|Bette of Roses|
|Studio album by|
|Released||July 27, 1995|
|Producer||Arif Mardin |
|Bette Midler chronology|
|Singles from Bette of Roses|
Bette of Roses is the eighth studio album by the 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 album The Divine Miss M (Midler was transferred to Atlantic's sister label Warner Bros. Records for her next two albums, then left the Warner group completely in 2002 when she signed with the Sony-owned Columbia Records). The title Bette of Roses is a play on one of the tracks, "Bed of Roses".
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 guitar-based and the soundscape altogether more acoustic than synthesized, 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.
Critical reception and commercial success
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 new wave/rock-influenced No Frills, peaking at #45 on Billboard's 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 original 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: Greatest Hits—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 dance 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.
Midler can be seen performing two tracks from the Bette of Roses album ("To Comfort You" and "Bed of Roses") in her 1997 Diva Las Vegas concert film.
- "I Know This Town" (Cheryl Wheeler) - 3:54
- "In This Life" (Mike Reid, Allen Shamblin) - 4:11
- "Bottomless" (Bonnie Hayes) - 5:18
- "To Comfort You" (Ian Thomas) - 4:44
- "To Deserve You" (Maria McKee) - 5:16
- "The Last Time" (Maria McKee) - 4:52
- "Bed of Roses" (Bonnie Hayes) - 4:12
- "The Perfect Kiss" (Scott Tibbs, Marc Jordan) - 3:43
- "As Dreams Go By" (Andy Hill, Pete Sinfield) - 5:09
- "It's Too Late" (Tonio K, Bob Thiele Jr., Bonnie Hayes) - 4:42
- "I Believe in You" (Sam Hogin, Roger Cook) - 4:34
- Bette Midler – lead vocals, harmony vocals
- Lani Groves – background vocals
- Ula Hedwig – background vocals
- Vaneese Thomas – background vocals
- Angela Cappelli – background vocals
- Rachele Cappelli – background vocals
- Mike Baird – drums
- Joe Mardin - drums, background vocals
- Paulinho da Costa – percussion
- Michael O'Reilly – guitar
- Dean Parks – guitar
- Danny Jacob – guitar
- Michael Landau – guitar
- Jay Dee Maness – steel guitar
- Buzz Feiten – guitar, rhythm guitar, tambourine
- Jerry Barnes – bass guitar, background vocals
- Michael Visceglia – bass
- Tom "T-Bone" Wolk – bass
- Reggie Hamilton – bass
- Abraham Laboriel – bass
- Bobby Lyle – piano
- Robbie Buchanan – piano, keyboards, synthesizer, programming
- Robbie Kondor – organ, electric piano, keyboards, synthesizer, programming
- Steve Skinner – keyboards, synthesizer, programming
- Larry Cohn – synthesizer
- Marc Mann – programming
- Jimmy Bralower – drum programming
- Bonnie Hayes – programming
- Chris Botti – trumpet
- Shelley Woodworth – oboe
- Gene Orloff – violin, concert master
- Arif Mardin – record producer, musical arranger
- Marc Mann – producer
- Robbie Buchanan – producer, arranger
- Robbie Kondor – producer, arranger
- Steve Skinner – producer, arranger
- Bonnie Hayes – producer, arranger
- Buzz Feiten – associate producer, arranger
- Maria McKee – arranger
- Bruce Brody – arranger
- Andy Grassi – engineer
- Michael O'Reilly – engineer
- Jack Joseph Puig – engineer
- George Marino – mastering
- Recorded at The New Hit Factory and Right Track Recording, New York; Andora Studios, Conway Studios and Record One, California.
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||51|
|Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)||69|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||74|
|Japanese Albums (Oricon)||45|
|UK Albums (OCC)||55|
|US Billboard 200||45|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||60,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- BPI website Archived October 27, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
- Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
- "Top RPM Albums: Issue 29618". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – Bette Midler – Bette of Roses" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
- "Bette Midler ベット・ミドラー - Japan - Albums - Bette of Roses ベット・オブ・ローゼス". Oricon (in Japanese). オリコン. Archived from the original on February 19, 2013. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- "Bette Midler | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
- "Bette Midler Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
- "British album certifications – Bette Midler – Bette of Roses". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Bette of Roses in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
- "American album certifications – Bette Midler – Bette of Roses". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.