BootLeg Betty

BetteBack October 10, 1990: Does Bette Midler Gets Too Serious On ‘Some People’s Lives’

European Stars And Stripes
October 10, 1990

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BETTE MIDLER • Some People’s Lives – With Some People’s Lives, Bette Midler has gotten too serious. What she does best is ’40s swing: those perky, Andrews Sisters-style songs (a la Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy) with their intricate harmonies and frantic rhythms. Instead, there’s an overload of whiny, dirge-like ballads here, many in the style of Wind Beneath My Wings, her Grammy-winning hit from last year.

One of the ballads, The Gift of Love, just misses but is bogged down by gaudy production touches.

Fortunately, there’s nothing on the album quite as unabashedly sentimental as Wind, but many of the songs have those same sappy overtones, including the title track, co-written by Janis Ian.

The only flash of the old Midler is on her version of Cole Porter‘s ultra-witty Miss Otis Regrets, a clever blend of contemporary and swing styles. She can be an exceptional torch singer, as she shows on the tender He Was Too Good to Me-Since You Stayed Here, one of the few times when the arrangement is restrained. – DENNIS HUNT, LA. Times

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4 thoughts on “BetteBack October 10, 1990: Does Bette Midler Gets Too Serious On ‘Some People’s Lives’

  1. I love this album, always have. Some People’s Lives is one of my favorites. Night and Day, The Girl is on to You, Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most, and of course the now classic From A Distance. I remember hearing the cassette of this the first time, hearing From A Distance on the radio. I love this album and the photographs of Bette on it. I always thought Some People’s Lives deserved to be included on a Best of release. Bette loves this song as well. Maybe one day she will release a more modern “Memories of You” CD with songs like Some People’s Lives, Hello in There, I Think It’s going to Rain, Millworker, In My Life, To Comfort You, Shining Star. This is one of my “I wish Bette would……….” items.

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