Bette Midler's incredible debut album is so intimate it's almost embarrassing, from the heartbreak of Superstar to the exuberant girl group antics of Chapel of Love and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy . But her finest moment may be her cover of Delta Dawn , which manages to be hilarious and heart wrenching at the same time. A triumph by any measure.
Was Bette Midler playing on the title of Dinah Washington's The Swingin' Miss D
when she named her 1972 debut? Washington would've been proud of this album's tune stack, which makes a sensuous slow-jam classic of "Do You Want to Dance?" by Bobby Freeman
, salutes the Andrews Sisters
' "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," and produces signature pieces of John Prine
's "Hello in There" and Buzzy Linhart
's "Friends." Midler might not have set out to reinvent the wheel, but on her first try, she outdid Barbra Streisand
in taste, wit, and yes, sophistication. --Rickey Wright