the song, one of which shows Alice Cooper being chained to a bizarre mechanism and singing while a ghostly woman looms over him. The original video had to be censored for showings during the day, due to shots of model Rana Kennedy topless (Rana Kennedy plays the roles of both women in the video). The portions in question were redone with her wearing a corset to cover her breasts. A final third cut utilizes alternate takes of Alice during the final refrain of the song, leading to the end (this version seemed to receive the most airplay on MTV). The aesthetic of the video borrowed heavily from the Hellraiser movies, which were very popular at the time. The studios in which the video was filmed in spring of 1989 have since been torn down and are now a parking lot in Los Angeles. The video is still often played on VH1 Classic's Metal Mania.

Cover versions[edit]

  • "Poison" was the first single from the 2004 album 7 Years and 50 Days by German trance group Groove Coverage. It was also released as an EP.
  • "Poison" was one of the songs from the 2007 album My Winter Storm by Finnish singer Tarja Turunen.
  • The song was covered by Hayseed Dixie on their 2007 album Weapons of Grass Destruction.
  • A modified version of the song was featured in a February 2011 television ad campaign for the Volkswagen Passat.[2] A man is shown driving his new Passat, presumably returning home from work. A series of fortuitous events accompanies his drive: an attractive woman smiles at him as he passes by; a traffic light turns green as he nears an intersection; a policeman pulling vehicles over for inspection allows him to pass; the barrier-gate at the entrance to an underground parking garage rises upon his arrival; and a parking space is vacated just as he approaches. In the final scene, he throws an empty disposable coffee cup at a trash can but misses.[3] The lyrics sung by the driver are, "I run this road / And I rule the world / Look at me baby and now give me a smile (That's nice) / Let there be green light cos I need to make it on time / There's a police man but he'll let me go by (Thank you sir) / Outside my building I want this gate to be / Open / I find the perfect parking spot / Poison / I can never miss this shot."
  • "Poison" is Track 1 of the 2016 album Sequins and C-Bombs by Southampton rock act The Lounge Kittens.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[4] 3
Austria Singles Chart[5] 3
Canadian RPM Top Singles [6] 39
Dutch Top 40[7] 10
Germany Singles Chart[8] 25
Irish Singles Chart[9] 2
Norwegian chart[10] 3
UK Singles Chart[11] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[12] 7


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[13] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[14] Gold 50,000^
Sweden (GLF)[15] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] Silver 200,000^
United States (RIAA)[17] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Top 10 Alice Cooper Songs". Ultimate Classic Rock. 2016-02-04. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  2. ^ "Volkswagen Passat: It gets into you". Adsoftheworld.com. Mediabistro.com. February 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
  3. ^ "Passat". Volkswagen Israel. February 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
  4. ^ ""Poison" Australian chart progression". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  5. ^ ""Austrian Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" Austriancharts.at. Retrieved on August 10, 2009."
  6. ^ http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/films-videos-sound-recordings/rpm/Pages/image.aspx?Image=nlc008388.6623&URLjpg=http%3a%2f%2fwww.collectionscanada.gc.ca%2fobj%2f028020%2ff4%2fnlc008388.6623.gif&Ecopy=nlc008388.6623
  7. ^ ""Nederlandse Top 40 - 21 OKTOBER 2011 - WEEK 42 - Poison"" www.top40.nl. Retrieved on September 8, 2011."
  8. ^ ""German Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" musicline.de. Retrieved on August 11, 2009."
  9. ^ ""Irish Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" irishcharts.com. Retrieved on August 11, 2009."
  10. ^ ""Norwegian Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved on August 11, 2009."
  11. ^ ""Poison" UK Chart progression". www.chartstats.com. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  12. ^ "Poison chart history on Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  13. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1993 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association.
  14. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Alice Cooper – Poison". Music Canada.
  15. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden.
  16. ^ "British single certifications – Alice Cooper – Poison". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Poison in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  17. ^ "American single certifications – Alice Cooper – Poison". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]