Amazing - Spectacular Debut
barry | Boston, MA United States | 12/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not many albums are perfection but this - Bette Midler's debut is just that. At the time of its release she was performing at a bath house in New York City with Barry Manilow as her producer and arranger/pianist. She was campy, over the time and very brassy. But included in all this was immense talent.
For the first part of her career she was always called THE DIVINE MISS M and this cd reflects what that was in all its glory. Today many cds are made so carefully, every note pitch perfect and carefully arranged. The early Bette Midler was carefree and this cd sounds like she just came into your home and performed some songs for you. Nothing is held back and it is amazing.
There were two big hits here - the sultry DO YOU WANT TO DANCE and BOOGIE WOOGIE BUGLE BOY and they are amazing but interestingly enough they are not the best cuts on this superb set. Eclectic is not a strong enough word to describe what Ms. Midler is capable of. Every song is performed with strong personality - raw, sincere and honest. She takes the songs SUPERSTAR and DELTA DAWN and makes them emotional, heart wrenching songs of deep emotion. She wears her heart on her sleeve. I must admit I do love Karen Carpenter's version of SUPERRSTAR but this version makes it like a totally different song entirely. Other ballads AM I BLUE and HELLO IN THERE are performed with the same intensity.
Then we have the campy, fun Bette on remakes of CHAPEL OF LOVE and LEADER OF THE PACK. She makes these songs come alive. And then there are 2 slightly different versions of her signatiure song FRIENDS. This simple song becomes an anthemic statement of how important it is to have people in your life. It is a snappy, uptempo song and it develops a life of its own. Throughout the songs Bette may break into dialogue and talk/share with the listener. It all works. Bette Midler, here on her debut album gloriously remastered on cd, introduces herself fully and holds nothing back. And she has so much to give. This album is a masterpiece by a legend.
Highly recommended for all Bette Midler fans and all fans of quality music.