Thighs and Whispers

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Joe Viglione
The Divine Miss M's sixth release on Atlantic, and the one right before The Rose, finds the singer reunited with producer Arif Mardin, who contributed to her self-titled second album. Despite Bette Midler being in fine voice for Thighs and Whispers, a play on the title Cries and Whispers, a 1972 offering from film director Ingmar Bergman, and outside of a terrific version of Johnny Bristol's 1974 Top Ten solo hit "Hang on in There Baby," this 1979 disc is stuck in the '70s when an artist of Midler's stature should have made a recording that was her ode to the decade of decadence. The disco beat on most of the album is an irritant years later, though, as stated, Motown ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Joe Viglione
The Divine Miss M's sixth release on Atlantic, and the one right before The Rose, finds the singer reunited with producer Arif Mardin, who contributed to her self-titled second album. Despite Bette Midler being in fine voice for Thighs and Whispers, a play on the title Cries and Whispers, a 1972 offering from film director Ingmar Bergman, and outside of a terrific version of Johnny Bristol's 1974 Top Ten solo hit "Hang on in There Baby," this 1979 disc is stuck in the '70s when an artist of Midler's stature should have made a recording that was her ode to the decade of decadence. The disco beat on most of the album is an irritant years later, though, as stated, Motown producer Johnny Bristol's "Hang on tn There Baby" survives the incessant drum/high hat sound. "Big Noise From Winnetka," sadly, does not, a future anachronism Mardin avoided with former Midler backup singer Melissa Manchester when "You Should Hear How She Talks About You" added rock to the dance vibe three years later in 1982. "Millworker" and "Cradle Days" are more traditional Midler and for that reason they entertain, her strengths are formidable, and here she goes to those areas of power. Where Bette's second album had co-production from Barry Manilow and the third, Songs for the New Depression, from Mark "Moogy" Klingman, Thighs and Whispers would have benefited with more than one vision. The girl group fascination which was a wonderful point of reference for Bette, reprised somewhat on 1977's Live at Last and 1980's Divine Madness, is missing in action here, though high points like the vocal performance on "Cradle Days" work very well. The disco comes back to haunt "My Knight in Black Leather," a song that would have worked better if it had a bit of techno angst as well as more trendy S & M references. As a sappy dancefloor exercise this version should have been an outtake. And that Jerry Ragovoy co-wrote it is the real shocker -- Midler using his "Stay With Me" to wonderful effect in her film The Rose. Bette's own co-write "Hurricane" works as well as Elton John's Victim of Love failed disco experiment -- which is to say it doesn't. But Mac Rebennack's "Rain" is more than a delight, it's a real diamond in the rough here. "Married Men" closes out the album, and it is disco that works, La Bette's own version of "It's Raining Men" with the flavor of illicit romance an integral part of that decade. Bette Midler is such a consistent and dynamic artist that even she is allowed one exercise in excess. Thighs and Whispers is an uneven album from the harlot starlet which still has its moments.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/29/1995
  • Label: Atlantic
  • UPC: 075678278624
  • Catalog Number: 82786
  • Sales rank: 57,139

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Big Noise from Winnetka (6:56)
  2. 2 Millworker (4:06)
  3. 3 Cradle Days (5:00)
  4. 4 My Knight in Black Leather (4:53)
  5. 5 Hang on in There Baby (6:07)
  6. 6 Hurricane (7:21)
  7. 7 Rain (3:41)
  8. 8 Married Men (4:01)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bette Midler Primary Artist, Vocals, Background Vocals
Luther Vandross Background Vocals
Warren Bernhardt Piano, Electric Piano
Phil Bodner Clarinet, Reeds, Saxophone
Michael Brecker Reeds, Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Jon Faddis Trumpet
Mel Lewis Drums, Tom-Tom
Tom "Bones" Malone Trombone
George Young Reeds, Saxophone
Bernie Leighton Piano
Robin Clark Background Vocals
Arthur Freeman Background Vocals
Billy Gray Background Vocals
Danny Stiles Trumpet
Jonathan Abramowitz Strings
Lamar Alsop Human Whistle
Phillip Ballou Background Vocals
Errol Crusher Bennett Percussion, Conga
Randy Brecker Trumpet
Eddie Brigati Background Vocals
A. Brown Strings
Joe Caro Guitar, Electric Guitar
Rafael Cruz Percussion
Eddie Daniels Reeds, Saxophone, Alto Saxophone
Steve Ferrone Drums
Sammy Figueroa Percussion
Babi Floyd Background Vocals
John Frosk Trumpet
John Gale Trombone
Diva Gray Background Vocals, Obbligatto Vocals
Robin Grean Background Vocals
Carl Hall Background Vocals
Ula Hedwig Background Vocals
Anthony Jackson Bass
Arthur Jenkins Electric Piano
Jack Jennings Percussion, Marimbas, Background Vocals
Randy Kerber Synthesizer, Piano, Electric Piano, Mellotron
Will Lee Bass
Jesse Levy Cello
Arif Mardin Percussion, Conductor
George Marge Reeds, Saxophone
Merle Miller Background Vocals
Jeff Mironov Guitar
Gene Orloff Concert Master
Jocelyn Shaw Background Vocals
Alan Shulman Strings
Billy Slapin Reeds, Saxophone
David Spinozza Acoustic Guitar, Guitar
Richard Tee Piano
Fonzi Thornton Background Vocals
David Tofani Reeds, Saxophone
Ed Walsh Synthesizer
Willie Weeks Bass
Frank Wess Reeds, Saxophone
M. Wright Strings
Jim Maxwell Bagpipes
Lew Del Gatto Reeds, Saxophone
Ken Williams Bass (Vocal)
J. Levy Strings
Technical Credits
Carlene Carter Composer
Al Anderson Composer
Bob Dylan Composer
John Lennon Composer
Paul McCartney Composer
Bonnie Bramlett Composer
Barrett Strong Composer
Jimmy Douglass Engineer
Lewis Hahn Engineer
Jacques Levy Composer
Arif Mardin Producer, Horn Arrangements
Gene Paul Engineer
Jerry Ragovoy Producer
Marc Shaiman Vocal Arrangements
Bobby Warner Engineer
Norman Whitfield Composer
Stephen Innocenzi Remixing
Sandi Young Art Direction
Roger Penzabene Composer
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