Thursday, September 13, 2012

"When a Man Loves a Woman" by Bette Midler

Song#:  0020
Date:  01/19/1980
Debut:  80
Peak:  35
Weeks:  10
Genre:  Pop, R&B, Soundtrack



Pop Bits:  Already a Grammy and Emmy winner, Midler was a star when she got her first movie gig playing the Janis Joplin-like lead character in "The Rose." The film was supposed to be about Joplin, but the family denied producers the rights to her story; so it was rewritten as a fictionalize account. Midler was a sensation and won a Golden Globe and got an Oscar nom as well. The soundtrack featured live performances with dialog (all except the title track).  This Percy Sledge classic was released as the first single.

ReduxReview:  All of Midler's performances in the film were overwrought, explosive, and exaggerated. That's what the characterization called for...acting! But it was built from a base that was really pure Midler and it was all very exciting. Unhinged and over the top, this may not be everyone's ideal version, but I love how she takes it to the brink...and then just keeps going. Want a real treat? Listen to her version of "Stay with Me" on the soundtrack. You'll even be passing out by the end of it.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Y'all should know this by now, but here it is again. In 1970, Midler started to perform in the Continental Baths (a gay bathhouse) in NYC. Her pianist during those shows was none other than Barry Manilow. He went on to produce her Grammy-winning debut album "The Divine Miss M."

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