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Articles Home » 1991 Articles » Bolton, Michael - 1991 Time Love And Tenderness
Bolton, Michael - 1991 Time Love And Tenderness

ARTIST: Bolton, Michael
ALBUM: Time Love And Tenderness
SERIAL: 467812-2
YEAR: 1991


LINEUP: Michael Bolton - lead vocals * Walter Afanasieff - keyboards, Hammond B-3 organ, synthesizers, synth bass, drums, percussion * Michael Landau, Michael Thompson, Chris Camozzi - guitars * Randy Jackson - bass * Jeff Porcaro - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Love Is A Wonderful Thing * 02 Time Love And Tenderness * 03 Missing You Now * 04 Forever Isn't Long Enough * 05 Now I've Found You * 06 When A Man Loves A Woman * 07 We're Not Making Love Anymore * 08 New Love * 09 Save Me * 10 Steel Bars


Being somewhat of a late starter to Glorydazemusic, all the great Bolton albums had already been reviewed. So what am I left with? Maybe go back right to the start and pick one of the two albums released under the Bolotin name? I've got one and if you have heard them then you will understand that being a Wolves supporter is punishment enough to avoid casting my eye on them, or maybe when Bolton jumped off a cliff in terms of popularity with most melodic rock listeners. So, as like some cruel initiation ceremony thought up by the other writers here (I'm joking!) I would spend what was one rainy weekend (like every weekend in England at the moment) listening not to just one, but two highly criticized albums, being this one released in 1991 the follow up to the highly financially successful 'Soul Provider' and the 1993 release being 'The One Thing'. So holding my breath I enter the world of cover versions, lukewarm ballads but also the odd special moment.

The Songs
The opener, 'Love Is A Wonderful Thing', oh, aren't we happy! feel good factor here but trying to transmit that feeling to the listener is harder than it looks in this instance. Ok, it's not that bad, but I remember seething when I heard this for the first time on a performance of TV's Wogan. Yes, very catchy and performed remarkably professionally, but it was a bitter pill to swallow.

The album does take an improved turn, with the opening verse of the title track is well, quite good, not surprising when you study the credits, Diane Warren, it's a very good song, yes more Bobby Caldwell than Jeff Scott Soto, more westcoast than AOR, although it does get drawn out in length, so kinda losing its impetus, there is just too much gospel singing at the end for my liking, which gets quite irritating. A case of a great start, a good middle but moves into tedium at the end, which is a disappointment.

The soulful nature of 'Missing You Now' is all too much for me, especially with Kenny G on sax, really having a problem mentioning anything inspiring about this.

However, things pick up with the introduction of the Desmond Child, co-penned (actually trio-penned) with the sublime 'Forever Isn't Long Enough'. Finally back to the debut and 'Everybody's Crazy' realm, funny his website now mentions this pairing, although still fails to acknowledge Blackjack. Heaps of Mr Mister aspects and the AOR thermometer just keeps rising with the likes Terry Brock, Joe Lynn Turner and Myriam Valle on backing vocals all working as accelerants to keep the fire burning.

Here comes the ballads, 'Now That I Found You' well it's not 'Call My Name' is it? sounds like a song performed by a musical nobody on the 70's 321, next please.

Ah, I'm feeling bitter, look I am sure that Bolton could sing 'Puff The Magic Dragon' (sure that was mentioned in Kerrang?) and make it sound like a melodic standard, but he should shoot whoever chooses (or maybe it's him) to do a version of a so called classic. Seriously I hate them with a passion, whether that be 'Georgia On My Mind', 'Lean On Me' and this time we have the gormless song,'When I Man Loves A Woman', if we put this into context, I appreciate West Brom more than these, even when one of my heroes covers these songs he does nothing to improve on them, and amazingly Bolton makes them worse.

Back to another ballad, this is fast becoming a Michael Ruff album, on average ballad per album basis, this time a duet with Patti Labelle, I have heard of her that's for sure and she sure can sing, but nothing here will make me investigate further. If I'm going to be pushed, it's OK, with some nice haunting keyboards, that possibly could have made it interesting, actually if Within Temptation or Nightwish covered this, could well at least cheer it up a bit.

I do wonder what the thought process was here?...oh housewives.. the elderly?

'New Love'. just carries on what is first becoming a banal listening experience, how on earth the likes of Warren, Child and Bolton could come up with this is behind me. 'Save Me' at least starts a bit more up tempo, Michael makes all the right noises in the chorus, vocals are also excellent, but just that the song is so damn lukewarm, and just as I was going to fast forward due to the arrival of a sax solo, the songs beats me to it as Michael wakes up, just at the 4m 10 sec mark, Bolton alludes power, but it's only momentarily.

Lastly we have the Bob Dylan co-write, 'Steel Bars', in all honesty, never been a Dylan fan, only the Hendrix version of 'All Along The Watchtower' which is one of the greats, and really I'm too fatigued to care at the moment.

In Summary
I wanted to give this a full examination and access this completely, without being blinded by his past, Blackjack and his initial trio of 1980's releases. Yes, I have been pretty negative about this, although it does have the odd good moment but too many bad ones. Next up was 'One Thing', which I will cover in a couple of weeks and without letting the cat out of the bag, I found that a far more enlightening album. Although I assume most people had already jumped ship without even catching that one, but that's for another day. Ok, so we all know Bolton had by this stage left the rock stage, although recently when plugging yet another compilation on BBC TV, he mentioned his time touring with the likes of Krokus, maybe there is life in the old dog yet, even though I would imagine the presenters thought he was talking about his garden, allotment or flower arranging. Put in summary - Bolton of course grabbed his success, money, drink, gals, (ok maybe not the last two) and if the opportunity arose who wouldn't!

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#1 | gdazegod on July 15 2012 03:02:23
I'm a fan of the song 'Steeel Bars', but the rest of the material on this CD leaves me cold. I love the guitar feedback/sustain in the above video, right at the very end. Who is that guitarist? He looks like Kenny Loggins.. lol!
#2 | dangerzone on July 15 2012 05:58:11
I remember the review for this in Metal Forces. They gave it 5 out of 100!
#3 | jeffrey343 on July 15 2012 20:46:33
I never thought this was a bad album, but it was a different approach from his earlier work. In parts, I really don't think this is too far from Journey's 'Raised On Radio' as far as being softer melodic rock. If nothing else, it is well-produced and well-executed soft rock.
#4 | gdazegod on November 11 2015 10:48:12
Michael Bolton - 1991 Steel Bars (Live 2009, Royal Albert Hall, London)

A fantastic live version..



Official video clip.
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