Live at Last (Bette Midler album)

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Live at Last
Live album by Bette Midler
Released June 1977
Recorded 1976, 1977
Genre Vocal
Length 87:18
Label Atlantic 2SD 9000
Producer Lew Hahn
Bette Midler chronology
Songs for the New Depression
(1976)
Live at Last
(1977)
Broken Blossom
(1977)
Singles from Live at Last
  1. "You're Movin' Out Today"
    Released:
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau (A-) [2]

Live at Last is the first live album by American singer Bette Midler, a two-disc set released in 1977, Midler's fourth album release on the Atlantic Records label. The album spawned from her live, recorded performance, "The Depression Tour" in Cleveland, entitled "The Bette Midler Show".

Live at Last documents a full-length live performance at the Cleveland Music Hall, Cleveland, Ohio on the 1976 Depression Tour, and sees Midler, her backing group The Staggering Harlettes and her band Betsy and the Blowboys covering material from her three first albums as well as The Supremes' "Up the Ladder to the Roof", Neil Young's "Birds", Ringo Starr's "Oh My My", the mock lounge act The Vicky Eydie Show doing a "global revue" and the song cycle The Story of Nanette. The album also captures Midler's rapport with - or loving heckling of - the Cleveland audience, a monologue about fried eggs and a part that since has become a staple of her live performances: the raunchy Sophie Tucker jokes.

Live at Last features two new studio recordings. "You're Moving Out Today", co-written by Midler and Carole Bayer Sager and produced by Tom Dowd was the only single release from the album (#42 Billboard's Single Chart, #11 Adult Contemporary). "Bang, You're Dead", which was also not performed during the Cleveland show, replaced "I Sold My Heart To The Junkman" on the album because writers Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson - who wrote the song for Bette - laid down an ultimatum that if she didn't release the song on her next album they would give it to another singer. Therefore the song was recorded in a studio and squeezed onto the album.

Live at Last reached #49 on Billboard's album chart in the autumn of 1977.

Track listing[edit]

Side A:

  1. Backstage - 0:18
  2. "Friends"/"Oh My My" (Mark Klingman, Buzzy Linheart)/(Richard Starkey, Vincent Poncia) - 2:28
  3. "Bang You're Dead" (Valerie Simpson, Nickolas Ashford) - 3:15
  4. "Birds" (Neil Young) - 4:39
  5. Comic Relief (monologue) - 2:38
  6. "In the Mood" (Joe Garland, Andy Razaf) - 2:09
  7. "Hurry On Down" (Nellie Lutcher) - 2:07

Side B:

  1. "Shiver Me Timbers" (Tom Waits) - 4:00
  2. The Vicki Eydie Show:

Intermission:

  1. "You're Moving Out Today" (studio recording) (Bette Midler, Carole Bayer Sager, Bruce Roberts) - 2:56

Side C:

  1. "Delta Dawn" (Alex Harvey, Larry Collins) - 5:54
  2. "Long John Blues" (Tommy George) - 2:36
  3. Sophie Tucker Jokes (monologue) - 2:38
  4. The Story of Nanette:

Side D:

  1. The Story of Nanette (cont.):
  2. Fried Eggs (monologue) - 2:37
  3. "Hello In There" (John Prine) - 3:16
  4. Finale:

Personnel[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Lew Hahn - record producer
  • Recorded live at The Cleveland Music Hall, Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Mobile facilities provided by Fedco Audio Labs
  • Jack Malken - recording engineer
  • Remote recording produced by Arif Mardin
  • Lew Hahn - re-mixing
  • Tom Dowd - producer "You're Moving Out Today"
  • Charlie Calello - arranger "You're Moving Out Today"
  • Jimmy Douglass - engineer "You're Moving Out Today"
  • Kenn Duncan - cover photograph
  • Steinbicker / Houghton - performance photography
  • Bob Defrin / Abie Sussman - art direction
  • Jerry Blatt - special material
  • Bruce Vilanch - special material
  • Bette Midler - special material
  • Produced for the stage by Aaron Russo