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The Divine Miss M

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iTunes Review

Bette Midler's brash 1972 debut rooted itself in a whirlwind tour of three decades of pop history, all of it variously juiced, hammered or caressed by an ambitious talent who suddenly made Streisand seem downright chutzpah-challenged. The album's tongue-in-cheek title not only saluted vintage torch sensibilities and the gleeful camp of the early '70s Manhattan gay scene where she'd most recently made her mark, it introduced a confident, irony-charged persona Midler would find daunting to live up to. Anchored by a hit single (a supercharged swing through the Andrews Sisters' "Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy" where she multi-tracked all the harmonies) that further blurred matters, the album is nonetheless a near wall-to-wall stylistic tour de force. Midler's "Delta Dawn" seems torn between eros and pathos, while her reads of "Superstar" and John Prine's "Hello in There" are studies in gripping emotional starkness. Elsewhere she bewitches Bobby Freeman's innocent "Do You Wanna Dance?" into slinky slow-jam triumph and bounds across an emotional landscape that ranges from the downbeat introspection of "Am I Blue" to infectious, over-the-top send-ups of "Chapel of Love" and "Leader of the Pack."

Customer Reviews

These songs have been on my "current playlist" for over 20 years

The discovery of "The Divine Miss M" the year I graduated from high school helped me define a clear appreciation of musical diversity. From the classic "Am I Blue" to the original arrangement for "Do You Want to Dance" I was hooked on this voice. The deeply felt emotions of "Hello In There" painted a familiar picture of the late 70's and the struggle to understand loss and aging. "Superstar" is sung so beautifully that anyone who has ever loved and lost can identify with the almost breathless angst of being the one left who stil asks why. While Ms Midler has produced many other albums that I love, when I hear the first percussion rift of "Do You Want to Dance" my answer has been YES! YES! please dance with me over and over again. Triumphant debut that earned her a place on my turntable, my 8 track, my cd and now my iPod for over 30 years. Love this music, its Divine.

I Love Bette.

What a talented and funny woman.She can sing too.

In my room, circa 1977...

I discovered this album quite by accident, but I played it over and over -- and over and over and over, lost in its haunting beauty, stylistic virtuosity and explosive fearlessness. All alone with Bette, this album gave me hope that melancholy could be transformative. Gorgeous sadness (...i.e., "Hollow ancient eyes"...Hello in there) that lifts itself to celebratory bliss (Friends!). This album heals, validates and, ultimately, restores one's humanity -- even that of this erstwhile misfit lost in the haze of late 70's dazzzle and glare.


Born: December 1, 1945 in Honolulu, HI

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Bette Midler counts singing as only one of her talents. Still, she has managed to score a number of major hits in a roller-coaster career as a recording artist. Born in Paterson, New Jersey and raised in Hawaii, Midler showed an interest in singing and acting early on, and by the '60s she had moved to New York and gotten a role in the long-running Broadway hit Fiddler on the Roof. Midler developed a nightclub act that included comedy and singing of a variety of kinds of material, including show tunes,...
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The Divine Miss M, Bette Midler
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