Bette

Bette

5.0 6
by Bette Midler
     
 

Bette Midler turns loose her inner-diva on Bette, with frequently exhilarating results. Sensitively produced by career resuscitator Don Was (Bonnie Raitt, B-52s,) the result is the Divine Miss M's most satisfying work since 1990's Some People's Lives. The handpicked material showcases a baker's dozen aspects of the extraordinary and alwaysSee more details below

Overview

Bette Midler turns loose her inner-diva on Bette, with frequently exhilarating results. Sensitively produced by career resuscitator Don Was (Bonnie Raitt, B-52s,) the result is the Divine Miss M's most satisfying work since 1990's Some People's Lives. The handpicked material showcases a baker's dozen aspects of the extraordinary and always larger-than-life Midler persona and features left field gems like Baby Washington's 1963 kittenish lament, "That's How Heartaches Are Made" and a salsa-flavored shaggy-dog story, "In These Shoes." The big-hearted performer is at her best on ballads like "Color of Roses," the southern-fried funker "Love TKO," and the album's emotional centerpiece, a smile-through-the-tears version of Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello's wrenching "God Give Me Strength." Also included are a dreamy take on the Temptations' "Just My Imagination" and the romantic paean "Shining Star," a 1980 hit for the Manhattans. With the release of Bette, also the name of the star's eagerly anticipated new CBS sitcom, it is once again definitely Midler's world, and we're her lucky audience.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Using her regular touring band and employing Don Was, an expert on helping pop veterans reclaim the sounds that made them successful, Bette Midler makes an excellent album to tie in with the premiere of her network television show. Was seems to conceive of Midler as a kind of pre-rock, neo-Brill Building performer, frequently putting her into mid-tempo pop arrangements of old R&B ballads, here including Baby Washington's 1960 hit "That's How Heartaches Are Made," the Temptations' 1971 hit "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)" (which here sounds even more like an old Drifters hit than it does usually), and a pair of 1980 titles, Teddy Pendergrass' "Love TKO" and the Manhattans' "Shining Star." The album's tour de force, a six-and-a-half-minute version of Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello's "God Give Me Strength," also recalls the Brill Building, as does the bouncy pop tune "Nobody Else but You," co-written by Midler and Marc Shaiman to be the theme for the TV show. Was and Midler also satisfy the need for up-tempo material with a trio of genre exercises, Latin pop in "In These Shoes," mbaqanga in "Moses," and dance in "Bless You Child." Bette is a tasteful album that showcases Midler's expressive singing but avoids her excesses. "In These Shoes" is an amusing novelty that does not play too heavily to the singer's broad comic style, while ballads like "Color of Roses" and "When Your Life Was Low" are striking for their restraint, not going for the maudlin extremes Midler has been guilty of indulging in the past. That means fans of the bawdy Bette and the bathetic Bette may be disappointed, but the rest of her followers will enjoy the balance and consistency of this collection.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/10/2000
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0093624784326
catalogNumber:
47843

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bette Midler   Primary Artist,Vocals
Mark Isham   Trumpet
Plas Johnson   Tenor Saxophone
David Lasley   Background Vocals
Bobby Lyle   Piano,Hammond Organ,fender rhodes
Dwight Sills   Guitar
Donna De Lory   Background Vocals
Maria Vidal   Background Vocals
Howard McCrary   Background Vocals
Cynthia Bass   Background Vocals
Lenny Castro   Percussion
Larry Cohn   Piano,Keyboards
Sonny Emory   Drums
Mark Goldenberg   Guitar
Gary Grant   Trumpet
Reggie Hamilton   Bass
Nikki Harris   Background Vocals
Gary Herbig   Baritone Saxophone
Jerry Hey   Trumpet
Dan Higgins   Tenor Saxophone
Paul Jackson   Guitar
Abraham Laboriel   Bass
Darrell Leonard   Trumpet
Jamie Muhoberac   Keyboards
Rick Nowels   Keyboards
Dean Parks   Guitar
Tim Pierce   Guitar
Marc Shaiman   Keyboards
Joe Sublett   Tenor Saxophone
Melanie Taylor   Background Vocals
Arnold McCuller   Background Vocals
Carlos Cuevas   Background Vocals
Jerry Vivino   Tenor Saxophone
Wayne Rodrigues   Tenor Saxophone

Technical Credits

Ed Cherney   Engineer
Charles Judge   Programming
Rick Nowels   Producer
Doug Sax   Mastering
Marc Shaiman   Arranger,Producer
Don Was   Producer
Jimmy Vivino   Arranger
Greg Gorman   Cover Photo
Linda C. Cobb   Art Direction
Eddie Gip Noble   Composer

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