For Bret Michaels, it begins with Jammin' With Friends, a collection that is filled with such contempt that it doesn't hide the fact that 25% of the songs presented have been released on other albums, while the record makes no mention of this and isn't considered a compilation or collection of previously released songs.
Which comes in handy with Michaels' penchant for re-recording Poison songs and presenting them as solo offerings, a trick that he has done multiple times in the past and will continue to do as long as there are casinos who book him for solo shows.
Again, none of this really matters and the lack of a rating for Jammin' With Friends is not a reflection of Michaels' career decisions, but on how a man who obviously cares a lot about his "brand" would release an album that is ultimately deserving of career suicide. This is a record in which even Bret's most loyal fan base could view it as a reason to jump ship to a young country star and have all of the eye candy and all of their natural hair.
Speaking of, Jammin' With Friends does feature "countrified" versions of old Poison songs, including two versions of "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," with one featuring octogenarian Loretta Lynn. For some inexplicable reason, Michaels' also enlists the help of Aerosmith's Joe Perry on the track.
You're getting the idea of the record's gimmick by now: 20 songs, 5 previously released, 4 songs that are duplicated in this record alone, 3 cover songs, and every fucking one of them featuring a pointless cameo from another performer.
Fucktard Jimmy Buffett helps out with two of 'em, one entitled "The App Song" (swear to God) and the other, of course, being "Margaritaville," which sounds like a soundboard recording from a Buffett show in Detroit where Michaels' was playing at the local casino that same night a dropped over to stagebomb Jimmy's larger show. There is no evidence that the recording even came from a Michaels' concert, unless I've missed the boat where Bret now employs steel drum players for his solo set.
With no redeeming value and nothing to add to Michaels' brand, Jammin' With Friends instead presents Bret as an opportunistic leech, using his limited notoriety to annoy others into contributing to his boutique releases that seem to feature an endless parade of pouty-lipped glamour shots, airbrushed to knock 20 years off his 50 year-old face and marketed to the same housewives who have become alienated from real rock music.
Jammin' With Friends is such an afterthought that it even took Michaels a fucking year to come up with that shitty title, originally listed as Get Your Rock On before becoming Good Song and Great Good Friends before becoming the abysmal release that you see before you today.
In a fair and just world, Jammin' With Friends would become the nail in Bret Michael's coffin, a career-ending affair that would leave him so tainted that even C.C. DeVille won't return his phone calls.
Now that's something to believe in.