Pat Benatar’s well trained powerful and passionate multi-octave voice easily won over true rock and roll fans. In rock and roll, substance and authenticity will always trump glamour and glitz. Pat Benatar was the real deal and her success in rock and roll history stands as a tribute to her talent and body of work.
Pat Benatar’s first album was released in 1979 entitled In the In The Heat of the Night. The album contained her breakout hit “Heartbreaker.” The album was quickly followed up one year later with the Crimes of Passion album in 1980. For the next five years, Pat Benatar dominated the charts releasing an album a year. In 1981 she released her third album entitled Precious Time. In Pat Benatar released the album Get Nervous, in 1983 Live From Earth, in 1984 Tropico and in 1985 Seven The Hard Way.
Pat Benatar returned in 1988 with the album Wide Awake in Dreamland. A surprising blues album was released in 1991 entitled True Love. Pat Benatar’s recorded output would begin to slow down after the release of True Love. Since that album was released in 1991, Pat Benatar has released only three more albums with the last one released in 2003 entitled Go.
# 10 – We Live For Love
Pat Benatar’s “We Live for Love,” opened up side two of Benatar’s debut album, In The Heat of the Night. While the song’s powerful guitar opening line instantly captured the attention of the audience, it was Benatar’s’ falsetto charged vocal line on the song’s chorus that captivated a new world of fans.
# 9 – Go
It’s hard to believe that its been thirteen years since Pat Benatar released her last album of new material in 2003. In fact, the album Go has been the only record of new material the singer released in the twenty first century as of this writing here in the year 2016. Nonetheless, the title track,“Go,” was a great one, and we have loved including it in our top 10 Pat Benatar songs list.
# 8 – Fire and Ice
Well let’s talk about success. Pat Benatar’s recording of “Fire and Ice,” was the lead-off single from her third album Precious Time. The Precious Time album was released in 1982. The single “Fire and Ice,” reached all the way to Number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts and Number 4 on the Billboard rock charts in 1982. The song also captured a Grammy Award for Benatar, earning her one in the category for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.
# 7 – All Fired Up
Pat Benatar’s recording of Kerryn Tolhurst’s “All Fired Up,” would become one of her last hits of the 80’s decade in which she completely dominated. Her energetic vocal matched the song’s title and reputation. The song was released on her Wide Awake in America LP which was issued in 1997.
# 6 – We Belong
Pat Benatar received many Grammy Nominations throughout her career. “We Belong,” was nominated in 1984. Although the song did not win a Grammy, it stands as a tribute to the beauty of Benatar’s mid tempo melodic rockers that showcased her vocal range and soulful heart.
# 5 – Love is a Battlefield
It should never be underestimated the role videos played throughout 1980’s music culture. Pat Benatar was an MTV favorite. The epic video production of the song “Love is a Battlefield,” helped fuel the success of the song. The song reached all the way to Number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1983. It was released on Benatar’s live album, Live from Earth.
# 4 – You Better Run
The song “You Better Run,” was originally released in 1966 by the Young Rascals. It was written by musical legends Eddie Brigati and Felix Cavaliere. However, Pat Benatar paid great tribute to those songwriters with her monster rock version of their iconic song. Benatar’s vocal on the song clearly should be viewed as one of her best rock vocal performances of her career. The song was released on her second album Crimes of Passion. It was also the second song ever aired on MTV after the Buggles debut of “Video Killed the Radio Star.” The song was chosen as the lead-off single off her second album before the release of “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”
# 3 – Promises in the Dark
The second single released from the Precious Time LP was Benatar’s early rock masterpiece “Promises in the Dark.” The song’s musical introduction, verses, and guitar-laden hooks were clearly representative of Neil Geraldo’s writing style. Once again, Benatar’s wide vocal range jettisoned above the song’s rock groove and changes towards a level of performance that few singers of her time period could match.
# 2 – Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Many musical artists hope that they may be responsible for releasing a song that becomes part of mainstream culture on a level that exceeds ever their own popularity. We can’t speak personally for Pat Benatar’s feelings on that concept, but we can argue that the recording of Eddie Schwartz’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” is regarded as the most popular recording of all the Pat Benatar songs ever released.
Many would argue that it is one of the most popular rock songs of all time. When a song is utilized in sporting events and other cultural rituals, it becomes forever ingrained in popular culture history. “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” was released on the Crimes of Passion album.
# 1 – Heartbreaker
Pat Benatar’s breakout song “Heartbreaker,” remains one of the most exciting rock and roll songs of all time. If you were alive and wide awake in America in the late 1970s and first heard this song on the radio in 1979, then you were stopped dead in your track while listening to a voice that sounded like no other. Her acapella vocal riff in the middle of the song was one of those rare rock moments that cemented her arrival in rock lore.
Pat Benatar had bigger hits in her career later on, but “Heartbreaker,” arrived at a moment when punk and new wave were dominating radio airplay. In the end, talent always trumps style, and Benatar kicked the punk performers right out of her way. Heartbreaker was released on Pat Benatar’s debut album entitled In The Heat of the Night.
Top 10 Pat Benatar Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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