by Bette Midler
5.0 6


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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.

Product Details

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

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
Marc Shaiman   Arranger,Producer
Don Was   Producer
Jimmy Vivino   Arranger
Greg Gorman   Cover Photo
Linda C. Cobb   Art Direction
Eddie Gip Noble   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Bette 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whoever prompted Bette Midler to find a new producer for her latest CD venture (simply titled ''Bette'') should be given credit for the superb piece of artistry put forth on this album. Of course that person would have to share the credit with ''Bette'''s producer, Don Was. Was has crafted a musical showcase that does just that--showcases Bette Midler's unique and often-untamable talent. Midler's last two studio efforts, ''Bette of Roses'' and ''Bathhouse Betty,'' paled in comparison to the previous dozen or so albums which were able to capture that element of Midler's voice that is so unique. For fans of 54-year-old Midler who feared that that voice was lost to time, ''Bette'' quells their fears. The irony is that it took a producer's touch with instrumentation and background vocals to really make Midler's own voice reach its potential. Midler has never been--and has never claimed to be--a Celine Dion in that the effort of her voice alone does not carry an album. Bette is and has always been a performer at heart and if a producer is not wise to this and attempts to display sheer vocal prowess rather than the tenderness and emotion that Midler is so gifted at presenting, he is going to end up with an unimpressive product. On ''Bette,'' Was allows Bette the Performer to take the reins. Her breathy asides and humorous quips on the album's second track, ''In These Shoes,'' save the song from being just another singer's attempt to feebly jump on the Latin bandwagon with a Spanish-inspired diddy. Her throat-glottaled vowels and swallowed breaths make her remake of The Temptations' ''Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me),'' surprisingly, her own. Midler really covers it all on this album--at least everything that she can cover well (unlike a not-so-successful attempt at rap/hip-hop with ''Bathhouse Betty'''s ''Big Socks''). The album's opener is a very Burt Bacharach-ish sounding tune ''That's How Heartaches Are Made.'' After venturing into the afore-mentioned Latin sphere, ''Bette'' eases into a Motown groove with ''Just My Imagination'' and ''Love TKO.'' Then we get a dose of Bathhouse Bette fun with a Caribbean-themed ''Moses,'' and from her new CBS television series also titled ''Bette,'' the theme song ''Nobody Else But You.'' Of course we get the famous Bette ballads, but they're not so schmaltzy this time out. Track number 3, a gutsy song entitled ''God Give Me Strength'' is the first slow-tempo song on the album and we don't hit another one till track 8 with the elegantly-styled ''Color of Roses.'' Before we close out with a mellow cover of ''Shining Star,'' we get another memorable ballad, ''When Your Life Was Low,'' and the album version of her first single release ''Bless You Child,'' a dance number that proves that Bette can still boogie with the best of them. Although she seems to fall prey to her vocal limits at times (such as with the often-excessive vibratto on ''God Give Me Strength''), Bette shines as the entertainer we all remember from the first time we saw her tear up a stage, whether it was on one of her myriad television appearances (could it have been as the unforgettable last guest on ''The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson?'') or live in a stadium with thousands of fans. For long-term fans and non-fans alike, ''Bette'' is a fine sampling of the talents of Bette Midler certain to be a well-chosen addition to any music collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bette Midler's music is simply heavenly. She has a beautiful voice. I think this cd will be one of her best. She has only gotten better with age.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great cd. Bette Midler has obviously put a lot of time into this, and it shows. This is one of her best cd's ever. Buy it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just bought the CD yesterday, and was blown away by her magnificent range and interpretation of the beautifully crafted songs. Definitely one for the car over and over again!! Bette, you rock!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is fundamental just because it has two splendid renditions of American pop classics done by the Divine Miss M: ''God Give Me Strength'', writen by this genius named Burt Bacharach (his parter here is Elvis Costello) and ''Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)'', a hit with the tremendous Temptations. Amazing!