Poison (Alice Cooper song)

Last updated
Poison (Alice Cooper).jpg
Single by Alice Cooper
from the album Trash
B-side "Trash"
Released7 July 1989
Genre Heavy metal, hard rock, glam metal
Label Epic
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. "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

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

Chart positions

Weekly Charts

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

Year-end charts

Chart (1989)Position
United States (Billboard) [15] [16] 91



RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA) [17] Platinum70,000^
Canada (Music Canada) [18] Gold50,000^
Sweden (GLF) [19] Gold25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) [20] Gold400,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png
United States (RIAA) [21] Gold500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
Double-dagger-14-plain.pngsales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Related Research Articles

Touch Me (The Doors song) song by The Doors

"Touch Me" is a song by the Doors from their album The Soft Parade. Written by Robby Krieger, it is notable for its extensive usage of brass and string instruments, including a solo by featured saxophonist Curtis Amy. Ray Manzarek played harpsichord and organ on the song; he also interpolated the guitar riff from the 1967 Four Seasons song "C'mon Marianne" in his part. The song is also noted for the last sung line, "stronger than dirt", which was taken from a contemporary Ajax commercial.

<i>Trash</i> (Alice Cooper album) 1989 studio album by Alice Cooper

Trash is the eleventh studio album released by Alice Cooper in 1989. The album features the single "Poison", Cooper's first top ten hit since his single "You And Me" in 1977 and marked a great success in Cooper's musical career, reaching the Top 20 of various album charts and selling more than two million copies. Trash is the first Alice Cooper album to feature John McCurry on guitar, Hugh McDonald on bass, and Bobby Chouinard on drums.

Sunday Morning (Maroon 5 song) 2004 single by Maroon 5

"Sunday Morning" is a song by American pop rock band Maroon 5. It was released on November 8, 2004, as the fourth single from their debut studio album Songs About Jane (2002). The single peaked at number 31 in the United States becoming Maroon 5's fourth Top 40 single; it also peaked at number 27 in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Schools Out (song) original song written and composed by Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway, Alice Cooper, Neal Smith

"School's Out" is a 1972 song first recorded as the title track single of Alice Cooper's fifth album and written by the Alice Cooper band.

When I See You Smile 1989 single by Bad English

"When I See You Smile" is a song written by Diane Warren and performed by American/British band Bad English. It was released in September 1989 as the second single taken from their self-titled debut album of the same name, released in 1989. The power ballad became the band's only U.S. number one hit when it peaked there in the fall of 1989 for two weeks.

Saturday in the Park (song) 1972 single by Chicago

"Saturday in the Park" is a song written by Robert Lamm and recorded by the group Chicago for their 1972 album Chicago V.

Tell It Like It Is (song) 1966 single by Aaron Neville

"Tell It Like It Is" is a song written by George Davis and Lee Diamond and originally recorded and released in 1966 by Aaron Neville. In 2010, the song was ranked No. 391 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Welcome to the Black Parade single by My Chemical Romance

"Welcome to the Black Parade" is a song from My Chemical Romance's third studio album, The Black Parade. It was released on September 12, 2006 as the album's lead single, with the studio version available on the band's Myspace on September 2, 2006. The music video for the single was recognized as MTV's "Greatest Music Video of the Century" in 2017. The cover art of the single is the only artwork where the band appears, with the exception of the cover art for "The Ghost of You", where they are shown as silhouettes. Considered a modern day classic, it was named one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.

Alice Cooper discography discography

The discography of American rock artist Alice Cooper consists of 27 studio albums, 48 singles, 11 live albums, 21 compilation albums, 12 video releases, and an audiobook. Six of his studio albums have achieved platinum in the United States and three more have achieved gold.

Im Still Standing 1983 single by Elton John

"I'm Still Standing" is a song by British rock musician Elton John, from his Platinum-certified 1983 album, Too Low for Zero. John said this was "my reaction to still being relevant and successful in the early 1980s, post-punk and with the New Romantics creeping in."

The Boss (Diana Ross song) song by Diana Ross

"The Boss" is a 1979 song written and produced by Ashford & Simpson and recorded by singer Diana Ross, who released it as a single on the Motown label. It was the first release from the album of the same title (1979).

All Out of Love 1980 Air Supply song

"All Out of Love" is a song by the Australian soft rock duo Air Supply, released in 1980 from their fifth studio album Lost in Love. The song was written by Graham Russell & Clive Davis. In the United States, it reached number two on the Hot 100 and number 5 on the Adult Contemporary chart. In the UK, the song went to number 11 and is their only Top 40 hit in that country. It placed 92nd in VH1's list of the 100 Greatest Love Songs in 2003.

<i>Goin Coconuts</i> 1978 film by Howard Morris

Goin' Coconuts is a 1978 American musical adventure comedy film directed by Howard Morris and starring Donny and Marie Osmond. The feature film was released in theaters by Columbia Pictures on October 18, 1978. It was both a critical and commercial failure. Shooting took place in Oahu, Hawaii from March 31 to May 1978, during the annual production hiatus for the Osmonds' popular variety TV series. It was Ted Cassidy's final film appearance before his death in January 1979.

He Dont Love You (Like I Love You) 1960 single by Tony Orlando and Dawn

"He Don't Love You " is a 1975 No. 1 song in the United States sung by Tony Orlando and Dawn. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart on May 3, 1975, and remained there for three weeks. The song also went to No. 1 on the US adult contemporary chart for one week in 1975. It was later certified Gold by the RIAA.

Rock Witcha 1989 single by Bobby Brown

"Rock Wit'cha" was the fifth and final single released by Bobby Brown from the album Don't Be Cruel. It is a ballad with two versions of the song. The music video uses the remix version found in the Dance!...Ya Know It! album. It peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 in late 1989.

The discography of Jodeci, an American R&B group, consists of four studio albums, three compilation albums, thirteen singles, and thirteen music videos. The group was signed by Uptown Records after submitting a demo tape during a trip to New York. In 1991, they released their debut album, Forever My Lady, which peaked at number eighteen on the Billboard 200, and topped the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart in the United States. On April 28, 1995, the album was certified triple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album produced five singles, three of which topped the US R&B/Hip-Hop Songs: "Forever My Lady", "Stay", and "Come and Talk to Me". The last of these was certified gold by the RIAA.

All Night Long (Joe Walsh song) 1980 single by Joe Walsh

"All Night Long" is a song by Joe Walsh, the guitarist for the Eagles. It became one of Walsh's best charting singles. A live version of the song was included on the Eagles Live album. It also appears in the soundtrack to the film Urban Cowboy.

Do You Wanna Make Love 1977 single by Peter McCann

"Do You Wanna Make Love" is a song written and performed by Peter McCann, an American songwriter. It reached #5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #22 on the adult contemporary chart in 1977. The song was featured on his 1977 album, Peter McCann. In Canada, the song failed to reach the Top 40, however, reached #10 on the Adult Contemporary chart. In South Africa, the song reached #1.

Passion (Rod Stewart song) 1980 song performed by Rod Stewart

"Passion" is a song by Rod Stewart that first appeared in 1980 on his album Foolish Behaviour. It was the lead single and greatest hit from the album.

I Was Made for Dancin 1978 song performed by Leif Garrett

"I Was Made for Dancin'" is a song written by Michael Lloyd and performed by Leif Garrett. It reached #4 on the UK Singles Chart, #10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #38 on the US adult contemporary chart. It also reached #2 in Australia, #10 in Germany, and #12 in Japan. The song, produced by Lloyd and arranged by John D'Andrea, was featured on his 1978 album, Feel the Need.


  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. "1989 The Year in Music: Top Pop Singles". Billboard. 101 (51): Y-22. December 23, 1989.
  16. "Billboard Top 100 – 1989".
  17. The ARIA Report. 10. ARIA. 18 March 1990. p. 4.
  18. "Canadian single certifications – Alice Cooper – Poison". Music Canada.
  19. "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden.
  20. "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.
  21. "American single certifications – Alice Cooper – Poison". Recording Industry Association of America.If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.