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Michael Bolton

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Album Review

The former Michael Bolotin changed his name but not his style on his initial effort for Columbia Records. Bolton had essayed hard-edged arena rock with his band Blackjack, and here he did much the same thing, shout-singing in his emotive whiskey bellow over slashing guitar power chords (frequently courtesy of Blackjack's Bruce Kulick and his brother Bob), icy keyboard fills, angelic backup choirs, and thundering rhythm sections, all intended to fill the hockey auditoriums of America alongside Journey and Foreigner. For all the clichés, Bolton was an undeniably involving singer, and songs like "Fools Game," the lead-off track and chart single, were satisfying pop efforts that suggested he might offer some competition to emerging mainstream rockers like Bryan Adams. As things would turn out, of course, the true key track was the cover of the Supremes' "Back in My Arms Again."

Biography

Born: 26 February 1953 in New Haven, CT

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter Michael Bolton had an extensive (though not very successful) career under his real name, Michael Bolotin, before emerging in the mid-'80s as a major soft rock balladeer. He first turned up on RCA Records in the mid-'70s, singing cover tunes and his own blue-eyed soul songs in a gruff, Joe Cocker-like voice. Neither record buyers nor critics were much interested by the result. He then became the lead singer of Blackjack, a heavy metal band that made two albums for Polydor before...
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