BetteBack June 2, 1977: Rolling Stone Reviews “Live At Last”

Rolling Stone
BETTE MIDLER: “Live at Last” (AtlanticSD2-9000).
June 2, 1977

Once you get past the idea that it’s her schtick more than her songs that Midler cares about, this is pleasant listening – a compilation of most of the best songs from her first three LPs, the best jokes from her one-woman shows, and a studio recorded interlude at the end of Side Two of “You’re Moving Out Today,” the willy single she wrote with Bruce Roberts and Carole Bayer Sager. On the other hand, until she decides to make the fine album of contemporary songs she’s capable of doing, none of this really makes any difference.

“You’re Moving Out Today”

I stayed out late one night and you moved in.
I didn’t mind ’cause of the state you were in.
May I remind you that it’s been a year since then?

Today the landlady, she said to me,
“Your loony friend just made a pass at me.”
Perhaps you might enjoy a cottage by the sea.

So pack your toys away,
your pretty boys away,
your forty-fives away,
your alibis away,
your silly lies away,
your old tie-dyes away,
your one more tries away.
You’re moving out today.

You nasty habits ain’t confined to bed.
The grocer told me what you do with bread.
Why don’t you take up with the
baker’s wife instead of me?

Pack up your rubber duck.
I’d like to wish you luck.
Your funny cigarettes, your sixty-one cassettes,
pack all your clothes away,
your rubber hose away,
your old day glows away.
You’re movin’ out today.

“I hate to do it”
“You gotta”
“I hate to do it”
“You gotta”
“I hate to do it”
“You gotta”
“I hate to do it”
“You gotta”
“I hate to do it”
“You gotta”

Pack up you dirty looks,
your songs that have no hooks,
your stacks of Modern Screen,
your portrait of the queen,
your mangy cat away,
your baby fat away.
You’re headed that a-way.
You’re moving out today.

[additional lyrics from the single]
Pack up your forck and spoon,
but leave my Lorna Doones;
Your map of Mozambique;
Your waterbed that leaks.

la la la la la la la la la.
la la la la la la la la . . .

“The reason I’m singing la la is because I’m so happy you’re going.
Gosh, you’ve made me miserable.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so unhappy as I’ve been this last year with you.
You are really a dirty, dirty guy. Did anybody ever tell you that?
Oh, uh, by the way, would you, uh, take off that coat you’re wearing?
That’s my coat you’re wearing. Ah, yes. Thank you, oh. Goodbye!
Parting is such sweet sorrow . . .”

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4 thoughts on “BetteBack June 2, 1977: Rolling Stone Reviews “Live At Last”

  1. Hmmm, Divine Miss M, the debut album is the definitive album or is there still another gem lurking underneath all of this? Well, the tribute albums were pretty great, hmmmmmm….just sayin’

  2. Hi I`m 60 this year and have been looking for a DVD of Bette Midler`s show I saw on TV along time ago I have been looking for it when there was video`s and are still looking, It is the show with the mermaids, and she was in a wheelchair in some of it, I think it was called Live at Last, as I got the music on double disk of it and that is what it was called but don`t know if the live show was called that, so if any body knows what its called and where I can get a DVD of the Live Show ,could some body out there please let me know as I`ve been looking for over 40 years now and would like to get one before I die. As I would really like to see as well as hear it. please. Any help appreciated thanks from Belinda in Australia.

    1. Not sure which Live Show you mean. The double disc CD Live At Last is available only on VHS, but she wasn’t doing the mermid bit then. The first time the mermaid appeared was on Divine Madness which is out on DVD. Then there was Art or Bust in which she and the Harlettes were all mermaida, but thats only on VHS too. She also played the mermaid, Delores, on Viva Las Vegas (DVD)

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