“When I’m Back on My Feet Again” was released as the fourth single from Michael Bolton’s 1989 album, Soul Provider. The single was released in 1990 and peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was written by Dianne Warren after the death of her father.
I was 15 years old and finishing up the ninth grade when this single was released. I’d already liked the previous two singles from the album, so I was receptive to hearing “When I’m Back on My Feet Again” when it was released. The lyrics are easy for listeners to relate to, no matter what their age is, and as a teenager I thought this was an inspirational song. I have to admit that I don’t like this song quite as much as I did 25 years ago, but I still believe that the lyrics are inspirational to listeners who have gone through or may currently be going through difficult times.
The music video intercuts footage of Michael Bolton lip-synching the song with storylines of two characters: a man in a wheelchair and a female alcoholic. Of the two storylines, more time is spent on the man in the wheelchair than on the female alcoholic. I thought this weakened the woman’s storyline, because there was no real buildup to make the audience want to feel for her. At least with the man’s story, we get to see home movie footage from before he was in a wheelchair and the physical therapy he undergoes. With the woman, we see her pull a bottle of liquor out, start drinking it, feel bad about drinking it, and then pouring the remaining contents down the drain. As a viewer, it would have been nice to have had some footage to give some backstory on why she became an alcoholic.