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BetteBack Review: The Divine Miss M

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Every once in a great while there comes along a performer who is not only good in his-her field, but comes equipped with a
u n i q u e style making people sit up and take notice. Those who have seen Bette Midler perform have been overwhelmed by her exuberant flair and the manner in which she lets herself go and puts the utmost into her act.

This same abundance of energy comes through loud and clear on her new Atlantic album “The Divine Miss M.” Besides the energy and excitement expressed on the LP, Miss Midler sings with such sensuality and phrasing as to caress each lyric. Her vocal style, stage mannerisms and her dress make it appear that she is attempting to bring back the good-time feeling of rock and roll prevalent in the late 1950s and early ’60s.

To this end Miss Midler includes three big hits from the early ’60s on the LP — “Do You Want to Dance,” “Chapel of Love” and “Leader of the Pack” — and does an admirable job on all three. Also included are tunes from two modern rock stars, Leon Russell‘s oft recorded “Superstar” and John Prine‘s “Hello in There.”

On the negative side, it’s hard to imagine why two slightly different versions of the same song, “Friends,” are included on the album. However, this peculiarity does little to detract from the high quality of the album. The background vocals and the production of the album also stand out and it appears quite evident that we will be hearing more from “The Divine Miss M” in the future.

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