Friday, February 26, 2021

#34 Michael Bolton

Our journey through the 1991 Pro Set MusiCards SuperStars set takes us next to #34 Michael Bolton. He's giving us his sultry stare as we admire that bold hair choice. Mid-age women really went bonkers for that look back then, I guess. Haha

I'll admit that there was a brief moment when I was a kid that I regarded his "How Can We Be Lovers (If We Can't Be Friends)" as a pretty cool song. But that was fleeting and he soon became a target for everyone to rag on.

But hey, the guy can sing and to his credit he laughed it off all the way to the bank. Only Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 was a bigger album in 1990 per Billboard.

It's funny that he started out as a hard rock singer before transitioning into the power crooning he's best known for.

"Maybe it's the Power of Love" is the most popular track from his early rock band Blackjack. 

Sure, let's whip up a custom for them. Checking out their stuff for the first time now while drafting this post... Yeah, these guys seem to have put out some solid late 70s/ early 80s pop rock. I can dig it. You could picture them opening for the likes of Boston and Aerosmith back then. But I guess they just never got their big break and Michael eventually focused on catering to the ladies with soulful ballads.

That seemed to work out well for him. "Bolton's achievements include selling more than 75 million records, recording eight top 10 albums and two number-one singles on the Billboard charts, as well as winning six American Music Awards and two Grammy Awards." (wikipedia)

He still cranks out an album every few years. Folks in my demographic probably remember him best these days thanks to the film Office Space (where an unhappy character is stuck with also being named Michael Bolton) and the Lonely Island, with whom he guested on a funny Pirates of the Caribbean song that was featured on Saturday Night Live. He also released an amusing special on Netflix in 2017 titled Michael Bolton's Big, Sexy Valentine's Day Special.

Cool that he doesn't take himself too seriously.

Today's his 68th birthday, so I'm rushing to get this post finished in time to publish today. You know, my little cap-tip to the guy. lol

He's also got a card in the UK edition of the MusiCards set, so assuming this blog keeps motoring along, we'll eventually revisit him again on here in a few years.

Can any of you muster up any feelings one way or the other to share about Michael Bolton? If so, go ahead and leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading. Mr. Robert Barisford Brown is next up.


  1. I know I'm familiar with him but I can't think of any specific songs off the top of my head. Q

  2. Ugh, ugh, ugh ... I did like "Steel Bars" the first time I heard it. But mostly I wanted him OFF MY RADIO.

  3. The weird thing about his hard rock background is that when he first started doing the soft stuff, album rock stations played him! His version of "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay" was a pretty big hit at album rock radio. Nowadays if a classic rock station played it they'd lose their audience.

    My Michael Bolton story is this, and apologies if I've told it before. In 1992 I got tickets for the big Bob Dylan tribute concert at Madison Square Garden. Bolton had recently released "Steel Bars", which was co-written by Dylan. (It is also, in my view, the only song in the world which doesn't sound like a Bob Dylan song if you sing it in a Bob Dylan voice.) With Bolton on the Columbia label which was organizing the concert, I thought for sure he'd come out and do "Steel Bars". I would have to see Michael Bolton live and have a permanent stain on my live concert history. Happily, though, he didn't end up taking part in the show. Dodged that bullet.

    EXCEPT...the following month I went to a Clinton-Gore rally at the Meadowlands, a couple days before the election--and guess who comes out to sing "When I'm Back On My Feet Again"? So, yes, I now an legally obligated to disclose that I've seen Michael Bolton perform live.

  4. How Can We Be Lovers (If We Can't Be Friends was okay. If I had to pick a song of his to listen to... it would be that one or the Jack Sparrow one. At the end of the day, I've never owned any of his albums and he's currently not on any of my Spotify playlists.

  5. As much as I'd like to say that I "celebrate the guy's entire catalog" all I can say is that he gave us some great moments in Office Space.

  6. I knew him as a hard rock singer first. MTV played the crap out of "Fools Game" back in the early 80's. He couldn't sell any records doing rock but sold a TON doing Adult Contemporary.