After her initial rush of success in 1972-73, Bette Midler lost her footing as a recording artist, her LPs for the rest of the decade were hit and miss.
Midler's first two albums, produced (mostly) by Barry Manilow, were both top ten hits that yielded a smash #1 single 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy' and another top 40 hit 'Friends.' By 1974, Barry Manilow was beginning his phenomenal rocket to stardom leaving Bette Midler to languish on vinyl, a great talent stifled by poor musical choices, erratic management and heavy handed producers.
Released in 1976 (after a 3 year sabbatical that her advisors warned her could be - and was - career crippling) Bette's third album 'Songs for the New Depression' failed to find an large audience despite some nice moments like a duet with Bob Dylan and a cover of Tom Waits' 'Shiver Me Timbers.'
I found 2 songs from that album on You Tube - first the single, a disco version of 'Strangers in the Night' that went to #7 on the dance charts but failed to sell many copies.
The single from the live album, 'You're Moving Out Today,' was a studio track stuck on to the LP as an intermission. It limped to #42 which meant little to no radio airplay.
1977's Broken Blossom continued the trend of throwing every musical style against the needle to see what grooved. Nothing did. The LP was, for the most part, poorly received.
Talk about running the gamut, Harry Nilsson's 'Paradise' was covered on Broken Blossom as was Sammy Hagar's 'Red' - here are both tunes, but I'm going to give you the vastly superior live versions, the first from the motion picture Divine Madness, the second from the Rolling Stone magazine's spectacular 10th anniversary TV special.
There were sublime moments on this album - 'Make Yourself Comfortable' is a pitch perfect lush life refrain as is the cover of Edith Piaf's 'La Vie En Rose.' Midler also dueted with Tom Waits in a honky tonk jam called 'I Never Talk To Strangers' that worked well. Tom and Bette were good buddies during this period.
Other songs covered on Broken Blossom (with mixed results) include 'Empty Bed Blues,' Disney's 'A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes' and Billy Joel's 'Say Goodbye to Hollywood.' The LP only hit #51 on the Billboard Album Charts; 'Storybook Children' and 'Paradise' were released as a single but didn't make a ripple.
The diva told Circus magazine, "All right, I made some funny little records, but I liked them. They are certainly not like a recording anyone else would make."
NEXT: PART TWO:
Bette Midler in the 1970s
Bette Midler won the Best New Artist award at the 1974 Grammys, considered by some to be a curse.
Without any records in the stores, Bette's hilarious Grammy Award appearances in 1975 and 1976 kept her in the public eye and made her a favorite of middle American TV watchers (especially gays) because of her outlandish look and raucous sense of humor.
Local Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / TV Goodbyes / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog
|TV's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the 1970s / The Eighties / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments|
Hit Shows of the Seventies: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy / Gene Roddenberry in the 1970s / 1977-1978 Superhero & Science Fiction TV Shows / Patrick Duffy of Dallas Interview / Best Season of Dallas Ever? / Ken Berry Interview / TV Show Book Tie-Ins / Kathy Garver Interview / Mary Kay Place Albums of the 1970s / Bruce / Caitllyn Jenner? / Bill Cosby - WTF?!? / Mary Kay Place Albums of the 1970s / That Girl & TV's Single Working Women / Star Trek Animated / Dark Shadows / Dark Shadows Movies / Dark Shadows Novels / Fred 'The Hammer' Williamson / Dawn Wells / Betty White : An Appreciation / Gavin McLeod / The Next Step Beyond / The Music Dark Shadows / 1970 TV Shows / Mike Wallace, Virginia Graham & Jim Longworth / Dick Clark / Carson Tonight Show / 1973 TV Shows / Thriller / TV Dating Shows / The Jacksons TV Show / Fall Previews of the 70s / Lance Link, Secret Chimp / Star Wars Holiday Special / Alias Smith and Jones / 1977 Year in Review / Top Ten 1970-76 / The Rockford Files / All in the Family / Sam Hall (Dark Shadows) Interview / Actor Ed Nelson / Death of Archie / Battlestar Galactica / Wonder Woman / Network Jingles / Class of '74 / Happy Days / Good Times / Mr. Bill / Dinah! / Maude / Doris Day Show / Pamelyn Ferdin Interview / The Bicentennial Minute / Jingles & Catch Phrases of the 1970s / Early Cable TV 1970s / TV commercials for Women / TV Moms / Country Music TV Shows of the 1960s & 1970s / Betty White Show / Ron Palillo / Shirley Jones Interview / Tom Bosley / Rodney Dangerfield / How Sanford & Son Ended / Sanford & Son Spin-Off Grady / Great Memoirs / Virginia Graham Show / The "N" Word on TV / 10 Classic Comedy Routines You Have To Laugh At Before You Die / Hollywood Squares / 1970's Teen Idols & The Hudson Brothers / TV Stars with 3 Hit Shows / The Rookies / Unsold Pilots / Jackie Cooper / The Good Guys / Match Game / Make Room For Granddaddy / Mannix & Gail Fisher / Bette Midler in the 1970s / Bonus 1970's Stuff: Silent Star Marion Mack / Biff Burger / 1970s Fast Food Chains / Latin Casino / Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire / 1970's Daytime Talk Shows / The Fess Parker Show / Love, Loss & What I Watched
|Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / 1970's TV / Lucy Shows / Classic Cars / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Rockford Files / Sea Hunt / Superman on DVD / Toy Gun Ads / Flip Wilson Show / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / Winchell & Mahoney / Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / 1966 ABC TV Shows / 1967 TV Shows / 1968 TV Shows / Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll / Fridays / TV Moms / Red Skelton / George Lindsay / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / The Magic Garden / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / ABC Movie of the Week / The Goldbergs / Daws Butler Commercials / Saturday Morning Commercials / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Amos 'n' Andy / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You / Sonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Commercial Icons of the 1960s / Soupy Sales / TV Terrorists / Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Batman TV Show / Green Hornet / Today Show History / Our Gang / Doris Day Show / 1970's Commercials For Women / Bill Cosby in the 1970s / The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / The Richard Pryor Show / George Burns / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More!|