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).