Time, Love and Tenderness

Album: Time, Love & Tenderness (1991)
Charted: 28 7
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Songfacts®:

  • In this song, Michael Bolton has the cure for a broken heart: time, love and tenderness. He's cheering up someone who has been through a breakup and is ready to give up on love, telling this person to shake off the sad blues and keep on trying.

    Around this time, Bolton was going through a divorce from his first (and only) wife, Maureen, the mother of his three children.
  • "Time, Love and Tenderness" was written by Diane Warren, one of the most successful songwriters of her era. She also wrote Bolton's "When I'm Back On My Feet Again," a hit from his previous album.

    According to the Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits, when she wrote the song, she thought it would be perfect for Bolton, who loved it when she played it for him. It ended up being the last song he recorded for the album and also the title track.

    Warren said of the song: "I loved the title and what the song had to say. I thought it had a very positive, healing quality."
  • Bolton was at his peak popularity with the Time, Love and Tenderness album, which sold over 8 million copies in America and delivered a #1 Hot 100 hit with his cover of "When a Man Loves a Woman." The album had four #1 Adult Contemporary hits as well, including this title track. This was also the time when he faced his greatest critical flogging, the rub being that he made watered-down, overly sentimental schlock. His many fans disagreed.
  • Most of the track was created using keyboards and synthesizers programmed by Bolton's co-producer on the album, Walter Afanasieff, a guy who shows up on an astounding number of credits (including lots of Mariah Carey material). Session man Michael Landau played the electric guitar.
  • The music video was directed by Jim Yukich, who would put little candid moments or vignettes in his videos. This one starts with Bolton rehearsing his backup singers before the song kicks in. From there, it's a lot of tight shots of Bolton performing the song (gotta give the people what they want!). Yukich did some of the most memorable videos of the '80s, including "That's All" for Genesis and "All Fired Up" for Pat Benatar. For Bolton, he also did "Steel Bars" and "Missing You Now."

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