It’s about time! Previous Benatar remasters have been fair to poor, sounding like they were pulled from any random source rather than the original master tapes. The 1999 ‘Synchronistic Wanderings’ anthology, although an excellent collection of hits and rarities, was simply lacking with the remastering. “Love Is A Battlefield”, for example, sounded rather flat for a so-called remaster. The same could be said for “We Belong” and most of the other tracks. Then there was the 2002 ‘Classic Masters’ release. Finally I thought Capitol got it right since I had bought other ‘Classic Masters’ releases from other acts and was greatly impressed. Again, Capitol failed to impress with it’s rather flat mastering treatment.
‘Greatest Hits’ has been digitally remastered by Evren Goknar @ Capitol Mastering, Hollywood. Oddly enough, Evren also remastered 1999’s ‘Synchronstic Wanderings’ anthology. However, Evren has done a much better job on this 2005 release! The differences on some tracks are striking. The audio is rich, full, clear, and sharp — a depth unheard of in any previous releases.
FINALLY, Capitol got it right with this release! While many Benatar fans may be reluctant to pick up yet another “hits” release from the rocker the audio quality alone should hopefully be enough to entice a few of the audiophiles.
I popped this disc into my player hoping I wouldn’t be let down. From hearing the beginning heavy drum beats of “Heartbreaker” I knew I was in for a real treat! The remastering here is superb! Finally we get “Love Is A Battlefield” and “We Belong” with depth and range! “Shadows Of The Night” has never sounded so heavy! It’s nice to have here in it’s better single version. “Invincible” actually has a punchy intro. It has always sounded compressed and flat previously. Ah, “Le Bel Age” is breathtaking with it’s bass line and drums! Who knew this little ‘86 hit had so much kick?! All tracks sound nearly flawless!
My only complaint is that while this collection covers most of Pat’s biggest hits it’s missing selections from the 1990s, notably gems such as “True Love” and “Somebody’s Baby.” Perhaps it would have been better titled as ‘Greatest Hits 1979 – 1989′ with another hits collection to follow a few months later, capturing those remaining hits and other strong album cuts.
The liner notes include comments from other female artists, such as Lisa Marie Presley, Tori Amos, and Martina McBride.
Additionally, Capitol have decided to use single versions of select tracks, perhaps for time, since the release is 20 tracks and clocking in 10 seconds short of 80 minutes. While some people may cringe at edited versions, most of them work here. However, I must say I’ve never been that fond of the single version of “Love Is A Battlefield” since it sounds chopped with the fade-out. Perhaps the full-length version will surface on a future remastered release. The tracklisting:
01 Heartbreaker (Single Mix)
02 We Live For Love (Single Edit)
03 Hit Me With Your Best Shot
04 Hell Is For Children
05 Treat Me Right
06 You Better Run
07 Fire And Ice
08 Promises In The Dark
09 Precious Time
10 Shadows Of The Night (Single Edit)
11 Little Too Late (Single Edit)
12 Looking For A Stranger
13 Love Is A Battlefield (Single Edit)
14 We Belong
15 Ooh Ooh Song (Single Edit)
16 Invincible (Theme From ‘The Legend Of Billie Jean’)
17 Sex As A Weapon
18 Le Bel Age (Single Edit)
19 All Fired Up (Single Edit)
20 One Love (Song Of The Lion) (Single Edit)
Now Capitol, how about giving Pat’s entire catalogue a remastering treatment? 5.1 would be nice!