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Open Up and Say...Ahh!

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  • After doing a more or less straight cover of KISS’s “Rock And Roll All Nite” for the Less Than Zero soundtrack, the bad boys of Poison released their second album, Open Up And Say Ahh!, which got into a bit of a controversy because of the album cover. So what’s the big deal about a scraggly haired demonic green-eyed woman with a long tongue sticking out? Apparently a lot to the censorship folks. The edited album cover was a narrow strip that merely showed the eyes and orange slightly below and above. Fortunately, I manged to snag the unedited cover.”Love On The Rocks” recalls Motley Crue and Cinderella, only not as hard as those two groups, but a good enough dose of rock and roll and swaggering bedroom antics. Another track Diamond Dave would be proud of.”Nothin’ But A Good Time” was a good choice for the first single although not as rowdy as the first single from their debut. The theme of blowing one’s hard-earned money for a good time to compensate for an unsatisfying job is shown clearly here. The part before the final chorus run-through is a favorite. After CC’s solo, comes the rhythmic thumping of the drums in measured time.Going “Back To The Rocking Horse” seems like a good idea to me. After a brief been-there, done-that explanation, the narrator longs not only for a simpler time but to start all over again. Gosh, the things I’d do if I had the chance, and the world had better look out! A worthy rocker.A bluesy harmonica and beats owing nods to to “Sweet Emotion” and “Walk This Way” is displayed on “Good Love,” which is to the girl of the song what petrol is to a car. The lifestyle led by the couple in this leads neighbours saying “the things you’re doing ain’t natural, boy.”The naughtiest and hardest rocking non-single track here is “Look But You Can’t Touch” about his trying to seduce a young thing who later doesn’t seem quite as innocent as all that. When he sings “I didn’t plan on spending money just to get a piece of mind”, he emphasizes the word “mind”, making me think, “Yeah, as opposed to something rhyming with mass.” The guitar squeals in time when he sings that he gets slapped in face for making an illegal move. “Fallen Angel”, the second single, is about a small-town girl whose dreams of show business includes a life in the fast lane, “rolling the dice of her life.”A heartfelt sigh opens the heartbreaking “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”, their first #1 song and a mature ballad looking back at a blown chance to make or break a relationship. After words like “like the knife that cuts you/the wound heals, but the scar, that scar remains,” I thought, “And these guys did ‘Talk Dirty To Me’ two years ago?” This really set the standard for their other great ballad, Flesh & Blood’s “Something To Believe In”Then comes a cover of Loggins and Messina’s “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” which is good old fashioned rock and roll from the 70’s. By the time this single came out, hard on the heels of the previous one, the album had run its course, hence its failing to make the Top Ten.Things get slower, the sound lacking the ferocity of Look What The Cat Dragged In, which results in a few filler tracks, compensated for by “Every Rose…” but Bret Michael’s swaggering bad-boy, play all night with beautiful women tone, is still here. Worthy followup to their debut. And when is EMI going to reissue that original cover for everyone?

    Posted on November 23, 2009