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Greatest Hits by Pat Benatar

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★★★★½
(59 Reviews)

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Pat Benatar, Greatest Hits by Pat Benatar

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  • I love the remastering, I love the deja vu it gives me on road trips, but I really miss the one song that brought me and countless others into her camp in 1979, the ultra-cool new wave song “If You Think You Know How To Love Me”, still one of the coolest songs ever. Sadly, I have yet to see one of these comps get it right, even when it’s so obvious and easy that anyone outside of the (I was there for quite awhile-I know) music industry could have done it.

    Posted on March 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I picked this up because I’ve always loved Pat Benetar’s voice and never managed to have any of her ’stuff’. When I think ‘Greatest Hits’ I think of songs that were all over the radio or MTV (when they still played videos).
    There are actually quite a few songs on this album that I was previously unfamiliar with — and they’re all good.

    She has always had such an amazing range that I’m not surprised to hear it on all of these tracks — but I was surprised by the range of scenes covered. Romance, Love, Abuse, Abandonment — it’s all here and I love every minute of it…

    Long story short — Pat ROCKS and you NEED this album!!!

    Posted on February 7, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • THE BAND: Pat Benatar (vocals) and Neil Giraldo (guitars, keyboards) on all tracks… and over the years – Scott St.Claire Sheets (guitars), Roger Capps (bass), Donnie Nossov (bass), Frank Linx (bass), Fernando Saunders (bass), Charlie Giordano (keyboards), Kevin Savigar (keyboards), Glen Alexander Hamilton (drums), Myron Grombacher (drums).

    THE DISC: (2005) 20 tracks clocking in at approximately 79 minutes. Included with the disc is a 10-page booklet containing black & white photos of Benatar, song titles/credits (no song lyrics), Billboard chart success of each single, a brief statement from several female artists inspired by Benatar (including Joan Jett, Martina McBride, Sarah McLachlan, Martha Davis, Tori Amos, etc), what songs came from which albums and year released. This compilation follows Benatar from 1979-1988. Remastered sound. Label – Capital Records.

    ALBUM REPRESENTATION: In The Heat Of The Night (2 songs), Crimes Of Passion (4), Precious Time (3), Get Nervous (3), Live From Earth (1), Tropico (2), Seven The Hard Way (3), Wide Awake In Dreamland (2).

    COMMENTS: 4 Grammy’s, 6 platinum albums, 4 gold albums, 19 Top 40 hits… if you’re a rock fan, you need some Pat Benatar in your collection. Over a dozen studio albums and almost as many hit compilations from Benatar… what hits package do you ultimately reach for? Looking for an in-depth purchase, go with the 3-disc set “Synchronistic Wanderings” (1999) containing 53 songs (all the hits, several live tracks, B-sides, and alternative takes) – truly a grand collection of master female rocker Pat Benatar. However, if you’re looking for that one disc, that gives you just the popular hits… this “Greatest Hits” is the one.

    THE GOOD: All the staples are here – “Heartbreaker”, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”, “Hell Is For Children”, “Treat Me Right”, “You Better Run”, “Fire And Ice”, “Shadows Of The Night”, “Precious Time”, “Love Is A Battlefield”, “We Belong”, “Invincible”, “All Fired Up”, etc. The songs are presented in chronological order – always a bonus in my opinion – hearing the artist mature and change direction(s) over the years. The digital remastering is superb – crisp highs and deep bass tones. There are so many issues these days with `remastering’… where it seems whoever is behind the control board just pushes all the levels up to 11 and doesn’t take anything else into consideration. On Benatar’s “Greatest Hits” though, the songs sound perfect. The disc itself is packed full of music – just over 79 minutes worth. The liner notes are extensive – giving you pictures, inspirational notes from other female musicians, and specifics on the individual songs.

    THE NOT SO GOOD: Two (extremely) minor things… otherwise this disc is as close to perfection as it gets. In general, a vast majority of the compilations miss the boat. For the single disc though, the song selection is dead on accurate – there’s not one song that isn’t deserving to be here. 1st – personally, for many years I’ve been tired of the song “We Live For Love”. I feel this song is dated and overplayed (at the time). With that being said though, “We Live For Love” deserves to be here – it was Benatar’s 2nd Top 40 hit (behind only “Heartbreaker”). 2nd – I could nit-pick some more and say this disc is not all inclusive. You’ll find nothing from “True Love” (1991), “Gravity’s Rainbow”, “Innamorata” (1997) or “Go” (2003). However, there’s no room for another song on this disc. Most of the single disc mixes concentrate on Benatar in her prime (as does this one)… here’s hoping an updated 2-disc version is released with some of her more recent material, cover tunes (“I Need A Lover” for one), live performances, etc. all together.

    OVERALL: Beginners and long time fans – start your collection here. If you’re looking for one disc of Pat Benatar in her prime – her best hits in all their remastered glory – this is it (5 stars).

    Posted on February 7, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • To say Pat Benatar’s first state-side greatest hits CD was a disappointment would be an overwhelming understatement.

    Best Shots was issued on Halloween of 1989, ushered in by a week-long prime time co-hosting stint on MTV, and the release of “One Love” as a single (borrowed from her previous studio offering, 1988s Wide Awake In Dreamland), but anyone scanning the tracklisting was left scratching their head as to why half of her hits were missing.

    In what seemed like an effort to showcase the more “schlock-rock”-ish selections from her back catalag (a genre then enjoying it’s last bursts of chart domination), Chrysalis Records and possibly Benatar herself ignored some of her strongest singles and sucked the fun right out of that decade-spanning retrospective. Still, being the only official, single disc Benatar collection, it went on to be a platinum seller.

    Cut ahead nearly 16 years. The worldwide market has been flooded with no fewer than 30 generic “EMI Special Markets” compilations, a result of Chrysalis Records having folded in the early 90s, leaving their entire back catalog vulernable to being, er, whored-out. All such releases notoriously feature hideous, cheap inserts, random track selection and poor sound quality recycled from old analog transfers. They’ve certainly cooled many peoples desire for “yet another” greatest hits disc (most of all, probably her fans), but Capitol Records has now finally issued the DEFINITIVE Pat Benatar compilation.

    You need this CD.

    Pat Benatar: Greatest Hits is her first official single disc collection since Best Shots. It features all 12 songs included on that release (the final 3 were CD-only bonus cuts drawn from the One Love single, tacked on to entice buyers to opt for the growing compact disc market), plus 8 additional hits inexplicably omitted from that release.

    All 15 top of her top 40 Billboard singles are here along with other key tracks, and they sound fantastic. This isn’t a repackaging of the same old tracks to make a quick dollar. Clocking in a mere 10 second under maximum disc capacity (that’s 79:50), all tracks have been digitally remasted and given a punch previously unheard on any past release. Capitol has successfully brought these tracks up to todays standards. This also marks the first ever appearance of the superior “Treat Me Right” single remix on compact disc.

    The artwork and layout is superb, featuring an iconic selection of photos presented on metallic silver and black stock, topped off with simple red and white lettering. The booklet contains a well-written bio summing up Pat’s importance to the world of music, as well as a selection of lengthy tributes from the likes of Tori Amos, Lisa Marie Presley, plus (finally) an accurate and detailed Billboard chart history.

    This is the only Pat Benatar CD a casual listener will ever need, and there’s plenty here to keep fans happy until Capitol rolls out the full-length album remasters series.

    Bravo.

    Posted on February 7, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Finally-a one disc Greatest Hits by Pat Benatar that not only has all her Top 40 hits, but the one I was looking for-”Le Bel Age,” which while not Top 40-it peaked at #54-was the song on MTV that finally got my interest. Lighter than most of her earlier hits, it was nevertheless peppered with the guitar-driven music that made her one of the 80’s most formidable women. Or should I say Invincible?

    Her debut single “Heartbreaker” with its racing guitar line, makes that song almost like a punk “Paranoid.” This song features her distinctive vocal styles, nice and rough, and a higher pitched disco voice. #23 for this song? No way! Higher? Way! That was followed by “We Live For Love,” which like some of her other songs, sounded like what Blondie would’ve been like if they’d been hard rock, or Berlin when they had their hard edge in Count Three And Pray. Such ferocity, including some awesome guitar work by Neil Girardo, her producer/guitarist whom she ended up marrying, is also present in “Promises In The Dark,” which only peaked at #38.

    Then came her first Top Ten hit, and the one she’s usually associated with. No, not an anthem for death row inmates on firing squad, but “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” had the right sound, distinctive crunchy hard guitar chords, pop hooks, Pat’s gritty voice, and a catchy chorus that took it to #9 and gold sales.

    Before Suzanne Vega’s “Luka,” Benatar did her own sobering story of child abuse in “Hell Is For Children.” She is stronger and blunter: “you shouldn’t have to pay with your bones and your flesh,” “Be daddy’s girl and don’t tell me Mommy a thing.” compared to Vega’s lyricism. “You Better Run,” a cover of the Rascals song, has fiercer guitar crunching than “Best Shot” in this angry song against a partner who’s no good. This barely missed the Top 40, by two positions.

    The #18 “Treat Me Right” has a rhythm section reminiscent of Blondie’s “Call Me,” which had come out a year earlier. This might explain the existence of the Blondie/Pat Benatar Back To Back compilation. “Shadows of the Night”, with its initial acapella chorus, and the explosion of guitars and synths, goes into the power synth/rock ballad genre before Bon Jovi, Cher, and others ran with it in the mid to late 80’s.

    Holly Knight co-wrote one of Benatar’s highest charting hits, the #5 “Love Is A Battlefield,” which she would later do on her solo album. With its quick tempo on drums and particularly keyboards, it’s no wonder it also peaked at #1 on the rock charts for four weeks. The other was the soaring “We Belong,” which combined rock ballad dynamics with keyboard fills.

    Rockabilly meets synth pop in the infectiously danceable “Ooh Ooh Song,” which inexplicably only got the #35. By the time I got around to Pat Benatar, her career was already entering its final stages. Thanks to my friend George, who loaned me his copy of Seven The Hard Way, I got into her. I’d already heard the anthemic “Invincible,” the theme to the Helen Slater movie The Legend of Billie Jean. The other single, “Sex as a Weapon,” was a slap against the use of men and women models using their bods to sell stuff, hence the chorus goes “stop using sex as a weapon/Love is more than a one way reflection.”

    However, listening now to “All Fired Up” from Wide Awake In Dreamland, I found that she had lost none of her fire-only her audience, as that song reached #19. The pounding drums and insistent guitar attack, leading to a refrain of self-affirmation, first softly, then culminating in her usual style: “I believe there comes a time, when everything just falls in line/we live and learn from our mistakes/our deepest cuts are healed by fate.”

    For those frustrated by some songs missing from other compilations, e.g. Best Shots, or others such as All Fired Up or Synchronistic Wanderings that have too much material, Greatest Hits is to me the best shot of compilations.

    Posted on February 7, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now