Experience the Divine: Greatest Hits

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bryan Buss
Placing the raw beginning of her career beautifully represented by the stark resignation of "Hello in There" against the brassy persona she has since cultivated "Miss Otis Regrets" against the overblown A/C cuts that have been her biggest hits "From a Distance," "Wind Beneath My Wings", Bette Midler shows on this album why she is a legend and not just a popular recording artist. Being able to raise those enormously popular ballads from muck simply by rising above the production with her expressive, sterling vocals, thus making bland material classy, is one thing. But pulling off the coarseness of "When a Man Loves a Woman" as well as the sultry "Do You Wanna Dance?" in ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bryan Buss
Placing the raw beginning of her career beautifully represented by the stark resignation of "Hello in There" against the brassy persona she has since cultivated "Miss Otis Regrets" against the overblown A/C cuts that have been her biggest hits "From a Distance," "Wind Beneath My Wings", Bette Midler shows on this album why she is a legend and not just a popular recording artist. Being able to raise those enormously popular ballads from muck simply by rising above the production with her expressive, sterling vocals, thus making bland material classy, is one thing. But pulling off the coarseness of "When a Man Loves a Woman" as well as the sultry "Do You Wanna Dance?" in practically the same breath, while never overstating the steadfast certainty of "The Rose," shows range that most pop "stars" can't even spell. Despite that, giving listeners an overview of a 30-year career with more good material than hit singles would be difficult in any case, and some of the choices for this album seem almost arbitrary, considering the single "Beast of Burden" from No Frills and classic cuts like "Come Back Jimmy Dean" from the same album and the wrenching "Superstar" from her stellar debut, The Divine Miss M, are missing. On the plus side, Experience the Divine includes "One for my Baby And One More for the Road," which Midler performed as the chosen final guest of Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. Atlantic did a sound job of culling from her repertoire, and this album represents all that most casual fans would need to get an understanding of the vocalist beyond her hit singles, but, as with any true artist, to truly experience the Divine, you would need to check out each of her albums to find all of the gems.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/22/1993
  • Label: Atlantic Uk
  • UPC: 075678249723
  • Catalog Number: 782497
  • Sales rank: 27,637

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bette Midler Primary Artist, Vocals
Melissa Manchester Horn, Vocals, Background Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Barry Manilow Piano, Background Vocals
Phil Bodner Clarinet
Ron Carter Bass
David Lasley Background Vocals
Bobby Lyle Piano
Grady Tate Drums
Norton Buffalo Harmonica, Trombone, Vocal Harmony
Bill Champlin Vocal Harmony
Steve Hunter Guitar
Ralph MacDonald Percussion
Sharon Redd Background Vocals
Thom Bell Strings, Horn
Gene Bertoncini Guitar
Robbie Buchanan Keyboards
Francisco Centeno Bass
Cissy Houston Background Vocals
Selwart Clarke Viola
Charlotte Crossley Background Vocals
Michael Federal Bass, Background Vocals
Howard "Buzz" Feiten Guitar
William S. Fischer Strings
Dick Frank Guitar
Lisa Garber Background Vocals
Donny Gerrard Vocal Harmony
Malando Gassama Percussion
Emanuel Green Violin
Jo Ann Harris Background Vocals
Mark Hatch Horn
Ula Hedwig Background Vocals
Jaroslav Jakubovic Reeds, Multiple Reeds
Jerry Jumonville Saxophone
Gail Kantor Horn, Vocals, Background Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Michael Landau Guitar
Ricky Lawson Drums
Bernie Layton Piano
Ray Lucas Drums
Marc Macino Horn
Merle Miller Horn, Vocals, Background Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Kermit Moore Cello
Gene Orloff Violin
Radio Choir of New Hope Church Background Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Pat Rebillot Piano
Marc Shaiman Piano, Conductor
Myrna Smith Background Vocals
Neil Stubenhaus Bass
Richard Trifan Keyboards
Mark Underwood Trumpet
Eugene VanBuren Background Vocals
Carlos Vega Drums
Lou Volpe Guitar
Danny Weiss Guitar
John West Background Vocals
Buddy Williams Drums
Don York Piano
Whitey Glan Drums
Paul Gaudette Synthesizer, Keyboards
Gene Gertoncini Guitar
Elizabeth Kane Harp
Miles Krasner Trumpet
Joseph Mero Percussion
Laura Allan Background Vocals
Robert "Pops" Popwell Bass
Kevin Ellman Drums
Technical Credits
Bette Midler Producer
Barry Manilow Producer, Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
Thom Bell Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
Robbie Buchanan rhythm arrangement
Joel Dorn Producer
Ahmet Ertegun Producer
William S. Fischer String Arrangements
Lewis Hahn Producer
Geoffrey Haslam Producer
Marc Macino Horn Arrangements
Arif Mardin Arranger, Producer, rhythm arrangement, Orchestral Arrangements
Chuck Plotkin Producer
Paul Rothchild Arranger, Producer
Marc Shaiman Arranger, Producer, rhythm arrangement
Steve Skinner Arranger
Greg Gorman Cover Photo
Scott Wittman Creative Consultant
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hear many of these live in Vegas now

    Bette Midler opened tonight at Caesars and sings 6 of the songs on this CD plus. An amazing show - great jokes, sets, beautiful showgirls and this tiny woman with this amazing voice -truly incomparable. Don't miss it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Better Than Streisand

    There has been a long-running debate that Streisand or whether Midler were the better vocalists. I can say unequovically that Midler has a longer range and a softer voice than Streisand with more personality without being trite. "Wind Beneath My Wings" is one of my favorite songs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    BETTEr than BUTTAH

    As a long-time fan of vocal singers, Bette Midler is undoubtedly TOPS in my book. Yes, she's got a smoother range than Babs Streisand ¿ although Babs is a close second. Bette's music touches the hearts and souls of her listeners, unleashing a range of emotions ¿ tears, laughter and thought. If you don't find yourself smiling at her antics in Miss Otis Regrets and then drying a tear while listening to The Rose, Wind Beneath My Wings and From A Distance, then you are definitely missing out!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Simply Divine, Miss M!

    Bette has taken old standards and given them 'verve.' Her rendition of my favorite 'Miss Otis Regrets' is as spunky and sassy as Bette, herself and as revolutionary as the demise of torch songs. I adore the attitude and etiquette of Ms Otis a la the 1990's! Every song, however is good--ranging from the thought-provoking to those tunes that make you sing or dance along! I've always liked Bette; this album has made me a fan.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews