If it seems doubly incredible that this future Hollywood diva was rock-identified, her choice of contemporaries assured it, John Prine and Leon Russell especially, and never mind that the Carpenters got to "Superstar" first. As for "Delta Dawn," how were mere rockers to know that Nashville thought it was Tanya Tucker's, much less that Helen Reddy wanted it too? How were they to know that this brassy-voiced musical comedy vet and her jazz-tinged schlock-rock production were corrupting red-blooded heterosexual singer-songwriterdom with a sensibility both gay and feminist--a sensibility that adored daring women from Ethel Waters to Midler herself and made room for Tanya and Karen too?
Never again would Midler sell this sensibility with such verve--a part of her really liked schlock, and once established she indulged the weakness. But on this album the facetious comedy and complex kindness of camp still lifts songs that seem obvious now because she helped make them that way. It posits a unified field theory of American pop that only philistines would be narrow-minded enough to deny.
Rolling Stone, (unpublished)