“Swallow This Live” (remaster) by Poison

Artist: Poison
Title: “Swallow This Live” (remaster)
Label: Capitol Records
Release Date: 6/1/2004
Genre: Glam Rock
Rating: 3.75/5

The remaster for Poison’s first-ever live album actually preceded the remastered editions of their original canon by a couple of years and I was initially surprised that they it that way. Perhaps the larger powers that be felt by watching the response to the live recordings re-issue would help in the determination of whether or not to deliver the original three studio efforts. Of course, perhaps none of this was the case and we would have seen them eventually given the fact that labels are always looking to keep their artist roster in the fans eyes in a manner that keeps them earning money. That being said, the re-issue of Poison’s original 1991 release is slightly different from the one that first hit the shelves and the most noticeable change is the fact that the remaster is now a single disc while it was originally a double. This might alarm the most ardent fan of the group since that second CD allowed for the concert to have a drum solo and for the band to present to their listeners four new studio tunes. With the single CD version both the drum solo and the new tunes have been omitted on the remaster so if you already cannot live with this fact then I suggest you avoid this purchase and stop reading immediately. Otherwise you are welcome to continue along. I never had the original version of this release and cannot recall ever hearing the studio tunes so it didn’t bother me all that much. They are bound to turn up somewhere else eventually.

Despite the changes to the format this is still a rousing concert piece from Poison’s most viable years and since it celebrates those first three albums there is not a single tune on it that any Glam Rock fan was not completely aware of already. Of the albums sixteen numbers I counted no less than nine tracks that I recalled having videos airing on MTV which was still a valuable and valid medium to the Rock and Metal scene at the time of this initial release. That’s changed very dramatically of course but fortunately for many of the fans out there it is still business as usual for Poison in this modern age. When the recording of “Swallow This Live” was delivered it was also a slight end of a particular chapter in music history as we were now in the throes of the Grunge Rock movement as bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam eliminated the glitz and over the top showmanship in Rock and instead lamented about the world and won over the hearts and minds of the industry. While I liked many of that era’s bands it seemed as though if you were discontent with life and had a band that you would secure a recording deal. If you had big hair and even bigger guitars and a show, you were avoided like the plague. Go figure. This was also the closing of a chapter in the history of Poison as guitarist C.C. DeVille would leave the lineup and pursue a solo career. He formed The Stepmothers which I vaguely remember disliking while Poison replaced him with Richie Kotzen. The wild coiffed guitarist would eventually return to join Bret, Rikki and Bobby and the band has been touring regularly since. They’ve also released a couple of live DVD’s as well as some new studio efforts to keep the momentum going.

If you’ve never owned the original version of this CD and can manage without the studio tracks and drum solo then you should like this based on its being an energetic representation of the band when they were still on top of their game during that part of music history. Each song sounds much more interesting in the live sense and could possibly even win over those who were naysayers to their sound. I say this as I was not all that into them when they first arrived and call myself a fan now. They did change the closing tune from how the band usually ends their gigs to be “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” as opposed to the very KISS-like “Nothin’ But A Good Time”, but for me that is just a cosmetic change that lets the bands super signature tune be the last thing the listener enjoys. The booklet included offers up several photos from the band in concert and one has to wonder if any video of this show is hidden away somewhere. I would surely be interested in seeing that. That being said, if you want to enjoy some good old fashioned Glam Rock, then this is a great piece to add to your collection.

Track Listing:
1. Intro
2. Look What The Cat Dragged In
3. Look But You Cant Touch
4. Let It Play
5. Good Love
6. Life Goes On
7. Ride The Wind
8. I Want Action
9. Unskinny Bop
10. Something To Believe In
11. Love On The Rocks
12. Fallen Angel
13. Your Mama Don’t Dance
14. Nothin’ But A Good Time
15. Talk Dirty To Me
16. Every Rose Has It’s Thorn

Official Website: http://www.poisonweb.com

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