One of my favorite music memories of 1990 that I am pretty sure i’ve never talked about with anybody until today is hearing the song How Can We Be Lovers blaring all over the radio dial. Anybody who was alive during this era can probably vouch for the fact that it wasn’t cool in some circles to admit liking Michael Bolton’s music. Even to this day, i’m not sure I could really call myself a fan. However, I think I know good music when I hear it. Regardless of what you might think of his body of work or the perception that Michael Bolton was nothing more than a sleepy adult contemporary artist, you can’t deny that How Can We Be Lovers is an awesome song.
When I prepare to write these blogs, most of the time I will watch the video a few times just to re-jog my memory of anything I might have forgotten. As I proceeded with this process this time around, a few thoughts came into my head. Firstly, it is my duty to remind my readers that yes, that is Nicolette Sheridan of Desperate Housewives who is the girl in this video. I didn’t dig too deep for the information, but I do believe they dated at one time. Another fact came via the Wikipedia article. I don’t think I knew that songwriting queen Diane Warren was a co-writer of this masterpiece. If you are not familiar with her name, then you are definitely familiar with her work. As I write this blog, I am realizing that I may have dedicate a blog just to her. She has written/co-written some of the best songs in pop music history. But I digress. One other thought that came to mind is that I think Michael Bolton would have been better suited to veer in a more rock n roll type of style than some of the later work that I am aware of. He has a great rock voice, but he doesn’t come across as somebody i’d like to hear singing ballads. While he has a fanbase that would disagree with my opinion, I think there are many who would agree with me. Ultimately, in life, you gotta do what feels right for you. I suppose Michael Bolton felt like that was the direction that suited him the best.
As for the video, I can remember seeing this one all over MTV in 1990. It is a fairly simple video. The storyline between Michael Bolton and Nicollete Sheridan is compelling. I love the black and white filtering on the storyline parts, the band portions take you back to a time when big hair and guitars were still king. The outfits that are worn are very eye catching and really enhance what is otherwise a simple concept. The guitar solo and chorus performances really capture the anthemic feel of what is a very well crafted pop song.
As for this song, when I hear it, it fills me with memories of hearing a chorus of girls singing along to it on the bus ride home from the Art Museum in Philadelphia when I was in 5th grade. I can remember secretly loving this song during it’s run to number 3 on the Billboard charts. I can even remember secretly liking this song even when me and my best friend from high school teased my brother about listening to Michael Bolton on his headphones. Regardless of what you might think of Michael Bolton’s music, you can’t deny that this is a great song. When I log on YouTube and watch these videos, I always look for the viewer count. As of today, this one has over 10 million views. That is an excellent feat for a song that is almost 30 years old. I don’t think that is an accident. This is a really great song!