BetteBack Review October 27, 1990: Some People’s Lives

Winnipeg Free Press
Midler’s tear-jerkers offer little of substance
October 27, 1990

BETTE MIDLER/Some People’s Lives (WEA).

After success with several soundtracks and singles – most recently the much overplayed ballad Wind Beneath My WingsMidler returns to the studio for the first time in -several years.

A singer/actress who cheerfully refers to herself as a big-mouthed broad, Midler is known for a loud, colorful personality on screen. However, it rarely comes across on this record.

Midler can either belt it out or sing ballads in hushed tones. Less certain on the middle ground, she simply avoids it.

Since tear-jerking ballads are her cash cow, this record is f u ll of them – seven of 11 tracks. She has complemented them with tunes that require either smooth sensitivity or throaty gusto, keeping her shortcomings well hidden.

While you’ve got to respect someone who sticks to what she can do, however, there’s little of substance here. The most interesting tune is Cole Porter‘s Miss Otis Regrets, some terrific, full-throttle big band swing, which takes advantage of Midler’s power.

The rest of this album is stunning in its insignificance.

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4 thoughts on “BetteBack Review October 27, 1990: Some People’s Lives

  1. “stunning in its insignifcance”??? WOW. who are these people? I’ve read a lot of reviews on Bette’s films and music but this might be the furthest off the mark. her music stands the test of time. i feel if some of these people listen to her albums NOW they would feel differently. Never understood her critics.

  2. Oh I know. Studying this woman’s career I am well aware of both sides. Just this one in particular rubbed me the wrong way. I mean the only track on SPL I don’t care for is All of a Sudden… the others are complete gems. I feel like half these critics listen to music while in a bad mood.

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