1987 Michael Bolton – That’s What Love Is All About
Michael Bolotin recorded a pair of solo albums of hard rock music in 1975 and 1976. He decided to form an actual band, and Bruce Kulick agreed to join him. Michael was using Steve Weiss as his manager (Steve also managed Led Zeppelin) and Steve got Sandy Gennaro and Jimmy Haslip added to the group. The group called itself Blackjack.
The band signed with Polydor Records and recorded their first album in 1979. The album sold about 100,000 copies. Michael, Bruce, and Bruce’s brother (Bob) co-wrote all the songs on the album. The single Love Me Tonight peaked at #62 on the Hot 100 and was the only time they reached the chart.
A promotional video of the group performing the song gives us a glimpse of Michael as a rocker.
Blackjack recorded a second album in 1980, but low sales led to poor support from their label and the band broke up.
Michael changed his last name to Bolton, signed with Columbia Records, and recorded a new solo album in 1983. He released a single from the album, but it fell off the charts after reaching only #83 on the US Hot 100.
Laura Branigan recorded a song that Michael had written and her single, How Am I Supposed To Live Without You, made it up to #12 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart.
Michael recorded another album of hard rock songs in 1985, and sales were dismal once again.
Perhaps inspired by the success Laura had with one of his tunes, Michael’s 1987 album, The Hunger, abandoned his hard rock roots and included songs that were more adult-radio friendly. Musicians on the album included three members of Journey.
The first release from the album was That’s What Love Is All About. The single peaked at #19 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the AC chart.
Michael’s cover of (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay also reached the top twenty on both charts and the new direction of his career got underway.
Michael’s next album included his own version of How Am I Supposed To Live Without You, which topped both the Hot 100 and the AC chart. Six more chart-topping records on the AC chart followed in the next three years, and one of them also topped the Hot 100. Michael sold over 75 million records.
Michael recorded three Christmas albums and regularly sang in new Winter Honda ads each year.
He also sang a love song to the IRS on John Oliver’s HBO show.
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