Michael Bolton Breaks Down Some of His Most Epic Music Videos
For decades now, Michael Bolton's undisputed commitment to his craft continues to earn him our undying respect as the White Lion of R&B. Long after the '90s, after shedding his long, golden mane, he's continued a multi-multi-multi-platinum career, churning out raspy soul with the kind of God-given sexiness that your mom would totally leave your dad for (and you can bet he'd understand). On the heels of his 2013 release Ain't No Mountain High Enough--A Tribute to Hitsville, prepare for a sensual, soft-rockin' trip through the last half century of soul music at the City National Grove of Anaheim on Thursday as Bolton grabs a mic, unbuttons his shirt, and unleashes hit, after hit, after hit. This time around, he's bringing you everything from Motown staples to his crooning '90s classics, and even a little opera (cuz Bolton's got it like that).
This is the tale of Captain Jack Sparrow!
But before stepping on the stage at the Grove, we caught up with Bolton himself on the phone to go over another important part of his legacy...those music videos! We've never met a Michael Bolton video we didn't like (or at least made us laugh a little). Any true Bolton fan is well aware of those unforgettable scenes of him standing on a mountain or a beach somewhere, wind in his hair, ready to whisk you off to paradise through your television. Or maybe you're a Lonely Island fan who knows him as some crazy guy pretending to be Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. One by one, the R&B legend gave us some behind the scenes stories of some of his most epic videos, while we add in our own analysis about what earns them the distinction of "Classic Bolton."
"How Am I Supposed to Live Without You", (1989)
Michael Bolton:What happened leading up to the video for "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" is all pretty funny. In context, you're looking at someone who had nine albums out in 18 years and my first good album was the one before "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You," called The Hunger in 1987. At that point, you'd be speaking to an artist who barely had a clue of what success felt like. Suddenly now I have a career as an artist. My career as a songwriter took off, even though I kept putting out albums that were failing one after another for different record labels and production companies that are going out of business. Now, I'm suddenly lip-synching to a video with this beautiful woman with a better video budget than I've ever seen before. They were giving me a stylist and she was introducing me to Armani and Versace and brands I'd seen before but I could never think of affording. It all happened so fast and furiously.
Classic Bolton: Full-fledged '90s rocker mullet (which we'll refer to as the Lion's Mane of Triumph), shirt unbuttoned, a romance turned sour with nameless hot chick, shoulder pads--big ones, left ear piercing, arched back with clenched fists on the high notes (aka the "soulful werewolf" pose), forlorn chair hugging.
"Fools Game", (1983)
Michael Bolton: When Fool's Game came out, it was a regular video on MTV and that was the beginning of me walking down the street and having people stare at me. I thought they were people who knew me but I realized they just recognized me. It was all about the power of MTV at that point. On set, I remember the constant sweating and makeup, even when I was doing rock'n'roll and opening for Ozzy I wasn't wearing that kind of stuff. And I learned how to say "No" when I felt like I was at the mercy of the machine, or the record industry who didn't want to alienate people who could be important to my career. And later on I realized, "Wait a second some of these guys, pardon my French, don't know what the fuck they're doing! So why am I listening to them?" But there are also going to be people along the way who are gonna be knowledgeable and make sure you're comfortable and you start to feel a certain amount of self-confidence and awareness of who you are and what your music feels like to other people.
Classic Bolton: Squealing guitar solos (yeah, Bolton can shred), two love interests instead of just one (because, lets' face it, he deserves two), soulful werewolf pose, tight leather pants (for the ladies!), sweaty, glowing aura, soaring stage jump at the end of the video (wait for it).