BetteBack Review: The Divine Miss M ~ Bette Midler ~ March 17, 1973

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From All Sides:
“Divine Miss M’s” Debut Album Promises Long Ticket Line
March 17, 1973

Bette Midler, the red-haired vivacious singing bombshell, will make a concert appearance at 8 p.m. April 5 at Loew’s State Theater.

If you are unfamiliar with the lady’s abundance of talent, give a listening to her debut LP, “The Divine Miss M” (Atlantic SD 7238).

Chances are good that you will join the line at the box office.

Nostalgia is at the forefront these days, and much to Ms. Midler’s advantage. Her hairstyle, dress, and much of her repertoire borrow heavily from the 1940s. In fact, she could easily be mistaken for a fourth member of the Andrew Sisters.

Ms. Midler’s supercamp style is evident throughout the album.

There’s a straight-ahead take off on the Andrew Sisters* big hit “The Boogie Wooeie Bugle BOY” and her treatment of Bohbv Freeman’s “Do You Wanna Dance?” is highly reminiscent of the eariv Peggy Lee.

Although Ms. Midler’s rendition of “Am I Blue” falls short of Ethel Waters’ knockout version, it is nonetheless verv satisfying.

Ms. Midler does not limit herself to standards of old.

Tracks like “F r i e n d s,” “Hello in There,” and “Superstar” give us a glimpse of the woman not of the supercamp genre. It is a most pleasing glimpse at that.

The album is not without shortcomings. It is at times overproduced as is the case with “Leader of the Pack,” the Shangrilas hit of the early 1960s.

Nevertheless, t h e r e is enough on this LP to make Ms. Midler worthy of critical acclaim and a trip downtown next month.

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