Song Of The Day 3/17/2014: Blackjack feat. Michael Bolton - "Without Your Love"

Accidents of Adult Contemporary: The concept of this week's theme is a little flimsy, and admittedly I'm going to have to shoehorn at least one, maybe two songs into this week strictly on technicalities. I had a hard time finding songs that fit the description. But here's the idea: Songs by soft-rock or adult contemporary musicians that somehow ran counter to the relatively risk-free, easy-on-the-ears-and-the-psyche music they were better known for. The subversion could be either musical (material that sounds nothing like adult contemporary) or in its content (the lyrics were unexpectedly challenging, or described people other than the relatively polite, non-confrontational, suburban home dwellers who listened to soft rock).

And like I said, this was a little pesky. In my dream world there's a recording of Air Supply covering the Stooges' "Search and Destroy," but in the real world copies are scarce. It necessitated my combing through the catalogs of artists like The Carpenters, Carole King, Little River Band and Carly Simon (none of whom are featured this week) and trying to find the rougher, grittier cuts. They ain't there, really. Carly had some come-hither material, but it wasn't quite enough. Most AC artists are, apparently, as well-adjusted and risk-averse as their consumers. But I finally tracked down five (possibly six) songs that'll do, if I set them up right.

Like this one. It's well-known that before Michael Bolton and his flowing locks made your parents invest in votive candles he fronted a harder rock band. I've seen Blackjack described as "hair metal," which is not accurate in the least. This is just hair, really, with nods to power pop like Cheap Trick and Dwight Twilley. (If they knew who Twilley was.) I kind of like "Without Your Love," actually. If you turned the amps down it might very well be an adult contemporary jam, but they're just enough to make me not feel like a wussy playing it in mixed company. It serves as a nice contrast for a guy who's always been able to poke fun at himself for asking the musical question "Can I Touch You... There?" I just winced typing that.




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