Friday, March 25, 2016

"All I Need to Know" by Bette Midler

Song#:  1591
Date:  09/03/1983
Debut:  88
Peak:  77
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Although Midler released the successful soundtrack to The Rose (featuring the #3 title track hit) and the live album Divine Madness, she hadn't released a formal studio album since 1979's Thighs and Whispers. With her film projects and tours complete, she headed back into the studio with producer Chuck Plotkin (Bruce Sprinsteen, Bob Dylan) to record her first album of the 80s, No Frills. This song was issued as the lead-off single, but it failed to make any impact. After a month on the Pop chart it dropped from sight and it ended up stalling at #39 at AC.

ReduxReview:  Midler's albums always contained a mix of genres, but she usually leaned towards standards mixed with some pop and a selection tunes from contemporary singer/songwriters like Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, and John Prine. But that mix was probably not going to cut it in the new decade so she steered a good chunk No Frills in the direction of rock and new wave. However, after updating her sound, surprisingly it was this ballad that was chosen as the lead single. This is actually my favorite version of this song (see below), but I don't think it was the smartest choice for a single. Another Midler ballad was not going to sell. I always thought the album's lead off track, the synthpop "Is It Love," should have been issued. Regardless, Midler does a lovely reading of this tune and it did deserve more attention as did the No Frills album, which I have to say is my favorite Midler disc.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) You may see the title and think that you don't know this song, but chances are you do. Under the title "Don't Know Much," this song became a huge hit for Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville in 1989 (#2 Pop/#1 AC). If you've followed this blog for a while, you may also remember that the first recording of this song to hit the Pop chart was by Bill Medley in 1981. Also titled "Don't Know Much," it had little impact on the chart reaching #88.  2) The No Frills album ended up not doing well. It could only manage a #60 peak in the US. However, in Europe the LP was a big success in many countries. It did the best in Sweden and Norway where it peaked at #1 and #3, respectively. It remains her best selling album in those countries along with a couple of others.


No comments:

Post a Comment