Sings the Peggy Lee Songbook [DualDisc]

Sings the Peggy Lee Songbook [DualDisc]

by Bette Midler
     
 

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Having paid tribute to one of her strongest influences with the 2003 album Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook the Divine Miss M now turns her sights on another beloved icon of song: Peggy Lee. Wielding her trademark blend of tenderness and sass, Midler brings sparkle to such polished

Overview

Having paid tribute to one of her strongest influences with the 2003 album Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook the Divine Miss M now turns her sights on another beloved icon of song: Peggy Lee. Wielding her trademark blend of tenderness and sass, Midler brings sparkle to such polished jewels of songcraft as ”I’m a Woman,” “Happiness Is Just a Thing Called Joe,” “The Folks Who Love on the Hill,” and “Big Spender,” reminding us of Lee’s own fine-tuned radar when it came to a great song. Wisely, Midler doesn't ignore Lee’s own contributions as a songwriter: “I Love Being Here with You,” done as a playful duet with old friend Barry Manilow, and the sparkling “He’s a Tramp” are highlights of a program stocked with memorable performances. This apparent labor of love makes you look forward to Midler’s next musical tribute.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
Bette Midler's first songbook album focused on songs popularized by Rosemary Clooney, and it became a surprising hit after being latched onto by vocal fans as well as adult contemporary audiences. Befitting her image, the record wasn't a reverent tribute; Midler and musical partner Barry Manilow modernized the arrangements of Clooney's bigger hits, recasting "Come On-A My House" as a swing/hip-hop number and reimagining "This Ole House" as a bluegrass song. Midler's 2005 tribute to Peggy Lee is a more conservative affair, perhaps due to Lee's larger status in the realm of American song as compared to Clooney. That's not to say it's a disappointment; in fact, it's a talented, affectionate record that may not add much to the cause but is a solid tribute. Certainly Lee's image as the bemused, world-wise, sometimes sensual siren fits well with Midler's, and both have exhibited an excellent rhythmic sense. And the material helps Midler flaunt as only she knows how, from "Fever" to "Big Spender" to "I'm a Woman." While all of these contribute nothing more or less than Lee's versions, Midler does noticeably improve "Is That All There Is?," one of the most eccentric songs in Lee's repertoire. Her studied boredom in the verses is good enough, but when she reaches the uninhibited chorus, she reveals a marvel of catlike glee. The arrangements, most of them by Manilow, are very good, although they reveal a close knowledge of the originals that contributes to the reverence on display.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/25/2005
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0827969775820
catalogNumber:
97758

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bette Midler   Primary Artist
Robert Hurst   Bass
Nick Ariondo   Accordion
Ramon Banda   Drums
Dave Carpenter   Bass
Randy Crenshaw   Background Vocals
Joey DeFrancesco   Hammond Organ
Kevin Dorsey   Background Vocals
Don Sebesky   Conductor
Ray Ellis   Conductor
Jim Fox   Banjo,Guitar
Clydene Jackson   Background Vocals
Michael Lang   Piano
Ron Pedley   Piano
Melanie Taylor   Background Vocals
Yvonne Williams   Background Vocals
William Ross   Conductor
Bob Joyce   Background Vocals
Russ McKinnon   Drums
Steve Cotter   Guitar

Technical Credits

Barry Manilow   Arranger,Producer,Concept
Randy Newman   Arranger
Jerry Leiber   Composer
Greg Bartheld   Engineer
J. Bock   Composer
Don Sebesky   Arranger
Ray Ellis   Arranger
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg   Composer
Garry Kief   Executive Producer
Jay Landers   Liner Notes,Executive Producer
Mike Stoller   Composer
John Davenport   Composer
David Benson   Producer,Engineer
Eddie Cooley   Composer
William Ross   Arranger
Andrew Scheps   Engineer
Robert W. Richards   Illustrations
Gail Marowitz   Art Direction
Bette Sussman   Vocal Coach
George Shelby   Horn Arrangements
C. Duane Coleman   Composer
David Keeps   Liner Notes

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