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Experience the Divine: Greatest Hits Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 150 customer reviews

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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.

Amazon.com

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 (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,437 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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, From A Distance, When A Man Loves A Woman, Do You Want to Dance, Chapel of Love. I could list every track as they are all classics, but just know that this is an outstanding collection of songs from an outstanding artist. This compilation covers a lot of ground from her first album in 1972, to the latest at the time of this release, in 1993. 20 years of divine music. The cherry on the cake of this album would be One For My Baby (And One More For The Road), the number that Bette sang as Carson's Final Guest and that helped win her an Emmy for that special night. The only problem I have with this album is that it misses so much of Bette's career. 20 years and 13 albums to her recording career at this time is a lot to cover. We don't have any numbers from her albums Bette Midler, Songs for the New Depression, Broken Blossom, Thighs and Whispers, or Divine Madness. And the one track that was chosen from No Frills, Only in Miami, is still a question that haunts me as to why that was chosen instead of the 2 songs released from that album Beast of Burden and All I Need To Know. It would have been nice to have at least one song from each of the mentioned albums make an appearance. Or go all out and have a double disc set so the listener can truly experience the divine. For a bit more money and a bit more variety go with the import version of this album. Released 3 years later it contains Bette's current hit at that time To Deserve You and the remix of that song, Beast of Burden, and Favorite Waste of Time. Even with that being said this is an amazing collection of highlights from an amazing career from an amazing showstopper of a performer.
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