Using her regular touring band and employing Don Was, an expert on helping pop veterans reclaim the sounds that made them successful, Bette Midler makes an excellent album to tie in with the premiere of her network television show. Was seems to conceive of Midler as a kind of pre-rock, neo-Brill Building performer, frequently putting her into mid-tempo pop arrangements of old R&B ballads, here including Baby Washington's 1960 hit "That's How Heartaches Are Made," the Temptations' 1971 hit "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)" (which here sounds even more like an old Drifters hit than it does usually), and a pair of 1980 titles, Teddy Pendergrass' "Love TKO" and the Manhattans' "Shining Star."
"Live at Last" is the first live album by American singer Bette Midler, a two-disc set released in 1977, Midler's fourth album release on the Atlantic Records label. The album spawned from her live, recorded performance, "The Depression Tour" in Cleveland, entitled "The Bette Midler Show".
Bette Midler's 3rd album is notable for a duet with Bob Dylan on "Buckets of Rain" and an excellent version of Tom Waits's "Shiver Me Timbers."
Bette Midler's debut album displays how raw her talent was at the beginning of her career, a coarseness that has been lost as she's honed her persona into something brassier. Not that brassy's bad; she's just matured as a performer. But listen to this, then throw in 1990's fine Some People's Lives to see how she shines with both voices. On The Divine Miss M, the atmosphere is so intimate it's like she and the band are right in front of you…