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Bette Midler Albums


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''Bette of Roses'' is the eighth studio album by American singer Bette Midler, released on Atlantic Records in 1995. It became Midler's final album for the label, twenty-three years after the release of her debut and breakthrough ''The Divine Miss M''. The title ''Bette of Roses'' is a play on one of the tracks included; "Bed of Roses".

''Bette of Roses'' was Midler's first full-length studio album since 1990's ''Some People's Lives'' which had been both a critical and commercial success, peaking at #5 on ''Billboards album chart, #6 in the UK and including the worldwide hit single "From A Distance". In the following years she had released the soundtrack ''For the Boys'', mainly featuring jazz standards and evergreens, followed by the recording of the classic Broadway musical ''Gypsy''. ''Bette of Roses'' marked a change in musical direction as it exclusively included contemporary material composed by songwriters in the soft rock, country and folk genres such as Cheryl Wheeler, Maria McKee, Bonnie Hayes, Marc Jordan, Tonio K, Andy Hill, Pete Sinfield and Roger Cook. "In This Life" had previously been recorded by country singer Collin Raye on his 1992 album of the same name. According to Allmusic's review Midler is said to have personally chosen the track listing from ''"hundreds and hundreds of songs"''. Just like ''Some People's Lives'' the album was chiefly produced by Arif Mardin, but the arrangements were consequently also more guitarbased and the soundscape altogether more acoustic than synthezised, the songs chosen were mainly midtempo ballads, like "Bottomless", "As Dreams Go By" and "I Believe In You", or country rock influenced tracks, like "I Know This Town" and "The Last Time", and the set as a whole was geared towards the American adult contemporary and adult Top 40 markets rather than the pop or dance charts.

Although ''Bette of Roses'' met with generally positive reviews on its release it proved to be Midler's lowest charting studio album since 1983's rock and new wave influenced ''No Frills'', peaking at #45 on ''Billboards album chart and #55 in the UK. This resulted in the release of a radically remixed dance version of Maria McKee's country rock ballad "To Deserve You", which more or less only retained the lead vocals and a sample of the spoken line ''"I would die for you"'' from the album version, which had been arranged by the composer herself. The original backing track was replaced with a 123 BPM mid 90s dance production in the style of house music remixers like Shep Pettibone, Frankie Knuckles and Junior Vasquez - although it in fact had been remixed and re-produced by Arif Mardin himself. The promo video was also re-edited and re-released, then using the dance remix instead of the ''Bette of Roses'' recording. In Europe, Australia and New Zealand the remix single was issued to promote Atlantic/Warner Music's expanded re-release of Midler's 1993 hits compilation ''Experience the Divine'' - on which it was placed as the opening track - instead of the actual ''Bette of Roses'' album. Although notably different to Midler's original recording of the song, and indeed the whole ''Bette of Roses'' album project as such, the disco remix of "To Deserve You" proved to be one of the biggest commercial successes of her musical career as the track became a major dancefloor hit in the US in early 1996, reaching #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. It however became Midler's final collaboration with the Atlantic Records label.

Midler can be seen performing two tracks from the overlooked ''Bette of Roses'' album in the 1997 ''Diva Las Vegas'' concert documentary, the bluesy "To Comfort You" and the title track "Bed of Roses".

The ''Bette of Roses'' album was certified platinum by the RIAA in 2001, six years after its original release.

Bette Of Roses
Label: Atlantic Records
Release Date: 2008-10-28
Duration: 50:18


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Song Title       Time
1I Know This Town    3:54
2In This Life    4:10
3Bottomless    5:16
4To Comfort You    4:43
5To Deserve You    5:14
6The Last Time    4:50
7Bed Of Roses    4:10
8The Perfect Kiss    3:41
9As Dreams Go By    5:08
10It's Too Late    4:39
11I Believe In You    4:33