The Hunger
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 22, 1987
RecordedAugust–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.
GenrePop rock
ProducerJonathan Cain, Keith Diamond, Susan Hamilton
Michael Bolton chronology
Everybody's Crazy
The Hunger
Soul Provider

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."[1] 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."[2]

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.[3]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars link
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2.5/5 stars [4]

Track listing

Side one
1."Hot Love"Michael Bolton, Martin Briley3:47
2."Wait on Love"Bolton, Jonathan Cain4:27
3."(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" (Originally recorded by Otis Redding)Otis Redding, Steve Cropper3:51
4."Gina"Bolton, Bob Halligan Jr., Keith Diamond4:07
5."That's What Love Is All About"Bolton, Eric Kaz3:58
Side two
1."The Hunger"Bolton, Cain4:18
2."You're All That I Need"Bolton, Cain, Neal Schon4:18
3."Take a Look at My Face"Bolton, Briley4:00
4."Walk Away"Bolton, Diane Warren4:12

Chart positions

Year Chart Position
1987 Australian Albums Chart 34[5]
1987 New Zealand Albums Chart 42
1987 Norway Albums Chart 10
1990[6] UK Albums Chart 44
1987 US Billboard 200 46


Year Title U.S. Hot 100 U.S. AC
1987 "That's What Love Is All About" 19 3
1987 "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" 11 19
1988 "Wait On Love" 79 -
1988 "Walk Away" - 14


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[7] Platinum 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[8] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.



Cover versions


  1. ^ "People Are Talking About . . ". Jet. January 18, 1988. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  2. ^ "Michael Bolton: 'How Black Music Changed My Life'". Ebony. December 1995. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 90. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. rolling stone michael bolton album guide.
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 41. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Michael Bolton – The hunger". Music Canada. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  8. ^ "American album certifications – Michael Bolton – The hunger". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 16 July 2019.