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Experience the Divine: Greatest Hits Import

141 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, June 22, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Collection from the Divine Miss M that covers Bette Midler's career up to 1993, Experience the Divine hits all the familiar high points. Yes, "The Rose" and "Wind Beneath My Wings' are here along with longtime favorites like her sultry version of the old '60s dance hit "Do You Wanna Dance?" and her theatrical take on Tom Waits' "Shiver Me Timbers". Midler's true genius, a quality that only her biggest fans have noticed over the years, is the way that she's casually, almost surreptitiously, updated the Great American Songbook, showing how familiar pre-Rock standards, including "One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)" and Cole Porter's "Miss Otis Regrets", fit seamlessly next to songs like the girl-group classic "Chapel of Love" and John Prine's "Hello in There". Truly magical. Atlantic.

From her early days in the bathhouses to her rise as the star of her own concert film, Bette Midler has always brought a campy playfulness to her performances. Experience the Divine focuses on her radio hits for the bulk of its resources, although the kicky "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" is here. Midler's voice easily adapts itself to the material she's performing: "When a Man Loves a Woman" is charged with a raw sensuality whereas "In My Life," is as tender as a lullaby. The recent standards are here, "From a Distance" and "Wind Beneath My Wings," along with her star-making turn, "The Rose." Whether she's handling Cole Porter ("Miss Otis Regrets") or the Beatles, Bette Midler's voice is dynamic and expressive, according to the needs of the song. This astute ability to interpret without always going for the kill makes her versions of her chosen material some of the best ever recorded. --Steve Gdula

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Hello In There
  2. Do You Want To Dance?
  3. From A Distance
  4. Chapel Of Love
  5. Only In Miami
  6. When A Man Loves A Woman
  7. The Rose
  8. Miss Otis Regrets
  9. Shiver Me Timbers
  10. Wind Beneath My Wings
  11. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
  12. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)
  13. Friends
  14. In My Life

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 22, 1993)
  • Original Release Date: June 22, 1993
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Atlantic UK
  • ASIN: B000002IVS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,769 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J. Brigante on February 3, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This album was a surprise when released, since it was something I never thought would be possible , since it is so magical. Thre were three major surprises on the album. One was "When A Man Loves A Woman" from "The Rose" soundtrack. It is beautiful to her her sing this, compared to other remake artists like Michael Bolton. I wish this song was more commercial on the charts. This was always a classic from her. The second surprise was "One More For My Baby (And One More For The Road), a song Bette sung on the last Johnny Carson Show. The third surprise, but last for sure, was "Shiver Me Timbers", taking from the "Live At Last" album. Lew Hahn and Arif Mardin were responsible for managing this performance, as they seemed to be the two men that saved performers when they were falling apart. That's right. Mr. Mardin and Mr Hahn produced the last Culture Club album in the 1980's, "From Luxury to Heartache", and anyone who bought it knew it was just a solid as the first two Culture Club albums. In a way, the same applies to Bette Midler. With her music carrer, Bette was not really on the top in the beginning and middle 1980's. Then came Arif Mardin who produced the "Beaches" soundtrack, and Bette went to number one. The best two studio songs on this greatest hits collection are "Wind Beneath My Wings" from the "Beaches" soundtrack and "From A Distance" from "Some People's Lives", both songs produced by Arif Mardin. As a matter of fact, this whole greatest hits collection is produced and compiled by Arif Mardin and Bette Midler, and it is a classic surprise. Even from the first thoughtful song, "Hello In There" from 1972, we know we bought a classic.Read more ›
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Antonio Robert on June 16, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Sometimes referred to as a lesser Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler has not had such a star-ridden career, but what she did in her music was always worth hearing. This compilation chronicles the greatest hits from the first twenty years or so (1972-1992) of her career.
A few songs are taken from her breakthrough debut "The Divine Miss M", hit ballads "The Rose", "Wind Beneath My Wings" and "From A Distance" (the latter two big Grammy winners) are also featured. The take on Percy Sledge's "When A Man Loves A Woman" resembles Janis Joplin at her most emotional, while Cole Porter's "Miss Otis Regrets" is a great pop rendition of old standard. Also the remake of the Beatles' "In My Life" (from the movie "For The Boys" where she gave a stunning performance) is worth the name of the song.
Simply put, Bette Midler is a true artist who can sing a song. A good singer of good songs. And although her newer material has not been very successful in terms of sales, her level remains high.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Gary Selikow on April 19, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Bette Midler has a wonderful voice and this is a great album.
The CD starts with the extremely melancholy tearjerker, `Hello In There' (1972) followed by a soft jazzy rendition of ` Do You Want To Dance' (1972).
Then there is that beautiful ballad, `From A Distance' (1990), it is not an anti-war rave, but a beautiful song of spiritual contemplation.
Her version of `Chapel Of Love' (1972) is also a great, feel-good number.
`Only In Miami' (1983) is a superb Calypso piece, which also brings to mind the plight of millions of Cuban exiles from the cruel Castro regime in Cuba.
`When A Man Loves A Woman' (1979) (is a bit different to the original, but certainly adds a soft touch `The Rose' (1979) is one of the most exquisite, inspirational love songs of all times.
The jazzy `Miss Otis Regrets' (1990) is a fun rendition of the 1935 Cab Calloway hit, and `Shiver Me Timbers' (1976) is another lovely imagery hit and who can forget the poetic `The Wind Beneath Mt Wings' (1988) from the `Beaches Soundtrack.'
And I also enjoy Bette's 1991 rendition of John Lennon's `In My Life'
This is a great compilation of some beautiful music.
Sit and listen , notonly to the words , but let the music speak to you !
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By dustler on October 13, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Obviously for everyone! All of Bette's classics are here! Wind Beneath My Wings, From A Distance, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, The Rose, etc. An outstanding collection of songs. The album also contains One For My Baby (And One More For The Road), the number that Bette sang when she was Johnny Carson's Final Guest. That is the final clincher for a reason to buy this album. BUY IT!!! If you love this Bette album, you'll love these other Bette albums: The Divine Miss M, Broken Blossom, Beaches soundtrack, Bette of Roses, Bathhouse Betty, Bette. Support Bette Midler! Buy the album here! Don't buy from an auction or download the songs for free!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peter Durward Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Bette sings excellent covers of songs from several decades of popular music, each in her own distinctive style, as well as a few originals.
Among the originals, the outstanding song is The Rose, a song written by Amanda McBroom who was then unknown but has established herself as a cabaret singer since she wrote this song.
Bette is perhaps best known for two massive international hits. Wind beneath my wings started life as an R+B song but a Gary Morris cover made the top five in the American country chart. Lee Greenwood's cover became a minor British pop hit. Bette had a major pop hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Bette's version of From a distance, first recorded by folk-country singer Nanci Griffith, matched the success of Wind beneath my wings.
John Prine, an under-appreciated singer-songwriter, wrote Hello in there. Do you wanna dance is a rock'n'roll classic. Chapel of love is of a similar vintage, being originally recorded by the Dixie Cups. When a man loves a woman is a cover of Percy Sledge's classic soul song. The Beatles are represented by a wonderful cover of In my life.
Cole Porter wrote Miss Otis regrets, making it the oldest song here - it was a hit for Ethel Waters way back in 1934. Another old song, Boogie woogie bugle boy, was a hit for the Andrews sisters in 1941. Completing a trilogy of songs from the Great American Songbook is One for my baby, a 1945 hit for Lena Horne.
As a representation of Bette's music, this is excellent.
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