I am one of the few who ranks Pat’s albums in the order they came out. I purchased her debut album on the day it hit the streets in ‘79, just by chance being in my old record store haunt when the manager pulled it out of the box and inspired by her sultry cover, tossed on the store stereo. Wow! I plunked down the cash before we got to the second side. After “If You Think You Know…” and the title track, I had In The Heat of the Night in my backpack on my way home to my own ear-blasting stereo. Ain’t nuthin’ like real vinyl. Each successive album became another gem in my collection. After Seven The Hard Way, I realized I liked them all in the order I bought them! Still do! Heat is numero uno and Tropico was number five. Seven The Hard Way easily fell into sixth place, don’t get me wrong, it’s a terrific album but it’s carried (for me) by Walking in the Underground and Le Bel Age, the rest of the “hits” were become commercial fare for Pat and as with Heart, I was getting complacent in the music. So Maybe, Pat was too?
However, then after a three year wait, I picked up this little gem. I would love this album if only Too Long A Soldier and Don’t Walk Away were the only good songs on it and I hated the rest! Those two just knock me out! With Pat, the hard rock stuff reached it’s zenith on Precious Time, you cannot beat her first three albums for the edge! But just as Evil Genius forshadowed things to come, I think Wide Awake In Dreamland is the culmination of Pat’s explorations. These songs are artistic, they are intellectual (as usual), and they are gripping. Her voice is her voice, don’t matter what record you are listening to, The Benetar is the Queen of Female Vocals. But when it comes to serious song writing and musical execution, I have to say that this album ranks up in the top three someplace!
I think the gentleman from New South Wales who reviewed this earlier hit the nail on the head with the best song selection, I can only trump that with They Are All Fantastic and These Are Just The Appetizers! So that makes Suffer The Little Children the after-dinner wine and the title track a wonderful dessert!
Excellent Benatar! Now if only it were re-released!