Crack a Smile... and More!

Last updated
Crack a Smile... and More!
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 14, 2000
Recorded1994–1995 at Devonshire Studios, Hollywood, California
Genre Glam metal, hard rock
Label Capitol
Producer John Purdell & Duane Baron
Poison chronology
Poison's Greatest Hits: 1986–1996
Crack a Smile... and More!
Power to the People
Singles from Crack a Smile... and More!
  1. "Shut Up, Make Love"
    Released: January 2000
  2. "Be the One"
    Released: February 2000
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [1]
Melody Maker Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [2]

Crack a Smile... and More! is the fifth studio album from the American hard rock band Poison. The record was released on March 14, 2000. The album features guitarist Blues Saraceno, who was hired as the band's new lead guitarist following the firing of Richie Kotzen in late 1993. Saraceno appeared on the band's last album release Poison's Greatest Hits: 1986–1996 in 1996, which featured two new tracks with him on lead guitar. Those two new tracks re-appear on this album along with thirteen new songs and five bonus tracks. The album moved around 12,000 copies in its first week of release to debut at #131 on The Billboard 200 album chart. [3]

Hard rock is a loosely defined subgenre of rock music that began in the mid-1960s, with the garage, psychedelic and blues rock movements. It is typified by a heavy use of aggressive vocals, distorted electric guitars, bass guitar, drums, and often accompanied with keyboards.

Poison (American band) American glam metal band

Poison is an American rock band which achieved commercial success in the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s and has sold over 45 million records. The band has charted ten singles in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, including six Top 10 singles and the Hot 100 number-one, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn". The band's breakthrough debut album, the multi-platinum Look What the Cat Dragged In, was released in 1986, followed by Open Up and Say... Ahh!, which was certified 5× platinum in the US. Their third consecutive multi-platinum selling album was Flesh & Blood.

Blues Saraceno is an American rock guitarist, composer and music producer, currently residing in Los Angeles, California. He was discovered by Guitar for the Practicing Musician magazine at the age of 16, which assisted him in releasing instrumental recordings on an independent basis. Saraceno's high profile as a gifted guitar virtuoso and musician opened the doors to an early career as a first-call guitar sideman and session musician. Saraceno is most often recognized from his time playing with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker (Cream) as well as his brief tenure with the rock band Poison. Saraceno's early success in the music industry would eventually blossom into a career in producing and composing for television and film.


Musical style

Crack a Smile, while replete with guitar performances comparable with those on Poison's previous studio record, Native Tongue , contains few traces of the seriousness of that record.

<i>Native Tongue</i> (Poison album) 1993 studio album by Poison

Native Tongue is the fourth studio album by American hard rock band Poison, released in 1993 through Capitol Records. It peaked at #16 on the Billboard 200, #20 on the UK Albums Chart and was certified Gold by the RIAA on April 21, 1993. It has also been certified by CAN platinum. The album features new lead guitarist Richie Kotzen. Kotzen was hired as the band's guitarist following the firing of C.C. DeVille in late 1991. The album features the singles "Stand", "Until You Suffer Some " and "Body Talk".

Production and marketing

The life cycle of Crack a Smile, which began in 1994, was brought to an abrupt halt in May 1994, when vocalist Bret Michaels lost control of his Ferrari. Michaels suffered a broken nose, ribs, jaw and fingers, and lost four teeth. [4]

Bret Michaels American musician, actor, director, screenwriter, producer and reality television personality

Bret Michael Sychak, professionally known as Bret Michaels, is an American singer-songwriter and musician. He gained fame as the lead singer of the glam metal band Poison who have sold over 40 million records worldwide and 15 million records in the United States alone. The band has also charted 10 singles to the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, including six Top 10 singles and a number-one single, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn".

Ferrari Italian sports car manufacturer

Ferrari is an Italian luxury sports car manufacturer based in Maranello. Founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1939 out of Alfa Romeo's race division as Auto Avio Costruzioni, the company built its first car in 1940. However, the company's inception as an auto manufacturer is usually recognized in 1947, when the first Ferrari-badged car was completed.

After his recovery, the band continued recording in 1995. However, to the group's dismay, Capitol Records had by this time decided to put the album "on hold", and instead released a Greatest Hits record in 1996. [5] It was not until March 14, 2000 that the record was finally released. The album's eventual release was prompted by strong fan demand, with promotional copies and bootlegs selling for $50 or more. In order to compete with the bootleg release, Capitol took the unusual step of throwing in additional bonus tracks to the album. The bootleg version of the album contained the original 12 album tracks, 6 songs from Poison's MTV Unplugged performance, and their cover of the Kiss classic "Rock and Roll All Nite." The final version of the album, titled Crack a Smile... and More!, contained the original 12 album tracks, two studio outtakes, one unnamed demo, "Face the Hangman" (previously released only as a B-side on European singles for "Every Rose Has Its Thorn"), and four of the songs from MTV Unplugged .

<i>MTV Unplugged</i> American music television series featuring artists playing acoustic instruments

MTV Unplugged is an American television series on MTV showcasing musical artists usually playing acoustic instruments. The show aired regularly from 1989 to 1999. The show aired less frequently from 2000 to 2009, usually billed as MTV Unplugged No. 2.0. Since 2009 MTV Unplugged specials have aired occasionally, sometimes online-only. Episodes and specials have tended to showcase one artist or group, playing a combination of their hit songs and covers.

Kiss (band) American band

Kiss is an American rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley. Well known for its members' face paint and stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid-to-late 1970s with their elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, and pyrotechnics. The band has gone through several lineup changes, with Stanley and Simmons the only remaining original members. The original and best-known lineup consisted of Stanley, Simmons, Frehley, and Criss.

Rock and Roll All Nite 1975 single by Kiss

"Rock and Roll All Nite" is a song by American hard rock band Kiss, originally released on their 1975 album Dressed to Kill. It was released as the A-side of their fifth single, with the album track "Getaway". The studio version of the song peaked at No. 68 on the Billboard singles chart, besting the band's previous charting single, "Kissin' Time" (#89). A subsequent live version, released as a single in October 1975, eventually reached No. 12 in early 1976, the first of six Top 20 songs for Kiss in the 1970s. "Rock and Roll All Nite" became Kiss's signature song and has served as the group's closing concert number in almost every concert since 1976. In 2008 it was named the 16th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.

Saraceno was given considerable creative freedom and his writing and performing contributions dominated the album. The album's studio tracks were recorded at Devonshire Studios, Hollywood, California. Saraceno plays on these new songs (tracks 1-15), and original guitarist C.C. DeVille plays on the remaining bonus tracks, which are tracks recorded before this time. The songs "Sexual Thing" and "Lay Your Body Down" were first released on Poison's Greatest Hits: 1986-1996 album as bonus new tracks. [6]

C.C. DeVille American musician

C.C. DeVille is the lead guitarist of the multi-platinum-selling glam metal band Poison. His work with the band has sold over 45 million records worldwide, including 15 million in the United States. He named himself after his favorite car, the Cadillac Coupe Deville.


"Shut Up, Make Love", which is the first single presented to radio stations, is a raunchy party anthem. "Be the One" (second promo single) and "Lay Your Body Down" are classic power ballads. "Best Thing You Ever Had" brings harmonica and piano to the forefront, while guitarist Blues Saraceno lives up to his name on "Mr. Smiley" and "That's the Way I Like It." The band goes all-out punk on "Doin' as I Seen on My TV," returning to vintage Poison on "Sexual Thing," and "Baby Gets Around a Bit". It also delivers an inebriated version of Dr. Hook's "Cover of the Rolling Stone."

Shut Up, Make Love 2000 single by Poison

"Shut Up, Make Love" is a song by American rock band Poison; released in 2000, it was the first single presented to radio stations from their 2000 Crack a Smile...and More! album. The song also appears on the second promo single "Be the One" as a B-side. Crack a Smile is Poison's fifth studio album, released on March 14, 2000, and charting at #131 on The Billboard 200. The song was the first Poison single with lead guitarist Blues Saraceno.

"Be the One" is a power ballad by American rock band Poison. The song was released as the second single from their 2000 Crack a Smile...and More! album. The single/sampler was released in February 2000 and featured five b-sides including the first single from the album "Shut Up, Make Love" and the four unplugged bonus tracks from the album: "Every Rose Has Its Thorn", "Talk Dirty to Me", "Your Mama Don't Dance" and "Something to Believe In".

Track listing

1."Best Thing You Ever Had" Bret Michaels, Bobby Dall, Rikki Rockett, Blues Saraceno 4:19
2."Shut Up, Make Love"Michaels, Dall, Rockett, Saraceno3:52
3."Baby Gets Around a Bit"Michaels, Dall, Rockett, Saraceno3:37
4."Cover of the Rolling Stone" (Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show cover) Shel Silverstein 3:09
5."Be the One"Michaels, Dall, Rockett, Saraceno5:39
6."Mr. Smiley"Michaels, Dall, Rockett, Saraceno2:43
7."Sexual Thing"Michaels, Dall, Rockett, Saraceno3:38
8."Lay Your Body Down"Michaels, Dall, Rockett, Saraceno5:28
9."No Ring, No Gets"Michaels, Dall, Rockett, Saraceno3:27
10."That's the Way I Like It"Michaels, Dall, Rockett, Saraceno3:40
11."Tragically Unhip"Michaels, Dall, Rockett, Saraceno2:54
12."Doin' as I Seen on My TV"Michaels, Dall, Rockett, Saraceno2:53
13."One More for the Bone" (Outtake track)Michaels, Dall, Rockett, Saraceno3:18
14."Set You Free" (Outtake track)Michaels, Dall, Rockett, Saraceno3:56
15."Crack a Smile" (Unfinished demo)Michaels, Dall, Rockett, Saraceno3:46
Bonus tracks
16."Face the Hangman" (Outtake from Open Up and Say... Ahh! )Michaels, Dall, Rockett, C.C. DeVille 3:21
17."Your Mama Don't Dance" (Live on MTV Unplugged ) Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina 3:13
18."Every Rose Has Its Thorn" (Live on MTV Unplugged )Michaels, Dall, Rockett, DeVille4:38
19."Unskinny Bop" (Live on MTV Unplugged )Michaels, Dall, Rockett, DeVille4:02
20."Talk Dirty to Me" (Live on MTV Unplugged )Michaels, Dall, Rockett, DeVille4:06



Additional personnel

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