Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Bette Midler - The Best Of Bette (1978) + Bonus Track

(U.S 1965 - Present)

Bette Midler
(born December 1, 1945, Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands) American actress and singer who was known for her dynamic energy, comedic wit, and campy humour.

Midler was raised in rural Aiea, Oahu, the third of four children of a house painter and his wife. She began singing as a child, and her mother encouraged an interest in theatre. By the time she graduated from high school, Midler had performed in several amateur shows. She studied for a year at the University of Hawaii but dropped out in order to pursue acting. In 1965 she landed her first professional role, a bit part in the film Hawaii (1966). She accompanied the film crew back to Hollywood, where she worked and saved money in order to move to New York City.

Bathroom Betty
In New York, Midler gave her first major performance at the La MaMa Experimental Theatre in 1965. The following year she joined the chorus of Broadway’s Fiddler on the Roof, in which she was subsequently given the role of Tzeitel. After leaving the musical in 1970, Midler spent time honing her craft, taking singing and acting lessons, and she began performing at the Continental Baths, a bathhouse catering to gay men.  That same year she also made the first of several appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. It was during her time at the Continental Baths that Midler began to develop her bawdy stage persona, The Divine Miss M, performing songs from a variety of genres and appearing in sometimes outrageous costumes while telling off-colour jokes between songs. Those performances thrust Midler into the spotlight, along with her then-unknown accompanist and music director, Barry Manilow.
Her stage name even became 'Bathroom Betty'. 

In 1972, Midler released her first album, 'The Divine Miss M', produced by Manilow. The following year she received her first Grammy Award, for best new artist, and in 1974 she was given a special Tony Award for “adding lustre to the Broadway season.” She continued to release songs and albums throughout the 1970s, making frequent appearances on television and performing in nightclubs. In 1979 she appeared in her first starring role on the big screen, playing a rock star loosely based on Janis Joplin in The Rose. The film was a success with critics, and the title song, performed by Midler, earned her a second Grammy Award. Despite the acclaim, Midler was not immediately offered more film roles, and she struggled to establish a film career. After a strenuous concert tour in the early 1980s, she sank into a depression and suffered a nervous breakdown.

In the mid-1980s,  Midler turned to comedy, releasing the stand-up comedy album Mud Will Be Flung Tonight! (1985). About the same time, she signed a film contract with Walt Disney Productions’ new Touchstone Pictures, appearing in a series of successful comedies, including Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Ruthless People (1986), and Outrageous Fortune (1987). Taking a break from comedy, in 1988 she starred in the melodrama Beaches, which was produced by a company Midler had cofounded, All Girl Productions. Though the film was met with a lukewarm reception, its song “Wind Beneath My Wings ” (sung by Midler) became a smash hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100; it also won Midler a third Grammy, for record of the year.

Midler pursued her multifaceted career through the end of the 20th century and into the 21st, continuing to release albums and to act. Midler’s albums from this time included 'It’s the Girls!' (2014), a collection of pop classics by such female groups as the Supremes and the Shirelles. Midler was the recipient of a lifetime achievement award (2012) from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and a Kennedy Center Honor (2021)   [Extract from]

The 'Best of Bette' is the first compilation album by American female vocalist Bette Midler, released in 1978. This greatest hits album was issued in the UK, Continental Europe, Scandinavia and Australia to coincide with Midler's first world tour. Later editions released in 1979 also came with a free poster promoting her then upcoming movie The Rose. 
'The Best of Bette', confusingly released with near identical cover art to 1973's Bette Midler, featured songs from Midler's first four studio albums with the addition of one track from 1977's Live at Last, the studio recording "You're Moving Out Today". The version included on The Best of Bette is the rare single mix which features an extra verse that is not found on the Live at Last album or on many of the single releases worldwide.

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my pristine vinyl and includes full album artwork for both vinyl and CD, along with label scans. One track that is sadly missing from this great compilation (because it was released one year later), is the title track from her brilliant 1979 Soundtrack 'The Rose'.  I have therefore decided to add it here as a bonus track for your indulgence. Enjoy.

Track Listing
01 Friends 2:49
02 In The Mood 2:37
03 Superstar 5:00
04 Say Goodbye To Hollywood 3:02
05 Do You Want To Dance 2:56
06 Buckets Of Rain 3:54
07 Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (Mono) 2:26
08 You're Moving Out Today 3:18
09 Delta Dawn 5:16
10 Uptown / Da Doo Ron Ron 3:2
11 Hello In There 4:15
12 Higher And Higher (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) 4:08
13 La Vie En Rose 2:59
14 I Shall Be Released 4:55
15 The Rose (Bonus Track)   3:49


  1. Thanks for this one. I think it's the only place to get the (slightly ) extended version of "You're Moving Out Today." (I had this decades ago but it's now long lost.)

  2. How do I contact the admin people? I have some rare Australian CDs i'd like to upload to the apropriate site.