|Released||September 22, 1987|
|Recorded||August–December 1986 at Unique Recording Studios, Soundtrack Studios, Clinton Recording Studio, Sigma Sound Studios, The Hit Factory and The Power Station (New York, NY); Master Sound Productions (Franklin Square, NY); Fantasy Studios (Berkeley, CA); Ocean Way Recording, Record Plant and Mad Hatter Studios (Los Angeles, CA); Soundcastle and Ground Control (Santa Monica, CA); Starlite (Richmond, CA), Vertigo Studio.|
|Producer||Jonathan Cain, Keith Diamond, Susan Hamilton|
The Hunger is the fifth studio album by American recording artist Michael Bolton. It was released in 1987 by Columbia Records, his third for the label. It became his breakthrough album, producing his first two Top 40 hits, the ballad "That's What Love Is All About" and the Otis Redding cover "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay".
Zelma Redding, the widow of Otis Redding, said Bolton's performance of "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" moved her so much "that it brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me so much of my husband that I know if he heard it, he would feel the same." In a framed letter that hangs on the wall of Bolton's office, she called the record "my all-time favorite version of my husband's classic."
The album marks a transition from the hard rock and arena rock stylings of his previous work into a softer more pop oriented direction, a transition which would be continued and furthered on his subsequent studio albums.
Several songs from this album feature Journey members Jonathan Cain on keyboards, Neal Schon on guitar, and previous member from their Raised on Radio 1986-87 tour Randy Jackson (of American Idol fame) on bass, with Cain also producing several tracks. During this time, there were rumors that Bolton might have been in the running as Journey's new lead singer after Steve Perry's initial departure from the band in early 1987. Also featured on certain tracks was Bolton's former band-mate and then-current Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick.
Despite only reaching #46 on the US Billboard 200, the album achieved stability in the charts. After two years, the album was certified Gold in the US (Bolton's first certification of his career), and would subsequently be certified Double Platinum there. In 1990, three years after its initial release, the album entered the UK Albums Chart for the first time and reached its peak of #44, following the success of the album Soul Provider.