All of us here love Michael's music and voice.  That is, after all, why we are here!  Whether the songs be fantastic originals such as "Murder My Heart" and "Time, Love & Tenderness," or the amazing covers "When A Man Loves A Woman" and "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay," there are moments in each of Michael's songs that make us take notice.  Sometimes it is a note he hits.  Other times, it is the way he sings a word, a verse, or a chorus.

So, with that said, what are some of your favorite "phrasing moments" by Michael?  I'll get us started with a couple of mine:

  • I love the way he sings, "Baby, don't you be blue," in "Time, Love & Tenderness."
  • The way he sings, "And the way you've been slaying my heart," in "Murder My Heart," well, slays me!

I can't wait to see everybody's responses!

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Oh boy Joe, talk about eating cheesecake in slow motion! Lol I think I’d have to give it some thought and frankly, there’s probably about 5 distinct sounds/phrases/notes to every song Michael sings that are extra special, XD but I can tell you 3 or 4, just off the top of my head.
-In “Dock of the Bay”, when he repeats “Sit, sit, sit, on the dock of the bay” towards the end:
-in “Georgia”, when he sings: “Just an old, sweet song, keeps Georgia on my mind...”,
-in “When a man loves a woman”,when he sings “give you everything I got”, especially live when he repeats “everything”
-in “Steel bars”, when he repeats: “wrapped around, wrapped around this heart of mine” and the pièce de résistance :
-in “Said I love you but I lied” live, when he sings: “Shining like the sun” towards the end and the final lingering sound of the song, phew! Is that enough or should I dig more up? Lol I am dead serious when I say I have tons in all songs: Michael is a marvel, that’s all... :D Let me tell you something, I hope a lot of fans participate and drool along to comments on this thread. Thanks so much Joe, take care. Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie Qc Canada :D
P.S:: Sorry, I thought of 1 more. The way he sings this entire performance:

Hi Joe, this is a fantastic thread. Now here,s for some of my favourite phrases/sounds.

-in "Just One Love", when he sings "All we neeeeeed, is one love" repeatedly near the end of the song.

-in "Love is a Wonderful Thing" when he sings "OOOOOOHHH" at the beginning and "love is a wonderful thing, I say it again and again" in the second line of the chorus. The power in his voice when he sings that line just blows me away.

-in"Gotta Keep Dreamin" when he sings "Baby I remember, wondering how we touched the sky" at the start of the song, so much heartfelt emotion he puts into this beautiful song.

So those are just some of mine, but there are so many, when I think of some more I will add them.

Sandra (UK)

I love when Michael sings the echo phrase, "WORKS THAT WAY" in "Love is everything"! That beautiful deep voice of his just singing those 3 words after Rascal Flats sings the same phrase.. He does that in another song in his vintage album, he sings a phrase that just melts my heart also. But the first mentioned here is my latest loved phrase. ❤️

Hi again Joe, here are a few more of my favourite phrasing/notes/song segments:

-last chorus of “you comfort me”, the first “You” is the sweetest note ever

-“A dream is a wish your heart makes”, I love the way Michael sings the final: “if you keep on believin’”

-“Said I loved you but I lied”, first chorus, the sweet and delicate way he sings “Said I LOVED you...”

-Black Jack’s “For you”, the way he drags “For YOU... maybe I could”

-“Don’t make me wait for love” on “Kenny G live”, the lower notes on the second verse, from the moment he sings: “fall asleep alone...”, the following phrase, plus pretty much the rest of the song is just delicious... XD  

My last one for now, is the way Michael phrases “Yesterday”, when he says: “I MUST have said something wrong” towards the end again. I’d loved Michael’s songs and his singing etc up till then, but when I heard him sing that classic in his own unmistakeable and special way, I knew he could sing anything and make it special. That’s it for now. Take care and thanks again Joe! Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie Qc Canada :D

Thanks for starting this thread Joe and it certainly gets the old mind working and I started going through songs and thinking, "well there is that bit there and then there is that bit there and then....... !!!" lol    Putting it mildly, there are toooooooooooooooo many for just about each and every song contains something that makes you stop and listen more intently and makes you realize that Mr. Bolton can in no way be used as background music....have tried that and it does not work !!! lol

Some songs that spring straight to mind for me are starting with "The Hunger" and especially when he sings "drivin' you on"; "your one desire" and "never deny your heart" for the ferocity and emphasis he puts on them are soul felt and it is HIM coming through.....there is just something so alive for me in the way he sings the whole song but in particular those words. 

Next are two from "All That Matters" and they are "Forever's Just A Matter Of Time" and the way in which that starts grabs me each and every time I hear, "How in the hell.........."      The other is "Why Me" and again it is the way that starts by the whispered overlapping of the words, "why me".....I go weak at the knees on both of those !!! lol

Can't leave out OAWLY for all of that CD pulls at the heart strings but "Slowly" pulls more than any other and every time Michael sings "slowly" , oh boy, if he could make any other word sound more seductive, well ............. !!!

For now, last one is, "Completely" and that just rocks my boat, COMPLETELY !!!! LOL    It is the way from start to finish that Michael says "completely" and then especially where he whispers "trust" and we all know that is the biggest thing in any relationship and you feel the word should be given such emphasis and elongated and the notes should soar on it and yet, with it being whispered, it is speaking volumes....beautiful, just beautiful !!!

Know in my choices I have gone quite basic as in "earthy", which I am want to do but I promise I will try and get away from that in next ones I think of but as I say, I can only promise that, I will "try" !!!!! LOL.  BTW have got to say that love the selections and reasoning behind all of those mentioned so far and  definitely, a thread giving food for thought ....oh NO, I forgot.... "food".... that is a BAD word just now and that is why I am away to make a wee cup of tea and have that last slice of Christmas cake - diet starts tomorrow !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ROFL.

Sylvia.  Your wee Scottish friend.


Hi Sylvia, good choices there! I don’t think the’s anything wrong with “earthy”. Personally,, I do think that most of us go week in the knees when Michael whispers, even in “Can’t turn it off”... About “Slowly”, I think that one is in a category of its own, XD but I love how Michael can take songs like:  

-“Simply”, his last line: “I simply love you”

-“I promise you”, from the very first words: “I will promise you”

-“My funny Valentine”,  his “You make me smile with my heart”

-“This river”, my favourite line: “as faithful as an angel”

 and  “What are you doing the rest of your life” (from the first line also) and cram so much emotion, even in a subdued way. I really love how his phrasing in “The girl from Iponema”, managed to make the song cool for me and not cheesy and dated, like in too many versions I’ve heard before, even fairly recent ones. I think in general, that too many people have overlooked Michael’s soft side, because they have pre-conceived ideas. I fully agree about Michael not being background music. I’ve tried too, many years ago, but it felt like he was looking over my shoulder while I was on the computer! Lol His voice is simply a presence to be noticed. Well anyway, thanks for giving me another opportunity to ramble Sylvia and enjoy that cake! Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie Qc Canada :D

Another one I just thought of is when he sings the line, "It was ooooover...," in "Hope It's Too Late."  I love it!

Hi Joe, I couldn’t quite place your suggestion on the spot, so I had to listen to the song, thanks! :D I love getting lost on YouTube and you reminded me of a couple of parts from this video:

I love the way Michael phrases: “Running to her, like a river song” and the way he does the last few: “give me crazy love” at the end, phew! For some reason, when I read: “It was over”, I thought of the first line in “I almost believed you” from the “Michael Bolton” album... That reminded me of a fantastic line from “Walk away”, when Michael sings: “Love of my life, how do I let you go?”, it rips your heart to shreds... Michael himself said once in interview that he had a lot of trouble delivering that song, because the lyrics were so powerful. Thanks again for the memory prompt Joe! :D Take care and have a great weekend. Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie Qc Canada :D

OMG. Where do I start? I'm not good at remembering words of songs but wow! What a thread. Don't even get me started on Don't Make me Wait for Love from Kenny G. Live. In the early days, Michael singing DOTB, hiw growl near the end. Love his growls in the early days of Live Georgia. But, I love what all of you are writing. I'm not good at writing my thoughts down but it took me a few days to get on this thread. Wow! Michael can just inhale & I'm FINE. Whew. If I had half his lungs, I'd be happy. Love his deep soft notes in songs. Slowly, well, I have to contain myself. A good..............Need I say more. don't want to be graphic here. Let our imaginations run. Anyway, yeah, love his voice. Yes, in baby don't you be blue. Yes.......Yum........Love it especially live in the early days.

Hey Robin, glad you made it on here girl! Come back any time and as often as you like, thanks for sharing! Take care. Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie Qc Canada :D

Just popping on here quickly to say that it was yesterday when, because our weather was horrendous with another gale blowing and hailstones rattling off the patio window and everywhere else, I  stuck on my headphones to drown it all out and listen to Mr. Bolton and as soon as this song started and I heard the beginning, I thought, that is one I forgot all about and that absolutely beautiful, wonderful, seductive intro where he whispers:  "Your tender touch, feels like the first time" and it comes at start of "New Love"   It's like a secret message for someone and when you hear it you can imagine it is just for you (oh, fantasy land is wonderful).....away to listen to it again for there is another gale blowing here !!! LOL

Sylvia.  Your wee Scottish friend.


Hey Sylvia, ooh, good one! Not that it’s important, but Michael actually says: “every time we touch, feels like the first time”. I love this song and so many lovely “ooh” sounds in it... I love the breath with which he sings: “complete surprise”... Girl, you don’t know what you started! XD I went on YouTube again, listening to some songs I hadn’t listened to in a while like “Missing you now” and oh how I love the sweetness in the words: “ touching you” in the first line. Robin R, you know what I’m talking about! :D Then I listened to SILYBIL, then “Invisible tattoo” and how I love the warmth in the words: “luminous again” and back to SILYBIL... :D I think sometimes it’s the phrasing and sometimes it’s the vulnerability in his tone that’s so inexplicably special. For some reason, the reality of my upcoming concert really hit me today...  Well anyway, thanks very much for sharing Sylvia, take care. Hugs, sincerely, Sylvie Qc Canada :D

P.S.: I love this thread! XD


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