Continental Baths, a local gay bathhouse, is now releasing a magnificent new album titled “It’s the Girls” via Warner Bros. records. “It’s the Girls” will be out on November 4 classically celebrating a tribute to various “Girl Groups” throughout the ages. Some of the groups included are The Ronettes, the Andrew Sisters, the Chiffons, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Marvelettes, The Shirelles, The Supremes and TLC, just to name a few.
Still and always one of the universe’s most loved and versatile entertainers, Bette Midler says: “A long time ago I fell in love with voices in harmony, in particular the sound of female voices singing together.” She goes on to describe the album as “a small attempt to honor them for all the joy they brought to me and the world,” referring to the girl groups.
Contained within the studio album are 15 tracks spanning “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon,” done by The Andrew Sisters in 1937, to “Waterfalls” by TLC, a super hit done in 1994. Each tune captures not only the essence and spirit of the time and the particular group, but the range and artistry contained within Ms. Midler’s voice. Each track is performed by her effortlessly, with clarity adding new life to each song.
Let’s face it, Bette can sing anything! “One Fine Day,” “Baby It’s You,” “Tell Him” and “He’s Sure the Boy I Love” are all stunningly performed and reminiscent of the original recordings, only better! “Mr. Sandman” and “Bei Mir Bist Du Shon” are so classically Bette!
The entire album is enchanting with something for everyone to enjoy. It’s fun, void of drama and easy to listen to. Though almost impossible to count her Grammy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, movies such as “Beaches,” “The Rose,” “Ruthless People” and “The Stepford Wives,” her hits including “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Wind Beneath My Wings” and her theatre productions including Fiddler on the Roof, the “Divine Miss M” scores again with “It’s the Girls.”
During the summer of 1970, Bette became close to her piano accompanist, none other than Barry Manilow. Later, she would reportedly say: “Despite the way things turned out (with the AIDS crisis), I’m still proud of those days. I feel like I was at the forefront of the gay liberation movement, and I hope I did my part to help it move forward.”