1980, Music

Crimes of Passion (1980) by Pat Benatar

So, well all know “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”. In fact, off the top of my head, it’s the only Pat Benatar song I know. (I have some vague memory of some other video but I wasn’t even born when this album came out.) So the question for this album is, how does the rest stack up?

The answer is not particularly well. Like so many big albums powered by some hit singles the deep cuts are not great. Speaking of “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”, did you know it was only a top 10 hit? It’s funny how sometimes songs that are not #1s endure like #1s. Anyway, the material, mostly written for her or covers, is not great. (She co-writes a couple songs. They are not clearly superior or inferior to the other stuff.))

Speaking of the covers: why did she cover “Wuthering Heights”? To show off her range? It’s inferior to the original but it’s also trying to be the original. Sure, it doesn’t sound like Benatar, so it’s impressive in a vocal chops sense, but it’s just mimicry.

The album’s sound is safe rock music. Geraldo appears to be a fairly talented guitar player – his solos and fills are a highlight – but he’s still playing generic rock music. And like so much ’80s rock music, the guitars are distorted just enough to tell you it’s rock but they’re not loud enough to scare anyone away. The album’s most famous song is a pretty good example of the sound: it’s more pop than rock even though it wants you to think it’s rock music.

The one thing I can say for the production is that they just recorded the band and didn’t add any stupid ’80s production gimmicks. So that is definitely something.

Anyway, don’t bother. But you knew that already.


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