I was thrilled when I heard Bette Midler was releasing a new album. I have to admit I was a little disappointed when I learned it was another album of covers since it’s been over a decade since she’s released an album of new music. But when I heard the premise, she was going to be covering songs from female groups of the past, I got it. The whole thing just screams Bette. I got my copy of “It’s The Girls” because I was lucky enough to score tickets to her upcoming concert and with each ticket she’s giving out a copy of the album. It meant having to wait an extra month to hear the new music, but in my gay opinion, it was well worth the wait.
I got the CD just before I had to take a long drive to my sister’s house which was perfect timing, it meant I could pop it in my CD player and listen to the whole thing uninterrupted. Right from the opening notes of “Be My Baby”, I was smiling. The joy that singing brings to Bette radiated from my speakers. She happily belts her way through many of the classic hits like “One Fine Day,” “Tell Him,” “Mr. Sandman,” and “You Can’t Hurry Love.”
Something that Bette has, that not many other singers have, is the good old-fashioned sense of tongue-in-cheek fun. One of my favorite things that a singer can do is take a break from singing and either intro a song (like she does on “He’s Sure The Boy I Love”) or stop in the middle to verbally break it down (like when talking about Moby Dick in “Too Many Fish In The Sea”). Bette does that quite a bit on this album and I love it. The best has to be at the end of “Give Him A Great Big Kiss.” She hysterically makes fun of how old these songs are as well as her own age. I’ve listened to the album a few times through and I laugh every time she talks about going to hit the early bird.
However, nobody does a ballad better than Bette…I mean nobody. Her emotions come through in each and every word. Her renditions of “Baby It’s You” and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” are beautiful. All the songs on this album were unknown or classics to me except TLC’s “Waterfalls.” That is from my era of music that I remember well. Bette’s version is stripped down and hauntingly moving. Well done Miss M, well done. But my favorite song on this album has got to be “Come And Get These Memories.” I never heard Martha And The Vandellas version so I have nothing to compare it to but I was blown away by Bette’s rendition. This is Bette at her finest. If anyone questions if she still has it, just listen to this song and know that she’s still got it and there’s no signs of her losing it.
If I weren’t already excited about Bette’s new tour, I would be now. I can’t wait to see how she works some of the new songs into her act. I’ve been lucky enough to see her quite a few times before and I know I can expect a spectacular show. Even though we’ll be in the nose bleed seats of Madison Square Garden, my sister and I will be having the best time. It’ll be just us girls.