July 31, 2023

Get ready for another special project as the Frontiers label has put together this compilation album to celebrate the early career of the American vocalist Michael Bolton. As we all know, he began as a hard rock frontman and built up a formidable collection of songs in an illustrious career before moving on to the, perhaps, more lucrative balladeer market. Whatever his early fans thought of this slight change in musical direction is one for them alone but he certainly rose in prominence and became a staple of the radio airwaves as a result.

Frontiers has now taken the opportunity to put together a fine team of musicians in Andrea Seveso on guitar, Mitia Maccaferri on bass, Saal Richmond on Keyboards, Nicholas Papapicco on drums and Alessandro Del Vecchio supplies backing vocals to bring us new and exciting versions of some very well-known songs. The vocals have been supplied by a variety of singers associated with the label including artists from the likes of FM, Stormwarning, Girish And The Chronicles, Find Me, The Big Deal and About Us with the full list of contributing singers shown on the track listings below.

The jury on these sort of projects always seems to be out as some prefer only the original versions whilst others are more than happy to hear re-interpretations of well-known songs so it is very much an individual matter. For sure, I’m a fan of the golden voiced Bolton and this compilation is beautifully played and perfectly complied with some truly stunning vocals and great versions of songs that we all know so well. In truth, you’ll play this and thoroughly enjoy it but then I guarantee that you will then go back to the originals and marvel again at just how vital Michael Bolton has been throughout his career and surely this is the real value in these sort of compilations. All are great versions but the track Gina featuring Robbie LaBlanc is special and really captures the spirit and essence of Bolton. Special praise should also be given to Ana Nikolic & Nevena Brankovic who bring a Heart flavour to Wait On Love and to Dave Mikulskis for his sterling performance on the career defining How Can We Be Lovers. There is not a bad track on the record with each vocalist performing above and beyond with the ‘house’ musicians excelling too.

Give the album a listen and revel in some wonderful new talent and a number of old stagers paying homage to a true master.

Steel Bars – A Tribute To Michael Bolton

  1. Everybody’s Crazy (Girish Pradhan) (4:41)
  2. Fools Game (Steve Overland) (3:56)
  3. How Can We Be Lovers (Dave Mikulskis) (3:53)
  4. Steel Bars (Sochan Kikon) (3:21)
  5. Wait On Love (Ana Nikolic & Nevena Brankovic) (4:28)
  6. Can’t Turn It Off (Gui Oliver) (4:00)
  7. Save Our Love (Santiago Ramonda) (4:10)
  8. Gina (Robbie LaBlanc) (4:02)
  9. Call My Name (Stefan Nykvist) (4:13)
  10. Don’t Tell Me It’s Over (Ronnie Romero) (4:04)
  11. Desperate Heart (James Robledo) (4:03)