There are bad ideas, there are really bad ideas, and then there’s “who in their right mind allowed this to happen” ideas. The three most frightening words in the English language are no longer “starring Carrot Top”. They’ve been replaced – and believe me, I wish I was kidding – by Bolton Sings Sinatra. Yes, Michael Bolton has made an album of Sinatra songs. Ladies and gentlemen, the 7th seal has been opened; Armageddon is upon us. And not a moment too soon.
This is the second time Bolton has done an album of remakes. The first one was called The Classics and found him destroying most of the great soul songs, included Dock of the Bay and When a Man Loves a Woman. Below the fold, I’ll copy in my favorite review of that album, from Joe Queenan’s book Red Lobster, White Trash and the Blue Lagoon:
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 The Classics. When you work up the gumption to put a record like The Classics on your CD player, it’s not much different from deliberately inoculating yourself with rabies. With his heart-on-my-sleeve appeals to every emotion no decent human being should even dream of possessing, Michael Bolton is the only person in history who has figured out a way to make “Yesterday” sound worse than the original. He’s Mandy Patinkin squared. 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 rerecording of the Sex Pistols’ “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 spraypaint swastikas on Mount Rushmore or to burn the American flag, why isn’t it a crime for Michael Bolton to butcher Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”?