"Poison" was released on 6 March 1995 as the fourth and final single from their second studio album, Music for the Jilted Generation (1994). John Bush from AllMusic called the song "excellent" in his review of the Music for the Jilted Generation album. Larry Flick from Billboard stated that it "marks the rave outfit's first foray into hip-hop. He commented further that "it's an inspired move. The act's penchant for quirky loops and industrial sound effects melds perfectly with the track's approachable downtempo groove." He also described the track as a "juicy jam", voiced by new band member Maxim Reality. James Hunter from Vibe noted it as "an excellent post-techno techno thing that ought to become an enormous, obnoxious hit."
The packaging for the CD single follows a theme similar to the song: rat poison. The front cover features a box of said poison, the back shows a picture of a dead and decomposing rodent, and the CD itself has a rat superimposed onto it. The theme of rat poison ties into the music, as the official remix of the song is dubbed “Rat Poison”.
I wanted to bring Maxim into the picture a bit more and that track came together very well. He tried a few lyrical idea but they weren't working, then he came back with the Poison lyric which is not a rap or reggae or anything.
I like it, there were drug ambiguities in there as well, and as a result of the buzz that idea gave me, the track was finished very quickly. I really enjoyed writing it and it is a stand out track for me. It is a mix between hip-hop and techno and Maxim works perfect on there.
Ironically, that track is also perhaps the most autobiographical I have ever written. Hip-Hop was the first style of music I was really into and that track has a lot of that element.
Liam Howlett (Electronic Punks book by Martin Roach)
What Evil Lurks
Music For The Jilted Generation
The Fat Of The Land
Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned
Invaders Must Die
The Day Is My Enemy
The Day Is My Enemy (Expanded Edition)
The Night Is My Friend EP
More Music For The Jilted Generation
Their Law: The Singles 1990–2005
The Added Fat EP
Prodigy Present: The Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One
The Prodigy Experience - Expanded: Remixes & B-sides
Light Up The Sky
Back To Mine
Invaders Must Die EP
Smack My Bitch Up
Baby's Got A Temper
Everybody In The Place
Take Me To The Hospital
No Good (Start The Dance)
Out of Space
WInd It Up
Voodoo People / Out Of Space