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Cherry Pop

Title - 'Seven Days Live' (Eagle Records)
Artist - Poison

Poison's new CD "Seven Days Live," from the band's performance at London's Hammersmith Apollo is a very unusual and unexpected concert that the band would choose to release. One might expect Poison to release a CD from a more recent tour or release a CD/DVD from the 1990 "Flesh and Blood" tour, when the band was at its commercial peak. But a show from 1993 is totally surprising for a few reasons.

First, this line-up of Poison features guitarist Ritchie Kotzen, stepping in for C.C. Deville, who left Poison from 1991 to 1996. Kotzen made only one album with Poison, 1993's mature and bluesy "Native Tongue," before being fired for shagging drummer Rikki Rocket's fianc. It seems odd to release a CD/DVD with Kotzen, considering that his tenure in the band was so short lived and that the classic line-up of Poison, with C.C., is hands down the definitive version of the band.

Another reason a show from '93 is an unusual choice is that the set list relies heavily from the band's "Native Tongue" (1993) album. Although "Native Tongue" is a strong and well-written album, it was a relative failure. "Native Tongue" was the band's first album that failed to go platinum, winding up in the dreaded cut-out bin by the end of 1994!

All this taken into consideration, a show from 1993 is either desirable or undesirable, depending on what you're looking for. If you are a casual fan or a Poison purist, and want a show of all the hits, you may find yourself (a little) disappointed with this CD. As previously stated, a lot of the songs (nearly half) are from the "Native Tongue" album and many fans will probably be unfamiliar with that material. Also, Kotzen is far more technically proficient than C.C. Deville, and jazzes up the solos from the C.C. material, so purists may be put-off, or they may just be put off by seeing anyone but C.C. on lead guitar.

But other fans may get a lot out of this CD. I've seen Poison a few times in the last few years, and although I always enjoy the show, I am disappointed that they play virtually the same songs all the time. It's as though the band is frozen in 1990. While a Poison show in the '00s is still a lot of fun, it's most definitely a nostalgia act. With this DVD, it's great to see the band out promoting fresh material.

I really enjoyed the "Native Tongue" album, so it's great to hear those songs performed live, because the band nowadays certainly won't do it (although they have played "Stand" with C.C.) And while some fans may not like Kotzen's interpretations of the songs, I find them to be a refreshing change of pace.





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