MICHAEL BOLTON – Michael Bolton 1983 [Japanese CD reissue]

MICHAEL BOLTON - Michael Bolton 1983 [Japanese CD reissue] full

Michael Bolotin. The guy got the chance to record two (forgettable) albums in the ’70s, but a very promising songwriter. The he joined BlackJack and released two strong melodic albums.
But it was with this self-titled ”Michael Bolton” – now using his professional name MICHAEL BOLTON, where he really showcased all his potential – many songs on this album were covered later by other artists like Eric Martin, Axel Rudi Pell, etc.
It was 1983. It was time for radio-friendly rock, with catchy melodies and a smooth AOR sound.
Future Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick is the partner in crime here, but other luminaries from the genre like bro Bob Kulick, Aldo Nova, George Clinton, Mark Mangold (Drive She Said), Chuck Burgi (Rainbow), and more also perform.
This out of print Japanese reissue is from the late ’90s, and it sounds much better than the original early Nineties original CD release.

‘Michael Bolton’, the album, made the Top 100 best-sellers in 1983 mostly on the strength of “Fool’s Game”. That single like the bulk of the album sounded like the best corporate US rock of the day, but with more soulful and impassioned vocals.
Grandiose rockers like “Back in My Arms Again” and “Can’t Hold on, Can’t Let Go” followed the template of Foreigner, but it was clear that Bolton’s voice may have been too big for even his arena rock aspirations.

This self titled release has all the hallmarks of early ’80s AOR. It’s awash in keyboards that still sound fresh, slick guitar riffs, and that classic pumping melodies. It’s definitely as rock-AOR as Journey or REO ever were.
The sinfully catchy synthesizer riff of “Fools Game” makes this album worth for this song alone. It shines as not only the best on the LP, but one of the better AOR tracks ever recorded.
Other notable high points include “Hometown Hero” and “Paradise”.

For whatever reasons the album had only one single in “Fools Game”. A tour supporting the album was cut short after only a few shows. This may be why an album with more than a few chart-friendly songs was shelved so quickly.
Ironically, at the same time, “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” a ballad Bolton had co-written with Doug James, became a Top 40 hit for Laura Branigan.
While Bolton’s next album is our favorite with its mid-80s sound. “Michael Bolton” comes close.
Highly Recommended

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01 – Fools Game
02 – She Did The Same Thing
03 – Hometown Hero
04 – Can’t Hold On, Can’t Let Go
05 – Fighting For My Life
06 – Paradise
07 – Back In My Arms Again
08 – Carrie
09 – I Almost Believed You

Michael Bolton – lead and backing vocals, guitar
Bruce Kulick – lead guitar
Bob Kulick – rhythm guitar
Craig Brooks – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Mark Mangold – synthesizer, backing vocals
Jan Mullaney – piano, synthesizer, Hammond
Aldo Nova – synthesizer, guitar solo (7)
George Clinton – synthesizer, backing vocals
Doug Katsaros – piano
Mark Clarke – bass
Michael Braun – drums
Chuck Burgi – drums
Lloyd Landesman – backing vocals
Scott Zito – bass, guitar, keyboards


Out of Print

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