Michael Bolton: Steel Bars (1991)

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Michael Bolton: Steel Bars (1991)

And in what is undoubtedly a first at Elsewhere, we mention the name Michael Bolton, the shouty and soaring blue-eyed soul singer who was enormously popular with the ladies in the late Eighties and Nineties.

Critics -- white males predominantly -- reviled him with the kind of resentment usually reserved for Phil Collins but they couldn't stop his massive album sales.

He co-wrote quite a number of his own songs but also covered soul classics like When a Man Loves a Woman and material by the hit-maker Diane Warren.

So why mention this rather cage-rattling shocker which reviewer Jonthan Romney in Q magazine at the time described as "a torturous piece of angst in the mould of Eye of the Tiger and every bit as banal as its title metaphor suggests"?

Well, only because the co-writer with Bolton was, improbably, Bob Dylan who at the time seemed to be utterly adrift (his album of the moment was the awful Under the Red Sky) and probably between drinks.

Quite how and why he would hitch his wagon to Bolton remains a mystery -- and is not mentioned in any of the Dylan books on Elsewhere's shelves.

But it happened . . . and not in a good way. 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

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