BootLeg Betty

Video: Bette Midler – Fire Down Below – The Rose – 1979


Bette Midler singing Fire Down Below with the drag queens

Video: Bette Midler – Fire Down Below – The Rose – 1979

The first single to be lifted off the soundtrack was Midler’s rendition of Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” which became a moderate chart hit, peaking at #35 on Billboard’s single chart. The studio recorded title track (written by Amanda McBroom) which closes the album however became a top 3 hit for Midler, and also a #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and today counts as one of her signature tunes. The alternate single version with orchestral overdubs was not included on the actual soundtrack but later appeared on hits compilations like Experience the Divine along with “When A Man Love A Woman”. One track featured in the movie, Bob Seger’s “Fire Down Below”, was omitted from the album but Midler recorded a second live version of the song later in 1980 for the soundtrack to her concert documentary Divine Madness. “Keep On Rockin'” was the second Sammy Hagar track Midler recorded, his hard rock track “Red” was featured on her 1977 studio album Broken Blossom. The Rose soundtrack also included one song that since its original release has become a mainstay in Midler’s live repertoire, Jerry Ragovoy’s despairing blues ballad “Stay With Me”.

The Rose peaked at #12 on Billboard’s album chart in the Spring of 1980, making it Midler’s bestselling album since 1973’s Bette Midler.

The album was digitally remastered and reissued on CD by Atlantic Records/Warner Music in 1995 but with no bonus tracks.

Video: Bette Midler – Fire Down Below – The Rose – 1979

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