Photo: Bette Midler singing Beast Of Burden on Solid Gold circa 1984

Photo: Bette Midler singing Beast Of Burden on Solid Gold circa 1984

Mister D: Sorry, but Bette Midler sounded more like the Stones than the Stones did on this number. And I love the Stones!

In 1984, the song was covered by Bette Midler. Her version, which reached #71 on Billboard’s Hot 100, modified several lines of lyrics (for example, changing “Pretty, pretty, girls” to “my little sister is a pretty, pretty girl”). The track appeared on Bette Midler’s No Frills album.

A music video was made for this version that started out with Bette and Mick Jagger talking in her dressing room before she comes out and performs the song with him on stage. As the song ends someone throws a pie at Mick, and Bette laughs at it until she gets hit with a pie herself. The video ends with a picture of both of them covered in lyrics in a newspaper with the headline “Just desserts”.

Chart History Of Beast Of Burden

Chart (1984)Peak position
U.S. Billboard Hot 10071
German Singles Chart15
Dutch Top 40 Singles Chart10
Dutch Top 40 Singles Chart 15
Swedish Singles Chart2
Norwegian Singles Chart2
New Zealand Singles Chart4

Source: Wikipedia

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8 thoughts on “Photo: Bette Midler singing Beast Of Burden on Solid Gold circa 1984

  1. I always blamed the DJs. She got pegged as a ballad singer, esp not a rock singer. She had also been banned at one time by the RKO radio stations which was a huge blow, even though by the time of Beast of Burdeb, radio stations had been bought up by Clear Channel. I just think that ban hurt her for quite a while. Over here though. But, I just got the feeling early on that programmers early on didn’t know what to do with her and I think she was disliked. It was very unfortunate, but looking at those charts you can see something was going on. By the time WBMWs came out radio had changed drastically. DJs weren’t as important, and programmers did take into count more of what the pulse of the nation was Plus Midler had gone mainstream then because she was a bona fide movie star. That was a long winded answer that really doesn’t make sense probably.

  2. I remember about that original ban you mentioned although I didn’t know exactly what that meant. But I knew it had something to do with her cussing out a big music executive? Was this an unprecedented thing for someone to be banned like that? When you say “disliked” do you mean her music or her personally? How do you account for “The Rose” doing so well? (I would say because it got categorized under Soundtracks the album I mean.) And finally, as a long time fan, can you tell me was “Do You Wanna Dance” of 1973 on the radio a lot or is it’s success exaggerated? I know “Boogie Woogie” got a lot of airplay…but that is about it up until “The Rose” and then the two ballads of the nineties…You know I was recently reading about CHER and how she had album after album after album that barely charted in the seventies…her failures were even worse than Bette’s…so that cheered me up a little bit…(The album “STARS” peaked at #153 on the top 200…Bette always did better than that!)

    1. Hey Kris: Sorry this took so long. I’ve just had some personal problems to deal with. I remember hearing Do You Wanna Dance quite a bit. Back then DJs had the most control over what you heard so I think it probably represented the listeners demands more. i was living in Lancaster, PA then. But BWBB was way different. It seemed like it was played every 20-30 minutes which means a helluva lot. The next time I heard one of her songs played like that was WBMW’s

      The President of RKO Radio stations which owned, I want to say about 2/3 of the radio stations at the time (it might have been less, but that/s the figure I remember). he insulted Bette at a party when she asked what he thought of her new single, Strangers In The Night. He told her something to the effect that it was the worst piece of shit he had ever heard. She cussed him out and then later hit him over the head with the 45 of the song, breaking the record. He said he was banning her from being played on his stations. Whether it was 1/3 or 2/3 of stations, it was a big chunk of lost listeners. I swear I don’t remember hearing her anymore on radio until The Rose and Thighs and Whispers. They came out almost at the same time. and radio was changing, stations being bought out and replaced with new owners. but I think it definitely had an impact on her radio career.

      I was surprised at your info on Cher. I had always thought the opposite. Thanks for the info.

      1. Also as an afterthought…I remember hearing Bette’s single “MY MOTHERS EYES” from “DIVINE MADNESS SOUNDTRACK” once and only once on the radio…I was so disappointed I never heard it again. I remember the DJ saying “Bette Midler” after the song…that single included the audience applause at the end which was odd…

        1. Yeah, I remember where I was when I first heard it and then never heard it again on the radio. LoL

          I loved the song but I kept hoping they’d release something upbeat by her. I always had a nagging feeling the labels weren’t showing enough sides to her and they were just pegging her as that girl who sand a lot of sad songs. I can’t count the number of times people saw Divine Madness at my house and they couldn’t believe she did all this other stuff that weren’t just ballads

  3. Thank you! I am glad I came back to this comment to read your reply. I became a fan after seeing “THE ROSE” as a 2nd grader…and I remember hearing that song on the radio over and over…and my mom said she would look for the record. When she brought it home she mentioned also seeing an actual Bette Midler studio album…and when I saw it finally at Woolco I never wanted a record so bad in my life! It is still my favorite..

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