Poison – Bell Biv DeVoe | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#3) and R&B (#1 for 2 weeks); 1990

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

When New Edition founding member Bobby Brown left the group in 1986 and moved on to superstardom, critics speculated that NE’s days were numbered. With Johnny Gill on board, the group responded by reeling off five straight R&B hits before calling it quits.

Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe, who had stood in Bobby and Johnny’s shadows for years, formed Bell Biv DeVoe.

BBD’s new sound on their debut album featured an edgy blend of Hip-Hop and Rap elements, as exemplified by the title single, Poison.

Written by Elliott “Dr. Freeze” Straits, who also produced and played all the instruments, Poison quickly entered the Pop Top 10 in just six weeks, where it remained for ten. The album doubled the sales of any LP by New Edition, moving over four million units.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Dr. Freeze

Lyrics Written by:

  • Dr. Freeze