Bittersweet White Light

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Bittersweet White Light
Studio album by Cher
Released April 1973
Recorded 1973
Genre Pop standard, traditional pop, soft rock
Length 29:00
Label MCA
Producer Sonny Bono
Cher chronology
Foxy Lady
(1972)
Bittersweet White Light
(1973)
Half-Breed
(1973)
Singles from Bittersweet White Light
  1. "Am I Blue"
    Released: 1973

Bittersweet White Light was the ninth studio album by American singer Cher. The album was released in April 1973 by MCA. It was the last solo Cher album to be produced by then-performing partner and husband Sonny Bono. While many fans consider the album to be her best vocal performance,[1] Bittersweet White Light, composed mostly of covers of American pop standards, was Cher's first commercial failure of the 1970s. It was Cher's first record released only by MCA, both in the UK and the US.

Album information[edit]

Due to the success of Cher's solo torch spots on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour like "My Funny Valentine" and "What a Difference a Day Makes", Bono decided she should record an album featuring modern arrangements of standards from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s.[1][2][1]

Bittersweet White Light was a collection of fully orchestrated, lushly-arranged classics. Bono had started in the music business working with legendary "Wall of Sound" producer Phil Spector and the album clearly demonstrates Spector's influence.[1] Songs in the record range from Gershwin tunes "How Long Has This Been Going On?" and "The Man I Love" to Al Jolson's "Sonny Boy" to Judy Garland's "The Man That Got Away" to Duke Ellington's "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good". The album was promoted on her successful The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour show. The title of the album was reported to be taken from the staging of such songs on her television show—which she performed in front of a torch spotlight. Bittersweet White Light was also the first of Cher's album's to feature medleys, "Jolson Medley", and with track mixed, "How Long Has This Been Going On" with "The Man I Love" and "Why Was I Born" with "The Man That Got Away". The other albums that got tracks mixed together were Take Me Home and Prisoner.

Bittersweet White Light was re-released on CD in 1999 under the name Bittersweet: The Love Songs Collection along with selected ballads tracks from other Cher albums, including Cher, Half-Breed and Dark Lady. The disc was compiled and co-produced by Mike Khouri.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[3]
Billboard (favorable)[4]

Bittersweet White Light received mixed reviews from music critics. Rolling Stone said about the album that it "consists entirely of ballad-rocked standards by Kern, Gershwin, etc., and should please the artist's TV fans."[4]

Chart performance and single[edit]

Bittersweet White Light was her first commercial flop of the 1970s. It charted only in the Billboard 200 at #140. The album, unlike the previous release, didn't enter the Canadian album chart, or any European charts. Due to the album's lack of success, only one single was released, "Am I Blue". It missed the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at #111 in Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles.

Track listing[edit]

Side A
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "By Myself"   Arthur Schwartz, Howard Dietz 3:24
2. "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good"   Duke Ellington, Paul Francis Webster 3:47
3. "Am I Blue?"   Grant Clarke, Harry Akst 3:43
4. "How Long Has This Been Going On"   George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin 4:20
5. "The Man I Love"   George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin 4:27
Side B
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Jolson Medley"   Al Jolson, Lew Brown, Buddy DeSylva, Walter Donaldson, Ray Henderson, Sam M. Lewis, Jean Schwartz, Joe Young 4:12
2. "More Than You Know"   Vincent Youmans, Billy Rose, Edward Eliscu 3:41
3. "Why Was I Born"   Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II 2:45
4. "The Man That Got Away"   Harold Arlen, George Gershwin 4:13

Additional notes

Credits[edit]


  • Bittersweet: The Love Songs Collection (re-issue 1999)
  • Re-issue producers: Mike Khouri, Andy McKay
  • Compiled by Mike Khouri

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1973) Peak
position
United States Billboard 200[3] 140

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Cher LPs of the 1970s". TvParty.com. Retrieved 2009-02-04. 
  2. ^ "Bittersweet White Light Review". CherScholar.com. Retrieved 2009-02-04. 
  3. ^ a b Allmusic review
  4. ^ a b Billboard review