Louis N Proyect
lnp3 at columbia.edu
Sun Sep 29 09:48:24 MDT 1996
For years I'd been vaguely aware of Michael Bolton's existence, just as
I'd been vaguely aware that there was an Ebola-virus plague in Africa.
Horrible tragedies, yes, but they had nothing to do with me. All that
changed when I purchased a copy of "Timeless (The Classics)". When
you work up the gumption to put a CD like "Timeless" on your player,
it's like inoculating yourself with rabies. With his heart-on-his-sleeve
appeal to every emotion no decent human being should even dream of
possessing, Michael Bolton is the only person to make "Yesterday"
sound worse than the original. His sacrilegious version of Sam Cooke's
"Bring it on Home to Me" is a premeditated act of cultural ghoulism, a
crime of musical genocide tantamount to a Jerry Vale recording of
"Anarchy in the UK." And having to sit there and listen while this
Kmart Joe Cocker mutilates "You Send Me" is like sitting through a
performance of King Lear with Don Knotts in the title role. Which
leads to the inevitable question: If it's a crime to deface the Statue of
Liberty or to spray-paint swastikas on Mount Rushmore or burn the
American flag, why isn't it a crime for Michael Bolton to butcher
Irving Berlin's "White Christmas"?
(from Joe Queenan's article "How Bad Can It Be" in the September
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