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The Essential Michael Bolton

Michael Bolton

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Album Review

At two discs and 32 songs, 2006's The Essential Michael Bolton is by far the most comprehensive Michael Bolton collection ever assembled; at 17 tracks, the previous Bolton comp, 1995's Greatest Hits 1985-1995, was nearly half the size of this set. Longer isn't necessarily better, at least as far as the average Bolton fan is concerned, since every one of Bolton's biggest hits is on the 1995 collection. In the decade that followed the release of Greatest Hits, Michael Bolton was a fairly regular fixture on the Adult Contemporary charts but had only one hit that crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100 — "Go the Distance" in 1997 — which means that there wasn't much from the late '90s and 2000s that crossed into the popular consciousness the way that "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You," "How Can We Be Lovers," and "Said I Loved You...But I Lied" did. Anyone just wanting those hits, along with other '80s and early-'90s singles as "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" and "Soul Provider," would be better off with Greatest Hits, but listeners who want to dig a little deeper into that classic era and the years that followed are well-served by The Essential Michael Bolton, which covers both eras equally by serving up all the big hits (minus "Love Is a Wonderful Thing," which has been written out of Bolton's history) and selected album tracks.

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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The Essential Michael Bolton, Michael Bolton
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