Posts Tagged ‘Crimes of Passion’


Pat Benatar is one of the best artists to emerge from the MTV era of rock & roll: the 60s-90s. Among such heavyweights as Journey, the lovely ladies of Heart, Fleetwood Mac, and even the Buggles, Benatar holds her own with her powerhouse

Cover of "Live From Earth"

vocals. This what has made her an icon. However, as with all great artists, they are meant to be heard live. Benatar proves she’s worthy of this with her 1983 live album, Live From Earth.

However, with all great artists, they are meant to be heard live and Benatar proves that she’s worthy of the “must-see” concert label.

She opens the show with the haunting classic “Fire and Ice.” However, things get really amazing when she breaks into the gritty “I Want Out” followed by the awesomeness that is “We Live For Love” and the grisly, sad, and controversial “Hell Is For Children.” That track is literally one that leaps out of the speakers and grabs you instantly. Clearly, this is Pat Benatar at her “tough-girl” persona best. One which she would abandon for another persona, a bit more personal one if you will – motherhood, with her 1984 album Tropico. The two studio tracks, the ever-popular “Love Is A Battlefield” and “Lipstick Lies” (both containing very memorable videos – such as Benatar herself doing Michael Jackson-style dance sequences) serve as a great transition into this new era for Benatar.

What Pat Benatar live album would not be complete without her performing her swan song, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot?” None! However, this is probably the weaker track of this album because you can barely hear her vocals. Since the album was recorded in many places, wherever they recorded it, the acoustics are TERRIBLE!

Benatar and her husband Neil Geraldo quickly redeem themselves on “Promises In the Dark.” The live version of “Promises In The Dark” actually sounds better than the recording as heard on 1983’s Precious Time album.

This album is okay, however it seems more or less like a greatest hits collection thrown in with a few new tracks. But its a good live album overall from what sounds like one exciting tour. B+


In 1980, Pat Benatar was at the top of her game. She had a couple of hit singles from her first album, In the Heat of the Night including We Live For Love and the now-classic HeartbreakerHer second album, Crimes of Passion, was to be released in August of that year and one of the forthcoming singles from the album, You Better Run, was about to be chosen to be the second video to be played on a brand new all-music channel called MTV. To top it all off, she was dating (and later married) the guy she had always had eyes for in the band: Neil “Spyder James” Girarldo. She was on the verge of success and fame.

Among the tracks is the little gem, Never Wanna Leave You. One of the greatest aspects of this track is not only Benatar’s surprisingly softer vocals, but the driving bassline. It almost sounds like a sequel to We Live For Love, which, according to both Benatar and her husband, chronicles their then-budding romance.

Either way it’s a crime that it wasn’t a hit single. However, it is still a winner.


Tropico (album)

Image via Wikipedia

Throughout her career, Pat Benatar has worn many wardrobes: angry rocker chick, sultry singer, wife to guitarist Neil Giraldo, and on 1984’s Tropico, impending motherhood. Benatar and husband Neil Giraldo found out that they were pregnant with their firstborn [their duaghter Haley] between the video shoot for Painted Desert and the recording of We Belong.

As with impending motherhood and the requirement of growing up, Benatar and Giraldo grow up musically with this album. This is well shown in the lyrics of Takin’ It Back. Benatar and Giraldo trade in the hard rock that made In the Heat Of The Night, Crimes of Passion and even Get Nervous for a more pop-oriented sounding album. Also, gone is the anger and grit that made those albums. Instead, a considerably toned-down persona has taken its place. Surprisingly, it fits Benatar very well.

There’s literally is no weak track on Tropico. This is perhaps Benatar’s strongest effort since Crimes of Passion. Also, it relies less on the angry rock and more on optimism, which is shown on Diamond Field and the album’s hit single We Belong.

However, some of the best tracks aren’t even 100% hit material – such as Love In the Ice Age and A Crazy World Like This.

Overall, this is a “don’t miss” album by Pat Benatar.


Get Nervous

Image via Wikipedia

Pat Benatar is one of those artists that can be angry, sweet, and in this case, insane within one album: Get Nervous.

One of the greatest things about what Benatar does is that she sings from her gut. She does this well on Anxiety (Get Nervous). As a listener, you can feel the fear and trembling in the opening lines “I feel a little shaky, I can’t control my nerves/I know you think I’m freakin’, but can’t you feel the curves?/I swear to you this feeling it scares me half to death/It gathers in my throat and it gathers up my breath.” She also screams and cries her way through Fight It Out and Tell It To Her.

Benatar and husband-guitarist Neil Giraldo are also ones that know how to write an inspiring anthem.  Shadows of the Night is a clear follow-up to her signature hit Hit Me With Your Best Shot from her 1980 album Crimes of Passion. It is a song about running into the arms of love despite anything bad happening. However, Benatar and her band return to their classic music formula with Little Too Late, which is an amazing rock song. However that’s only a warm-up to creepily amazing I’ll Do It.

Get Nervous is essentially a concept album without actually being a concept album. In this case the concept is Pat Benatar goes insane. Insane about what? From possibly her 2010 autobiography it could be a metaphor for both her relationship with her then-record company, Chrysalis, and all of their demands. Concept albums aside, Get Nervous is a keeper!


Pat Benatar is one of the feistiest singers in rock & roll. In 1979, she hit the music scene with a vengeance with In The Heat of the Night.

Benatar exclaims to her ex-lover “you’re a heartbreaker/dream-maker/love-taker don’t you mess around with me” on the smash single Heartbreaker. Benatar’s gritty albeit beautiful vocals, combined with guitarist and future husband Neil Giraldo‘s searing guitar solos, make this track one of the quintessential songs of Benatar’s career.

Subtlety works well on the title track. The bass line, combined with a much more vocally subdued Benatar, makes this for one unforgettable early Benatar track.  It gives it a suspenseful feel. In a possible homage to the movie The Stepford Wives, Benatar tells of a fake woman living the life of another in My Clone Sleeps Alone.

One of the weaker tracks is If You Think You Know How To Love Me. It is essentially filler music and does absolutely nothing to make the album better.

Benatar shines on such other tracks as We Live For Love and Rated X. Rated X talks about a porn star who seeks out love in all the wrong places. While she wants love, all of the men that she seeks out want sex. According to husband Neil Giraldo in her autobiography Between a Heart and a Rock Place, We Live for Love was written as a love song for Pat Benatar by her future husband. However, she thinks otherwise that it was written for another woman.

Though it is not a perfect album, it is still a good album. In The Heat of the Night only gives us a taste of what to expect of her other albums including her followup to this album, Crimes of Passion and Precious Time.

 


When you have classical opera training behind your belt in rock music, you can’t lose. Pat Benatar is no exception to this rule with her release of Crimes of Passion.

Both Benatar and Giraldo kick the album off with a nice request for a man to treat a woman with dignity with the album-opener “Treat Me Right” – which is a stark contrast to her previous album opener: the hit single “Heartbreaker” on her first album In the Heat of the Night“Treat Me Right” is also a rather significant song in rock music history: it was the second music video that aired on the then-fledgling Mtv.

However, knowing Benatar’s trademark angry style, she kicks it into high-gear shortly after with the hit single “You Better Run” where she screams the chorus you better run/ you better hide/you better leave from my side. She continues this on the heavy-lyric-laden but guitar driven (no thanks to her husband Neal Giraldo) “Hell is for Children.” “Hell is for Children” is a song that speaks of the horrors of child abuse.

One nice change on this album is the fact that this time Benatar shows her soft side with such songs as the lushful rocker “Never Wanna Leave You” and her beautiful albeit with a rock touch cover of the Kate Bush classic “Wuthering Heights.”

Overall the album is a great album. B+