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The Divine Miss M Deluxe

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Album Review

Bette Midler was one of the last major artists who emerged from the traditions of nightclub performing, after rock & roll changed the rules of the music business, though she was a singer capable of working both sides of the fence. Midler's approach bore more than a passing resemblance to the traditions of supper-club performers wearing their hearts on their sleeves for the audience, but she could balance sincerity and a deep respect for songcraft with a large dose of camp and broad humor, coupled with a love of R&B and girl group sounds that put her within a stone's throw of rock. (And if the nightspot where Midler first found her audience was a gay bathhouse in New York, that was just one more wrinkle that separated her from the major nightclub acts of the '50s and '60s.) Midler's 1972 debut album, The Divine Miss M, gave her an ideal introduction to the listening audience, a set that honored her brassy and introspective sides with equal care and skill. While Midler was and is best known for her outgoing stage persona, numbers like "Am I Blue" and "Do You Want to Dance?" demonstrate how much emotional heat she can bring to a torch song, and her interpretations of "Delta Dawn" and "Hello in There" are powerful, moving stuff, portraying their characters with a palpable compassion and nuance. Midler's loving renditions of "Chapel of Love" and "Leader of the Pack" show how much she learned from Brill Building pop, and "Friends," which opened and closed side two, made clear Midler could wrap some very complicated emotions in a catchy (but smart) pop tune. And the production (half by Joel Dorn, half by Geoffrey Haslam, Ahmet Ertegun, and Midler's then musical director, Barry Manilow) knows when to move in close to catch the sweet grain of her voice and when to step back and take in the whole show. If Midler matured as a performer with time, The Divine Miss M remains her best album, one that captured the many facets of her musical personality beautifully and showed her quirks were a rich part of what made her music so powerful.

Customer Reviews

Divine Deluxe!

This remaster of Bette's acclaimed debut album from 1972 The Divine Miss M is the best and does each song justice. Daytime Hustler just sounds the best I have ever heard it! She earned a Grammy and had 4 big hits. The single mixes are here as well for a bonus. Do You Want To Dance is slightly longer as the Quadrophonic version was. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy remixed single mix and the single mixes of the double sided single Friends( her theme song back then) and Chapel Of Love. An alternate take of Superstar is equally satisfying and the original mixes of Old Cape Cod and Marijuana are actually better than their versions on Songs For The New Depression. Saturday Night and Mr Freedom And I are equally as great and quite different than the original album which is probably why they were not included. Im sure there are quite a few tracks that were recorded that are incredible and may be released when we are all I have heard her demo mixes of Melissa Manchester's Easy, Meatloaf's Heaven Can Wait & Steal Away Again and hoped they would be on here as well, but maybe when they do the deluxe version of Bette Midler, her second album.


I'm super excited over this album, it's one of my favorites! AND it just got better:) No one can sing Do Ya Wanna Dance like Ms M💃🏽

Standing Ovation

BathHouse Betty Hits another one clear out of the park!


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 Deluxe, Bette Midler
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