4 Songs You Didn’t Know Michael Bolton Wrote for Other Artists

Michael Bolton has one of the most distinct and rich singing voices of the 20th century. It’s unmistakable. He’s lent it to solo pop hits, humorous guest appearances and even backing vocals for other artists’ songs. Yes, Bolton is a generous artist. One who not only has given his voice to other people’s tracks but who has given his songwriting and producing talents to other musicians’ songs altogether.

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Each of the below songs was put together during the Connecticut-born Bolton’s heyday in the mid-to-late-80s. And they all showcase that era’s distinct sound—one that Bolton helped make globally famous. Below are four songs you likely didn’t know Michael Bolton wrote for other artists.

[RELATED: 6 of Michael Bolton’s Most Passionate Songs]

1. “Emotional Fire,” Cher

Written by Michael Bolton, Desmond Child, Diane Warren

Released on Cher’s successful 1989 album, Heart of Stone, this song includes backing vocals from Bolton and Bonnie Tyler during the track’s swelling chorus. Written by Bolton, Desmond Child and Diane Warren, “Emotional Fire” was originally composed for Bolton’s 1987 LP, The Hunger, but it was left on the record’s cutting-room floor. Enter the big-voiced Cher, who made the song her own. But Bolton got to be a part of the production, as a backing vocalist and as a co-producer on Cher’s 1989 LP. Sings Cher on the track,

I can’t wait until I see you baby
I can’t wait ’til the night comes fallin’ down
I gotta see you again, oh
And even if it couldn’t be forever
I’d trade a lifetime for this night together
Hold on, hold on

My heart is burning with the heat of this emotional fire
Every time I see you
I’m on fire, every time we touch
Can’t you feel me burnin’ with desire?
Baby feel warm, give me some emotional fire
Emotional fire

2. “Give Me Love,” Sheryl Lee Ralph

Written by Michael Bolton, Patrick Henderson

Tony Award-nominated in the early ’80s and Emmy Award-winner in the mid-2020s, Sheryl Lee Ralph is someone to aspire to be. Tenacious, talented, and patient. But it was in 1984 when the artist linked up with Bolton for the song “Give Me Love” for her album In The Evening. The song is about wanting love, not material possessions. Sings Ralph,

I don’t need your diamond rings
To shine upon my hands
Oh, the so-called finer things
Won’t meet my heart’s demands

3. “I Found Someone,” Laura Branigan

Written by Michael Bolton, Mark Mangold

Written by Bolton and keyboardist Mark Mangold, this song was originally given to platinum-selling artist Laura Branigan, known for her 1982 single, “Gloria,” along with other hits like “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” (also written by Bolton) and “The Power of Love.” This song, however, is all about finding the right person who makes you feel whole. To, as Branigan sings, take away the heartache. The track, which was released on her 1985 album Hold Me and later as a single in 1986, became a more well-known hit for Cher a year later in 1987. Yet, in her version, Branigan sings,

Don’t you know, so many things they come and go
Like your words that once rang true
Just like the love I thought I found in you
And I remember the thunder, talkin’ ’bout the fire in your eyes
But you walked away when I needed you most

Now maybe, baby, maybe, baby, I found someone
To take away the heartache, to take away the loneliness
I’ve been feelin’ since you’ve been gone, since you’ve been gone

4. “Now That It’s Over,” Irene Cara

Written by Michael Bolton, Doug James

From Irene Cara’s final studio LP, Carasmatic, which was released in 1987, this song was one of many to feature some big names attached to it. Others to offer their help on Cara’s LP include Bonnie Raitt, Carole King and Luther Vandross. Despite this assistance, the record didn’t do the type of business Cara and others hoped. Nevertheless, the track “Now That It’s Over” was one that she worked on with Bolton. In fact, it was one of three songs the artist helped pen, along with “Give Me Love” and “Don’t Wanna Let Go.” On “Now That It’s Over,” Cara sings emotionally over emotive piano lines,

You and I
Took the road as far as it would go
Said good-bye
Now I just had to call to say hello
We did the only thing we could
We talked it out and understood
But there’s one last thing I need to know

Now that it’s over
Now that we’ve really reached the end
Now that it’s over
With all of the love we both depended on
Is far from gone
Could we ever learn to live as friends
Or now that it’s over
Maybe we could start over again

Photo by Manfred Schmid/Getty Images

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