BootLeg Betty

BetteBack August 21, 1993: Flack, Midler sing their greatest hits

Independence Examiner
August 21, 1993

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â–  Softly with these Songs: The Best of Roberta Flack. (Atlantic)
■ Experience the Divine: Bette Midler’s Greatest Hits. (Atlantic)

Atlantic Records must be waxing nostalgic these days if the back-to-back release of two greatest hits compilations is any indication.

* Two great ladies of song, Roberta Flack and Bette Midler, traipse down memory lane — and its a pure joy ride for listeners.

These songs of the ’60s, ’70s and beyond might have been mired in the bubble gum of oldies radio but for the fact that these talented ladies knew how to turn them into timeless tunes.

Flack’s “ Softly With These Songs” is a compilation of Her Grammy-winning hits “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” “Where Is the Love” and “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” as well as memorable duets with Donny Hathaway (“The Closer I Get to You” and “Back Together gain”), Peabo Bryson (“Tonight, I Celebrate My Love”) and Maxi Priest (“Set the Night to Music”).

Expression is Midler’s forte, and hence “Experience the Divine” is a fasten-your-seatbelt excursion. It starts off slow with the poignant old-age ballad “Hello in There,” and builds momentum with “ Do You Want to Dance?,” the hymn-like “From a Distance,” a jazzed-up “Chapel of Love” and the swing-time “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”

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