Some People's Lives

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Some People's Lives
Some People's Lives.jpg
Studio album by Bette Midler
Released September 4, 1990
Recorded 1990
Genre Pop
Length 43:56
Label Atlantic
Producer Arif Mardin
Bette Midler chronology
Some People's Lives
For the Boys
(1991)For the Boys1991
Singles from Some People's Lives
  1. "From a Distance"
  2. "Night and Day"
  3. "The Gift of Love"
  4. "Moonlight Dancing"
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau(choice cut) [2]

Some People's Lives is the seventh studio album by American singer Bette Midler, released on the Atlantic Records label in 1990. It contains one of her biggest hits, "From a Distance", which won the songwriter Julie Gold a Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1991.

The Some People's Lives album became the biggest commercial successes of Midler's musical career, peaking at number 6 in the US and number 5 in the UK and it was later awarded double platinum by the RIAA for sales of over two million copies in the US alone. It has sold 7 million copies worldwide.


Following a series of successful Hollywood movies made throughout the 1980s, among them Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Ruthless People, Outrageous Fortune, Oliver and Company and Big Business, Midler returned to the music scene with a proper studio album in 1990, her first since 1983's rock and new wave-influenced No Frills. Some People's Lives however had more in common with the preceding soundtrack Beaches in that it featured both interpretations of jazz standards like "Miss Otis Regrets", "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" and "He Was Too Good to Me" as well as more chart-oriented pop and adult contemporary material with contrasting synth-driven arrangements courtesy of producer Arif Mardin, his son Joe and Robbie Buchanan. The up-tempo track "Moonlight Dancing" (first recorded by pop/R&B group The Pointer Sisters) was written by noted hitmaker Diane Warren and "The Gift of Love" by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg, the team behind Madonna's "Like a Virgin", Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors" and The Bangles' "Eternal Flame".


"Moonlight Dancing" (also released as an extended dance remix which sampled the 1973 recording "Do You Want to Dance"), "Night and Day" and "The Gift of Love" were all issued as singles, but the biggest hit that the album produced was undoubtedly Midler's interpretation of Julie Gold's anthem of universal brotherhood "From a Distance" featuring The Radio Choir of New Hope Church, paradoxically released shortly before the breakout of the first Persian Gulf War. The single reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, number 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and number 6 in the UK and was later certified platinum in the US, making it Midler's second million-seller within the space of two years following "Wind Beneath My Wings" from the Beaches soundtrack. The song has since been recorded by a large number of other artists and Midler herself included an alternate version with partly re-written lyrics on her 2006 album Cool Yule.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "One More Round" (Jessica Harper, Danny Sembello, Allee Willis) – 2:03
  2. "Some People's Lives" (Rhonda Fleming, Janis Ian) – 3:29
  3. "Miss Otis Regrets" (Cole Porter) – 2:51
  4. "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" (Fran Landesman, Tommy Wolf) – 5:30
  5. "Night and Day" (Billie Hughes, Roxanne Seeman) – 5:30
  6. "The Girl Is On to You" (Jude Johnstone) – 4:10
  7. "From a Distance" (Julie Gold) – 4:37
  8. "Moonlight Dancing" (Diane Warren) – 4:39
  9. "He Was Too Good to Me" / "Since You Stayed Here" (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) / (Peter Larson, Josh Rubins) – 4:12
  10. "All of a Sudden" (Nathalie Archangel, Scott Wilk) – 4:33
  11. "The Gift of Love" (Tom Kelly, Billy Steinberg, Susanna Hoffs) – 4:02



  • Arif Mardinrecord producer, musical arranger, musical conductor, orchestral arrangements
  • Marc Shaiman – arranger, conductor, associate producer, vocal arrangements, rhythm arrangements
  • Gene Orloff – conductor
  • Joe Mardin – arranger, engineer, mixing
  • Robbie Buchanan – arranger
  • Steve Skinner – arranger
  • Billie Hughes – arranger
  • Tom Kelly – vocal arrangement
  • Jack Joseph Puig – engineer
  • Nick Sansano – engineer, mixing
  • Eddie Garcia – engineer, mixing
  • Michael O'Reilly – engineer, mixing
  • Jamey Staub – assistant engineer
  • Anthony Saunders – assistant engineer
  • Gabriel Moffat – assistant engineer
  • Clif Norrell – assistant engineer
  • Bob Loftus – assistant engineer
  • Ed Korengo – assistant engineer
  • Rob Harvey – assistant engineer
  • Ken Felton – assistant engineer
  • Doug Sax – mastering
  • Marsha Burns – production coordination
  • Lisa Maldonado – coordination
  • Vicky Germaise – coordination
  • Greg Gorman – photography
  • Bob Defrin – art direction


Chart (1990) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[1] 5
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[2] 27
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[3] 7
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[4] 15
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[5] 66
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[6] 10
UK Albums (OCC)[7] 5
US Billboard 200[8] 9


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[9] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[10] 2× Platinum 200,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[11] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[12] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[13] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ " – Bette Midler – Some People's Lives". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  2. ^ " – Bette Midler – Some People's Lives" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 1416". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  4. ^ " – Bette Midler – Some People's Lives" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Bette Midler ベット・ミドラー - Japan - Albums - Some People's Lives サム・ピープルズ・ライヴズ". Oricon (in Japanese). オリコン. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  6. ^ " – Bette Midler – Some People's Lives". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Bette Midler | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Bette Midler Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  9. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. 
  10. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Bette Midler – Some People's Lives". Music Canada. 
  11. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Bette Midler – Some People's Lives". Recorded Music NZ. 
  12. ^ "British album certifications – Bette Midler – Some People's Lives". British Phonographic Industry.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Enter Some People's Lives in the search field and then press Enter.
  13. ^ "American album certifications – Bette Midler – Some People's Lives". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH