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Greatest Hits by Pat Benatar

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  • 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