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4.8 out of 5 stars
21
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 24 February 2010
A totally classic Album.
Midler taking the best material from her live performances and putting them on an Album for the first time had to be something special and this certainly is.
Humour, pathos, camp and loads of personality. I have ownded this Album for over 30 years and never tire of it, its still makes me smile with 'Friends, Chapel of love and Leader of the pack' and still tugs at the heart strings with 'Hello in there' 'Superstar' and 'am I blue' all of which are performed to perfection and define the term 'Torch'.
'Do you want to dance' is sensuous and warm and truely stands the test of time and her version of 'Delta Dawn' hugely powerful and wonderfully mad.
The one bad thing about this album is that it makes me sad never to have seen here live in the 70's, but I was just a young boy in the English countryside. Not the most obvious audience for this album (especially as it was pre my coming out), but it reached me and has stayed with me through the years. I am thrilled to say that I finally got to see her live this year and that she is still full of all the old energy and magic - even at 62!!
Buy it and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.
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I first remember Bette Midler as this high energy insane woman who would show up on "The Tonight Show" and having Johnny, Ed and Doc be her backup singers on "Teenager in Love." Years later she was Johnny Carson's final guest, and having seen her live in concert I am here to tell you he could not have made a better choice because nobody performs better than the Divine Miss M. The title of her 1972 debut album put that persona in the public's mind and it remains not only the first but the most definitive Bette Midler album because everything she has done can all be traced back to the eleven tracks collected here. Along with "Songs for the New Depression" and the soundtrack for "The Rose," "The Divine Miss M" is a 1970s Bette Midler album that you have to own in your music library.
The song that caught the public's attention was her second single, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," the old WWII Andrews Sister's song that Bette took to #8 on the Billboard charts (which is actually better than the original did). Midler did all the singing voices and while her singing ability has always been greater than her voice, this is the song that establishes her ability to maximize what she has and sell it like few in the business ever have. With "Chapel of Love" and "Leader of the Pack" on the album as well, it was easy for Midler to carve out her niche as the queen of retro kitsch, but she goes for much more than that with this album. This is why the other key song is John Prine's "Hello in There," where Midler provides the poignancy that would be a key part of her most successful ballads. The other song that stands out for me is her cover of "Delta Dawn," not so much for the version she sings here, but because when I saw her perform life this was the song that ended the first act and it was the surprisingly most memorable moment of a magic evening.
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on 5 October 2008
There are two versions of Friends on the original, tracks #1 and #6 on side two of the album. The US released it under false pretenses as well. Friends appears twice, but it is the same version. Sloppy to say the least. Such a brilliant album, falsely adverstised. Hope they get their act together. I would wait for the real deal before buying this.
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on 3 September 2014
I just love it, remember buying the single on Atlantic in the early 70's of Do You Wanna Dance, and fell in love with it straight away.
Great versions of Chapel of Love, Superstar ( a hit for the Carpenters at the time),Delta Dawn and you gotta love Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy!
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on 4 June 2013
I was introduced to the divine Miss M by the lovely Julian many, many, years ago ... There is no sexier version of 'Do you wanna dance' on the planet (sigh!)

if you find 'elderly' people hard to be around, listen to 'Hello in there' and, as they say in Lancashire, 'think on'.
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on 26 November 2012
I bought this as an LP., a cassette and now finally as a CD. It was my introduction to Bette Midler and I am grateful to it.
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on 12 February 2013
I guess you either love her or hate her but if you love Bette Midler and her music then this album is worth collecting.
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on 5 November 2015
This replaces a recording I had as an LP. Bette Midler is an artist who I will always rebuy as media changes
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on 10 September 2015
Fabulous album from the 70's....this is pure Bette!
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on 24 September 2015
Excellent! Arrived on time; highly recommended!
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