Bette Midler The Rose on Numbered Edition LP
1979 Soundtrack Contains Multiple Smash Hits: â€œWhen a Man Loves a Woman,â€ â€œStay With Meâ€ Among Them
Bette Midlerâ€™s first leading role in a musical remains her best. As the soundtrack for that film, The Rose
spotlights The Divine Miss Mâ€™s outstanding performance as a character in the persona of Janis Joplin. Midler received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, and while the record contains no visuals, it punctuates the raw emotion and show-stopping persuasion that the singer brings to upbeat, rollicking fare composed in tribute to the late Joplin. Her reading of â€œWhen A Man Loves a Womanâ€ remains definitive and unique for being sung from a femaleâ€™s perspective.
Mastered on Mobile Fidelityâ€™s world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI, this Silver Label LP allows listeners to hone in on Midlerâ€™s voice like never before. Kernels of previously unheard tonalities, richer hues of her bluesy timbre, and better-defined contours of her phrasing come to foreâ€”as do the contributions of guitarist Steve Hunter and drummer Whitey Glan, both members of Lou Reedâ€™s Rock â€˜nâ€™ Roll Animal tour. No, The Rose
isnâ€™t your conventional adult-contemporary pop offering from Midler. Itâ€™s much more.
Always a natural-born theatrical star, Midler demonstrates these abilities to wondrous effect throughout, pouring herself into the painful sentiments of â€œStay With Meâ€ and raising hell on raucous numbers such as â€œSold My Soul to Rock â€˜Nâ€™ Rollâ€ and â€œKeep On Rockinâ€™.â€ Muscle Shoals sounds and Memphis-birthed shuffles keep Midler balanced and engaged. Producer Paul Rothchild, who helmed Joplinâ€™s final salvo, matches the headlinerâ€™s zest by keeping tight-fisted control over the material selection and sonics. Never does Midler seem as if sheâ€™s merely paying tribute or playing a part; she makes listeners feel every note.
Itâ€™s apt, then, that sheâ€™s afforded carte blanche on the title track, a gorgeous and career-defining moment of immense proportions and the only song here not performed in the persona of Joplin. Thereâ€™s no better way to wrap up an album of nearly shamanic power, and an effort that, along with The Divine Miss M, remains Midlerâ€™s peak. Bette Midler The Rose Track Listing:
1. Whose Side Are You On
2. Midnight In Memphis
3. Concert Monologue
4. When a Man Loves a Woman
5. Sold My Soul to Rock â€˜Nâ€™ Roll
6. Keep on Rockinâ€™
7. Love Me With a Feeling
9. Homecoming Monologue
10. Stay With Me
11. Let Me Call You Sweetheart
12. The Rose