Mister D: I remember when I bought this LP I absolutely loved it, but this review was pretty much indicative of other notable reviewers at the time. It was always the same old complaint…that seeing Bette live did not transfer well to recordings and that she had trouble picking material. Personally, I liked that all her CD’s were all over the place…to me it showed variety and how she could conquer almost any style. For this recording, she did turn down “Gee Whizz” which became a hit for Bernadette Peters and “Someone That I Used To Love” a Natalie Cole major hit. How did you/do you feel about this recording?
Rolling Stone Magazine
“Broken Blossom’ material a mess
By DAVE MARSH
BETTE MIDLER: “Broken Blossom” (Atlantic SD 19151) 2 Stars.
Bette Midler could have been a contender – she seems to have settled, as a recording artist at least, for being a mere pretender.
On vinyl, her greatest talent is proving to be an ability to outstrip her own-mediocrity. Her first four albums were plagued by problems of material and inconsistent production: “Broken Blossom.” her fifth, uses Brooks Arthur (and Bones Howe, for one track) to solve the production problem, but the material is a mess.
Aside from her duet with Tom Waits, “I Never Talk to Strangers,” and the Ronettes obscure “Paradise,” most of those songs are founded on a misapprehension of Midler’s performing strengths. “La Vie En Rose” is boring, “Empty Bed Blues” a nice try but reveals an utter lack of blues feeling, “Red” the most mediocre sort of hardrock, and so forth – The pop songs are OK. but nothing here touches the best of “Streisand Superman,” for one instance.
If Midler could, perhaps, settle on one musical style per LP – let her scope reveal itself over the span of her work – she might have a fighting chance. As it is, I’d rather watch her on TV.