Beaches is the soundtrack to the Academy Award nominated feature film of the same name starring Bette Midler, who performs most of the tracks on the album, released on the Atlantic Records label in 1988. The album features one of Midler's best known songs, the ballad "Wind Beneath My Wings", which was a #1 hit.
The track that was chosen to promote both the movie and the album was not "Wind Beneath My Wings", but the song heard in the movie's opening scene and also the opening track on the album: Midler's cover of The Drifters' 60s classic "Under The Boardwalk". That song alluded to the title of the movie and the place where the movie's main characters, rich girl Hillary Whitney (Barbara Hershey) and child performer Cecilia Carol "CC" Bloom (Midler) first meet. Midler's version of "Under the Boardwalk," released to tie in with the premiere in December 1988, peaked outside Billboard's Hot 100 chart and passed unnoticed.
"Wind Beneath My Wings", which had been recorded by several other artists before Midler in the early 1980s, among them Sheena Easton, Roger Whittaker, Gary Morris, Gladys Knight & the Pips and Lou Rawls, was released as the second single in the Spring of 1989, following the box office success of the movie. The song instantly became a #1 hit on the US singles chart, #2 on the adult contemporary chart, a #3 hit in the UK, #1 in Australia and a Top 10 hit single in many parts of the world. Midler's recording of the song was later awarded a platinum disc by the RIAA for sales exceeding one million copies in the US alone. It also won Grammys for Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards of 1990, and remains Midler's signature tune to this day. The recording of the song appearing in the film is notably different from the one released on the soundtrack, and the movie also includes an orchestral version over the end credits.
The remainder of the soundtrack musically follows C.C. Bloom's rise to fame as an artist, from doing Cole Porter standards like "I've Still Got My Health" to moderately appreciative audiences in dive bars, appearing in burlesque shows singing about the supposed German inventor of the brassiere ("Otto Titsling", a song Midler herself had co-written and which had already appeared on her 1985 album Mud Will Be Flung Tonight), joining an experimental theater group ("Oh Industry!"), to becoming a successful pop star ("I Know You By Heart", a duet with David Pack, only briefly heard in the movie) with the right to record material of her own choosing (Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going To Rain Today").
A recurring theme in the movie is Billy Hill's old swing standard "The Glory of Love", first made famous by Benny Goodman in the mid-1930s. In Beaches the song is first reluctantly sung as an upbeat showtune by a very young C.C. Bloom at an audition in the company of her overbearing stage mother. In the final scene the song is performed as a ballad by the character as an adult, and then in the context of the movie taking on an entirely different meaning.
The track "Baby Mine", originally from Walt Disney's 1941 movie Dumbo, was released in two versions with slightly different arrangements; one on the original vinyl album and another on the CD edition.
The Beaches soundtrack is the bestselling album of Midler's career to date, peaking at #2 on Billboard's album chart, #21 in the UK and eventually achieving triple platinum status in the US for having sold more than three million copies. It also reunited her with producer Arif Mardin.
- "Under the Boardwalk" (Arthur Resnick, Kenny Young) - 4:18 * Includes uncredited instrumental intro.
- "Wind Beneath My Wings" (Larry Henley, Jeff Silbar) - 4:52
- "I've Still Got My Health" (Cole Porter) - 1:32
- "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" (Randy Newman) - 3:31
- "Otto Titsling" (Bette Midler, Jerry Blatt, Charlene Seeger, Marc Shaiman) - 3:13
- "I Know You By Heart" (Dean Pitchford, George Merrill, Marc Shaiman) - 4:40 * Duet with David Pack
- "The Glory of Love" (Billy Hill) - 3:16
- "Baby Mine" (Ned Washington, Frank Churchill) - 2:27 * Note: CD includes alternate version.
- "Oh, Industry!" (Bette Midler, Wendy Waldman) - 4:06
- "The Friendship Theme" (Georges DeLerue) - 1:59 * Instrumental
- Bette Midler - lead vocals, backing vocals
- Angela Cappelli - vocals
- Rachele Cappelli - vocals
- Ula Hedwig - vocals
- Angie Jaree - vocals
- Gail Farrell - vocals
- David Lasley - vocals
- Marcy Levy - vocals
- Arnold McCuller - vocals
- Melissa MacKay - vocals
- David Pack - vocals
- Gene Merlino - vocals
- Joe Pazulo - vocals
- Robert Tibow - vocals
- Jimmy Rowles - piano
- Robbie Buchanan - musician
- Dann Huff - musician
- Paul Jackson, Jr. - musician
- Randy Kerber - musician
- Robbie Kondor - musician
- Joe Mardin - musician
- Marc Shaiman - musician
- Dean Parks - musician
- Neil Stubenhaus - musician
- Vinnie Colaiuta - musician
- Paul Lien - musician
- Michael Thompson - musician
- Steve McNicholas - musician
- Eric VanEssen - musician
- Carlos Vega - musician
- Gary Coleman - musician
- Luke Cresswell - musician
- Claude Gaudette - musician
- Abraham Laboriel - musician
- Endre Granat - concert master
- Arif Mardin - record producer, musical arranger
- Bonnie Bruckheimer - producer
- Marc Shaiman - arranger, music supervisor
- Robbie Kondor - arranger
- Jack Joseph Puig - sound engineer, remixing
- Richard McKernan - engineer
- Michael O'Reilly - engineer
- Bill Schnee - engineer
- Ian Eales - engineer
- Bruce Wildstein - engineer
- Frank Wolf - engineer
- Joey Wolpert - engineer
- Wade Jaynes - assistant engineer
- Rob Harvey - assistant engineer
- Ken Felton - assistant engineer
- Ellen Fitton - assistant engineer
- Barton Stevens - assistant engineer
- Ted Blaisdell - assistant engineer
- Joe Schiff - assistant engineer
- Mike Ross - assistant engineer
- Frank DiCaro - contractor
- Recorded at Schnee Studios L.A., Studio 55 L.A., Oceanway Recording L.A., Conway Recording L.A., Atlantic Studios N.Y..
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