Poison Ivy (song)
|Single by The Coasters|
|B-side||"I'm a Hog for You"|
|Recorded||July 16, 1959|
|Genre||Rock and roll|
|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, #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and #15 in the UK. This was their third top-ten hit of that year following "Charlie Brown" and "Along Came Jones".
The song discusses a girl known as "Poison Ivy". 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". According to lyricist Jerry Leiber, "Pure and simple, 'Poison Ivy' is a metaphor for a sexually transmitted disease".
- 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.
- Redbone released a version in 1972 on their album Already Here.
- 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.
- Ian Gillan & The Javelins played it in the '60s, then reunited and recorded it for the Sole Agency and Representation album in 1994.
- 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, is 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
- Golden Boys – in Portuguese, as "Erva Venenosa", in 1965. Covered by Brazilian pop band Herva Doce in 1982, and Rita Lee on her album 3001 in 2000.
- 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."
- Leiber & Stoller interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 125.
- Leiber and Mike Stoller with David Ritz, Jerry (2009). Hound Dog: The Leiber & Stoller Autobiography. Simon & Schuster. p. 141. ISBN 978-1-4165-5938-2.
- "The Dave Clark Five". unknown. c.late 90s–2000s. Archived from the original on 2009-10-24. Retrieved 2009-02-24. Check date values in:
- 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. Check date values in:
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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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