Michael Bolton is one of my favorite singers of all time but I didn’t have the chance to read his autobiography when it was first releases in 2013. The truth is that, when I purchased this book, I wanted to learn more about the character and the “human being” Michael Bolton especially during the period of 1979-1989 where –in my humble opinion- reached his compositional peak. However, “The Soul Of It All” is not entirely what I expected. It may be a good presentation of the musician Michael Bolton but the reader doesn’t learn lots of things about his personal life especially after the time when he became a huge star with his timeless pop/R&B hits.
Having said that, there are lots of positive aspects of this book and the fact that Bolton is not afraid –for instance- to share some details about his constant use of marijuana when he was a teenager or how fragile yet strong was his relationship with his father is something that should be positively appreciated. In addition, all the details of how disappointed he was in all his failed efforts to secure a record deal for many years or the description –although he is just touching the surface here- of his Blackjack years are remarkable and it gives you a good image of how determined Bolton was in order to make it in the music business. Bolton shares some insight stories of his working relationship with such legendary artists and musicians like Bob Dylan, Desmond Child, Diane Warren, David Foster, Mutt Lange thus adding an extra argument of what I wrote above about this book being more about the artist Bolton and less about the person Bolton.
As a closing note, I’d say this: I know that there are lots of rockers out there who turned their backs on Bolton when he started singing all these…rock-less ballads. Just take a minute to think about it…all his hard rock albums failed to chart and didn’t sell anything (despite the fact that they were magnificent records). And when he started singing all these love songs, his albums became multiplatinum, he gained commercial and artistic success, he became a huge star and the women fell all over him. What would you really do if you were in his position…?