Bolton tried his hand at hair metal in the mid-'80s, and the end result sounds a lot like Sammy Hagar and Whitesnake in a shouting match over a fender bender in a Chili's parking lot. It's certainly not any worse than the rest of the music in the genre at the time, and he actually made the sort-of bold decision not to go full glam like the majority of the other bands we inexplicably decided to call "metal" in the 1980s.
Bolton's video for his song "Everybody's Crazy" even has a bit of an edge to it, in spite of the stout layer of cheese that he apparently cannot resist, with images of nuclear war and women having bracing freak-outs over venomous snakes. None of that stuff made the cut for his Grammy-winning video six years later.
When a mamba loves a woman.
And it's not like this was some brief rebellious phase in Bolton's life -- he actually debuted 10 years before that, back in 1975, singing lead for the band Blackjack under his real name, Michael Bolotin.
After the "O" was dropped, it went on to a successful career as a studio bassist.
As hard as it is to imagine, Blackjack was an actual rock band with an actual rock sound. They even opened for Ozzy Osbourne, back when that was a badge of hard-rocking counterculture credibility and not an act of charity for old, confused men. Sadly, that gig didn't translate into sales, and the band broke up after just two years. So Bolton tooled around on his own for a while (see: "poofy-haired quasi-rock," above) before writing the easy-listening hit "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You," which made him all of the money in the universe and forever determined his career path from that point on.
Everyone's crazy but you, Michael.