Michael Bolton

Sample this concert
  1. 1Without Your Love05:22
  2. 2She Did The Same Thing03:46
  3. 3Stay05:32
  4. 4Can't Hold On, Can't Let Go04:19
  5. 5Fools Game04:48
Liner Notes

Michael Bolton - vocals; Michael Braun - drums; Bruce Kulick - guitar; Bob Kulick - guitar; Mark Clarke - bass; Aldo Nova - keyboards

Prior to recording this show in 1983 for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, Michael Bolton had recorded two albums with a rock band named Blackjack and two RCA solo albums using his birth name, Michael Bolotin. In 1982, he was dropped by RCA and immediately picked up by Columbia Records, who gave him a complete musical and visual makeover. At the time this recording was made, he was an opening act on a number of tours and still leaning heavily on his rock roots. Some of the members of this backup band had also been in Blackjack, including Bruce Kulick, a future member of Kiss.

Columbia was trying to fashion Bolton more in the vein of Bon Jovi or Foreigner; his raspy baritone was similar back then to Lou Gramm in his prime. The music here is loud and powerful, and a pretty far cry from the adult power ballads and R&B re-makes he would record later on when he re-emerged in the late 1980s with a rendition of Otis Redding's "Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay."

Opening with "Without Your Love," and moving into another up-tempo rocker, "She Did the Same Thing," Bolton had complete control of the show and the band. They provide a solid backup for his punchy vocal treatments. Things slow down next for "Stay," the soulful ballad and the closest track to Bolton's best known musical style. "Can't Hold On, Can't Let Go," is next and it rocks hard, bringing the pacing of the performance back up to high energy. "Fool's Game," Bolton's only hit from his Columbia debut, ends the show, and in retrospect, sounds remarkably like a typical '80s Bon Jovi-type power rocker (the keyboards certainly recall Bon Jovi's "Runaway"). Still, it has a great hook and holds up better than a lot of his other material from this period.