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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Pop > Soul > Standards > Michael Bolton – Live At The Royal Albert Hall (2009/Eagle Blu-ray + DVD)

Michael Bolton – Live At The Royal Albert Hall (2009/Eagle Blu-ray + DVD)


Picture: B-/C+     Sound: B     Extras: D     Concert: D



What can you say about a singer that ripped off great Black Male Soul singers and would not admit to it unless he had to pay royalties, took the romance out of Pop music and is one of the reasons the music industry imploded on itself when it decided to push music acts with no substance or point to make top dollar before that strategy backfired?  Well, if we are talking Michael Bolton, you can star with those points and do an entire essay on the negative effect he has had on the art form.


After a not-long-enough absence from the scene, he is back with a hideous new concert Live At The Royal Albert Hall and it has to be one of the worst uses of that hall in British history.  However, despite an educated populace, enough fans actually paid extraordinary amounts of money for tickets to hear Bolton croak through 19 songs, many of which were not his and never will be.  The trail of audio terror not so cleverly disguised as music includes:


1)     Soul Provider

2)     Said I Loved You But I Lied

3)     Hope It’s Too Late

4)     To Love Somebody

5)     (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay

6)     You Don’t Know Me

7)     Summertime

8)     Fly Me To The Moon

9)     That’s Life

10)  Murder My Heart

11)  When A Man Loves A Woman

12)  How Can We Be Lovers

13)  Steel Bars

14)  Time, Love & Tenderness

15)  Can’t Touch You There

16)  Crazy Love

17)  Georgia On My Mind

18)  How Am I Supposed To Live Without You

19)  Just One Love



Yes, unlike Celine Dion, he actually butchered two Frank Sinatra classics.  When you’re this bad, it becomes like a bad version of Name That Tune, as he also mutilates classics from The Bee Gees, Ray Charles, Otis Redding and the late, great, underrated Laura Branigan.  How Am I Supposed To Live Without You was her hit first, it is her song and even by having the bigger hit, he never eclipsed her superior version for one moment.


As you can tell, I am not a fan of this so-called vocalist, but somebody still may be, so before I really tell you what I think, let’s look at the performance of the two versions being issued of this… concert.


The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image was shot all in High Definition and has some good color (there is a joke there somewhere about Bolton stealing from real Soul singers, but this is the technical section), but you do get motion blur, a tiny bit of staircasing and some other flaws throughout.  The anamorphically enhanced DVD covers some of those flaws, but is much softer.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix on the Blu-ray is better than the Dolby Digital 5.1 or PCM 2.0 Stereo offered in both editions.  The DVD has regular DTS 5.1 that is also better than the Dolby and PCM options, but is a tad less smooth than the DTS-MA lossless on the Blu-ray.


Extras include an interview, two lame Bonus Tracks and superfluous Concert Countdown.  Does this mean he is taking a rocket ship away from earth when this is all over.  If so…


10… 9… 8… 7… 6… 5…



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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