35 Years Ago: Poison Defy Doubts With ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’
Poison scored the only No. 1 single of their career with 1988’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” despite deep misgivings from radio programmers.
Poison was already a household name, having several songs in the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 20, including “Talk Dirty to Me” (No. 9), “I Won’t Forget You” (No. 13), “Nothin’ But a Good Time” (No. 6) and “Fallen Angel” (No. 12). Still, a chart-topping track eluded them.
"We had had great luck with 'I Won't Forget You,' but that one didn't start with an acoustic kind of country-esque Eagles Americana feel," Bret Michaels told the Arizona Republic, describing how “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” was a tougher sell than the group’s previous single. "I said, 'Please, this song is from the heart.'"
Despite Michaels’ pleas, few radio stations showed interest in playing Poison’s power ballad. That is until a cluster of stations in Dallas decided to put the song into rotation. “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” then “went No. 1 like a freight train,” Michaels added.
"No one believed in this song, and we just kept at it," he added. "Then, suddenly, everyone's like, 'Oh, we always knew this was a No. 1 song – and I'm like, 'Yeah, that's because it's a No. 1 song now.' I said, 'Three months ago, you guys wanted to take it off the record.'"
Decades later, “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” remained one of Poison’s signature tunes. According to Setlist.fm, it ranks as the third most played song during the band’s concerts.
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Gallery Credit: Matthew Wilkening
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