ette Midler’s breathy and sexy “Do You Want To Dance?” was great song found in a great album released way back in 1972. The single mix was my first exposure to Bette Midler during my diminishing AM fascination. I was fifteen. That song alone brought me to a deeper exploration of her debut album. With great renditions of “Superstar”, a Bonnie Bramlett/Leon Russell track popularized by the Carpenters, “Hello In There” written by the inimitable John Prine, and the Buzzy Linhart song, “Friends”, The Divine Ms M album was a fine album by a great voice. By the time of her second, I was ready. I enjoyed the gospel-like take on “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me (Higher and Higher)”, and appreciated the Bette Midler version of “I Shall Be Released” (still, no one does that song like Richard Manuel!). And so, it’s good news to me to find that Rhino will be restoring The Divine Ms M with a new reissue.
On October 21, Rhino will reissue The Divine Ms M in a newly remastered 2CD set that will add in an additional nine bonus tracks. Those include single edits of “Do You Want To Dance?”, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (which I wasn’t so fond of)”, “Friends”, and “Chapel Of Love”. The remaining five song are previously unreleased and include an alternate version of “Superstar” (that I’d like to hear!), two demos, and two early versions of songs.
Enjoy the remastered single mix of the song that started Bette Midler’s career: