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Crimes of PassionYou Better Run set the stage by nearly going Top 40, then Hit Me with Your Best Shot and Treat Me Right rocketed Benatar into full-fledged superstardom. Her #2 LP from 1980.
Synchronistic WanderingsWith the arrival of the 1980s, Nancy Reagan was picking out new White House china, MTV was taking its first baby steps, and Pat Benatar was surging forward as a new kind of female rock star. Brassy, eye-catching, and possessed of a four-and-a-half-octave voice, the small-framed, big-voiced New Yorker first caused a stir in 1979 with the hits "Heartbreaker" and "We Live for Love," the latter penned by lead guitarist and Benatar's future husband, Neil Gerardo. In the early '80s, Benatar scored repeatedly with snarling rockers that combined new-wave energy with Middle American grit: "Hit Me with Your Best Shot," "Invincible," "Love is a Battlefield," "Shadows of the Night," and "We Belong" all charted before she began to lose her luster mid-decade. This three-disc retrospective reflects Benatar's commercial descent with a disc marked by her hits, followed by two discs dominated by lesser-known rock tracks and experiments (which include an unremarkable foray into old-school R&B). Some unreleased numbers are scattered in for good measure. Casual fans would be well advised to leave this one to the devotees and opt for the more-to-the-point Best Shots. --Steven Stolder
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