Oft-Schmaltzy Midler Shines In ‘No Frills’
Sunday, October 23, 1983
Bette Midler strips to the bare essentials inÂ “No Frills” (Atlantic 80070), which finds theÂ oft-schmaltzy pop queen rocking harder thanÂ she has in years.
With basic instrumentation – featuringÂ guitarists like Buzzy Feiten, Mark Goldenberg, Â Waddy Wachtel, Chas Sanford and DannyÂ Kortchmar, she wails out a program which Â would do any rock mama proud.
She’s got tunes from Nick Gilder, MarshallÂ Crenshaw, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Andy Â Goldmark, Moon Martin and others – includingÂ Jagger and Richards’ hot and heavy “Beast Â ofÂ Burden.”
She opens with a wailing performance of “IsÂ It Love” by Gilder and segues into a nostalgic “Favorite Waste of Time” by Crenshaw, andÂ wrenches your heart out in the rock ballad “AllÂ I Need to Know” by Mann and Weil with TomÂ Snow.
She strips to just a killer quartet (JimÂ Keltner, Tim Drummond, Danny KortchmarÂ and Mark Goldenbert) for the albums’s highÂ point, Jagger & Richard’s classic “Beast ofÂ Burden.”
She closes the album with the tenderÂ “Come Back Jimmy Dean,” which she cocomposed.
One of her strongest albums to date.