“Like a Rolling Stone” by Michael Bolton

This cover definitely wasn’t a good idea, but it’s not quite as patently ridiculous as it may sound in concept…Bolton’s attempts at interpretational singing are always at their most tolerable when he has a song that sounds right in his perennially out-of-place Hair Metal scream, and the truth is that his voice sounds pretty great here. The problem is that “Like a Rolling Stone” isn’t really supposed to be pleasant to listen to. The entire reason it was such a revelation in its day is because of how angry and jeering and abrasive it was, and Bolton’s pretty singing and the soft Easy Listening arrangement kind of neuter the song’s intended impact and don’t make much sense alongside its malicious taunt of a lyric. A few of Bolton’s attempts at classic standards have worked (most notably his Grammy-winning rendition of “When a Man Loves a Woman”), but mostly his attempts at the genre have been something of an unfortunate mistake, and while this wasn’t as bad a choice for Bolton’s style as, say, “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay”, it still wound up missing the point of the original song.

Verdict: Prettily sung, but definitely underwhelming compared to Dylan’s original.

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