10 Best Pat Benatar 80s Songs

Pat Benatar 80s Songs

Pat Benatar broke through when she released her debut album In the Heat of the Night in the late 1970s. Even so, she had her most productive decade in the 1980s, as shown by the releases of 7 of her 11 studio albums in those years. As such, most of Benatar’s best-known songs were released in the 1980s, meaning there are formidable competitors for the best of her songs from that period.

10 Best Pat Benatar 80s Songs

#10 – You Better Run

“You Better Run” was a Young Rascals song, so it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that it was penned by the band’s two lead singers, Eddie Brigati and Felix Cavaliere. The critics liked the song, but the consumers failed to respond with the same enthusiasm. Later, Benatar did a cover as the lead single for her second studio album Crimes of Passion in 1980, which met a similar fate. Still, the music video became a part of MTV history by becoming the second ever shown on the TV network. Amusingly, it was preceded by The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.”

#9 – All Fired Up

“All Fired Up” started as a Rattling Sabres song in 1987. It became much better known when Benatar released a cover as the lead single for Wide Awake in Dreamland in 1988. Her version reached the number 19 position on the Billboard Hot 100 on the strength of her vocals more than anything else. Alas, “All Fired Up” signaled the end of an era because it was the last of Benatar’s songs to enter the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100.

#8 – Shadows of the Night

D.L. Byron wrote “Shadows of the Night” for the 1980 movie Times Square. It didn’t just fail to make it into the movie; it didn’t get released by its songwriter because his record label thought it didn’t have enough market potential. Subsequent decisions have made a joke out of that decision. More than 10 artists have released their takes on the song. Some people might recognize it because Mary J. Blige sang it in Rock of Ages. However, Pat Benatar’s version from 1982’s Get Nervous remains the best known by far. It earned her a third Grammy. On top of that, it broke into the Top 20 in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

#7 – Fire And Ice

Speaking of Grammys, Pat Benatar got her second because of “Fire and Ice” from 1981’s Precious Time. She wrote this one with assistance from Tom Kelly and Scott Sheets. Lyrics-wise, “Fire and Ice” stands out because the title describes both the singer and the person the singer is eyeing. The latter is a clear manipulator who uses a hurtful, hot-and-cold approach in romantic relationships. Meanwhile, the singer is interested but prevented from following up on that interest by her very understandable wariness.

#6 – Invincible

“Invincible” came out on Pat Benatar’s sixth studio album Seven the Hard Way in 1985. Prominently, it was the theme song for the movie The Legend of Billie Jean in 1985. “Invincible” was well-received, so much so that it reached the number 10 position on the Billboard Hot 100. One of the song’s two songwriters, Holly Knight, also contributed to the better-known “Love Is a Battlefield.”

#5 – Treat Me Right

“Treat Me Right” sees the singer becoming fed-up with someone who can’t decide what they want from their relationship. It is very relatable because of the sheer indecisiveness revealed by the lyrics, which is more infuriating than irritating. As a result, it is very satisfying when the singer gives an ultimatum to treat her right because she is nearing the point when she is just going to get up and go. This song reached the number 18 position on the Billboard Hot 100, which wasn’t bad considering it was the final single of Crimes of Passion. Infectious energy makes it easy to see how this song and others made Benatar a feminist icon of the 1980s.

#4 – We Belong

“We Belong” is one of Pat Benatar’s most famous love songs. It came out with a softer, more mature sound in 1984, which enabled it to distinguish itself from her earlier releases. Benatar’s smooth rendition of “We Belong” showed her versatility as a singer. The consumers agreed because this song more-or-less matched the success of “Love Is a Battlefield” in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

#3 – Hit Me With Your Best Shot

“Hit Me With Your Best Shot” is another Crimes of Passion single. The song managed to sell more than a million copies. Moreover, it continues to see much play at sports games. Sadly, Pat Benatar doesn’t perform the song anymore. Yes, it is a cheerful, even humorous song. The issue is that Benatar says she can no longer sing it with a smile because it reminds her and other people too much of mass shootings.

#2 – Love Is a Battlefield

“Love Is a Battlefield” is one of Benatar’s most famous songs, not least because it is one of Benatar’s most successful songs. After all, it sold more than a million copies. On top of that, its popularity enabled it to claim the number 5 position on the Billboard Hot 100. As mentioned earlier, Holly Knight was one of the songwriters who worked on the song. The other was Mike Chapman. For extra context, “Love Is a Battlefield” came out just a bit before “We Belong” as a single for Live From Earth in 1983. Despite its inherent awkwardness as a studio recording on a live album, it sees frequent inclusion in lists of the greatest songs of the 1980s as a whole.

#1 – Heartbreaker

Some people might be surprised to see “Heartbreaker” in the number one position on this list. That is because it was the second single for Pat Benatar’s debut album In the Heat of the Night, meaning it came out towards the very end of the 1970s rather than the very beginning of the 1980s. However, one can argue “Heartbreaker” counts as a 1980s song because it didn’t come racing out of the gates but instead built up momentum bit by bit. Thanks to that, the sleeper hit didn’t peak at the number 23 position on the Billboard Hot 100 until March of 1980, which is why it secured the number 83 position on the year-end version of that chart in that year rather than the one before.

In any case, “Heartbreaker” earned its position on this list by being the song that enabled Benatar to break through. Both “I Need a Lover” and “If You Think You Know How to Love Me” preceded it. Neither even came close to having the same impact. Under those circumstances, it is no exaggeration to say that “Heartbreaker” played a pivotal role in making Benatar one of the first women to find widespread success in hard rock.

Feature Photo: Andrew F. Kazmierski / Shutterstock.com

10 Best Pat Benatar 80s Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

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