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 a topless model. Rana Kennedy plays the roles of both women in the video but the topless scene were shot with a body double.[2] This is notably visible in the video. A final third cut utilizes alternate takes of Cooper 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 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]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[5] 3
Austria Singles Chart[6] 3
Canadian RPM Top Singles [7] 39
Dutch Top 40[8] 10
Germany Singles Chart[9] 25
Irish Singles Chart[10] 2
Norwegian Chart[11] 3
New Zealand Chart[12] 2
UK Singles Chart[13] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[14] 7


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[15] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[16] Gold 50,000^
Sweden (GLF)[17] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] Gold 400,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[19] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Top 10 Alice Cooper Songs". Ultimate Classic Rock. 2016-02-04. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  2. ^ https://www.facebook.com/LouderNoiseTV/posts/hi-i-just-saw-your-80s-top-video-vixen-pick-list-funny-did-you-guys-write-that-g/1625004070849935/
  3. ^ "Volkswagen Passat: It gets into you". Adsoftheworld.com. Mediabistro.com. February 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
  4. ^ "Passat". Volkswagen Israel. February 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
  5. ^ ""Poison" Australian chart progression". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  6. ^ ""Austrian Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" Austriancharts.at. Retrieved on August 10, 2009."
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ ""Nederlandse Top 40 - 21 OKTOBER 2011 - WEEK 42 - Poison"" www.top40.nl. Retrieved on September 8, 2011."
  9. ^ ""German Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" musicline.de. Retrieved on August 11, 2009."
  10. ^ ""Irish Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" irishcharts.com. Retrieved on August 11, 2009."
  11. ^ ""Norwegian Singles Charts Search for Alice Cooper"" norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved on August 11, 2009."
  12. ^ ""ALICE COOPER - POISON (SONG)"" charts.nz. Retrieved on February 9, 2019."
  13. ^ ""Poison" UK Chart progression". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  14. ^ "Poison chart history on Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  15. ^ The ARIA Report. 10. ARIA. 18 March 1990. p. 4.
  16. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Alice Cooper – Poison". Music Canada.
  17. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden.
  18. ^ "British single certifications – Alice Cooper – Poison". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Poison in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  19. ^ "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]