Classic Singers 5 – Pat Benatar

So, we’re onto number 5, and it’s Pat Benatar. She was seen as the quintessential rock-chick in the 80s. But she is so much more. I first heard her music when I was in the bath in Perth on a Sunday night listening to Casey Kasem counting down the American Top 40 and he played Shadows of the Night. It was awesome!

Next time I heard her was in about 1983 when Tropico came out and the single We Belong was released. After that was Love is A Battlefield – one of the iconic tracks of the early 80s and MTV. For me, her first album, In the Heat of the Night (1979), may well be her best, but I also really like Seven the Hard Way (1985) and Wide Awake in Dreamland (1988). She also released an album, True Love, which was a collection of covers of slower jazzy songs.

Now, when I went about picking 5 songs that I think really show her voice people may think of rock songs, but I don’t. Pat Benatar has an absolutely gorgeous voice and the songs that really show it off are not those ‘rock-chick’ songs. Don’t get me wrong, I do like them. Songs like Invincible, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Heartbreaker, All Fired Up etc. But I’ve chosen a different direction to take. I was tempted to include In the Heat of the Night, with its moody sleazy feel, but alas I found no place for it. And lastly, let’s not overlook the contribution that Neil Giraldo has made – great guitarist and songwriter.

Here they are:

1. Don’t Let It Show – this is off In the Heat of the Night and is a brilliant showcase for Pat Benatar’s voice. It is a simple song about heartbreak, but it hits home because of her great voice and fantastic high notes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0Us5P_nNrI

2. Walking in the Underground – Off Seven the Hard Way, this has a jazzy feel to it with an intro from a muted trumpet. This is mellow and yells solitude. It builds into some great guitar work and drums. The production is very 80s, but I kind of like that. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQAfm9_RUrw

3. My Clone Sleeps Alone – one out of the blue, perhaps, as it is not necessarily that well known. But this song is awesome from its piano intro and Pat singing over it. It is such a simple intro that hides nothing. There would be no place for an inferior voice to hide – good job Pat Benatar has such a great voice. A bit of a sci-fi feel to the lyrics. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nNNvB3KFFI

4. Bloodshot Eyes – Off the True Love album. This a great little song that is upbeat and a real foot-tapper. It shows a different side to Pat Benatar that might be to the taste of her hardcore rock fans, but she pulls it off and shows her class as a singer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tosx8fXTHQI

5. Shadows of the Night – This is the only rock song I have included in this collection of five. This was the first song of hers that I heard and it still resonates with me. It is pop-rock at its best. It starts with Pat singing without accompaniment and then hits the classic 80s keyboards. I play this at full volume and glory in the voice. The video is a bit corny though. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZInRE-KryGA

So there you have it. I’m not sure what’s next on the list, but following the boy, girl, boy, girl pattern I am looking back at Elvis Costello. So perhaps I’ll have to Pump It Up! Yeah, bad joke, I know, but that’s all I’ve got.

See you for the next exciting installment of Classic Singers

George

About George Fripley
I am a writer who enjoys writing humour, satire, poetry and sometimes a bit of philosophy. I live in Perth, Western Australia and occasionally get a poem or article published. It's all good fun! I have two books available for unwary readers, Grudges, Rumours and Drama Queens- The Civil Servant's Manual (This contains all that anybody could ever want to know about why government runs so slowly) and More Gravy Please! - the Politician's Handbook. (available through Amazon)

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