ARTIST: Pat Benatar
TITLE: Ultimate Collection
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Top 40: Heartbreaker (#23 US), We Live for Love (#27 US), Hit Me With Your Best Shot (#9 US), Treat Me Right (#18 US), Fire and Ice (#17 US), Promises in the Dark (#38 US), Shadows in the Night (#13 US, #50 UK), Little Too Late (#20 US), Looking for a Stranger (#39 US), Love Is a Battlefield (#5 US, #17 UK), We Belong (#5 US, #22 UK), Ooh Ooh Song (#36 US), Invincible (#10 US, #53 UK), Sex as a Weapon (#28 US, #67 UK), All Fired Up (#19 US, #19 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Hell Is for Children, I Need a Lover, Precious Time, Anxiety (Get Nervous), Le Bel Age
LINEUP: Pat Benatar, Neil Giraldo. Mostly Roger Capps, and Myron Grombacher, Scott St. Clair Sheets’ guitar gave way to Charlie Giordano’s keyboards in 1982 or so. Others filtered in after 1985 or so.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Rock ‘n’ roll singer with a tough exterior is a hit machine from 1979 to about 1987 or so.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Three top 10 singles, and three top 10 albums say one thing, but 9 top 40 albums and 15 top 40 singles say another. And the latter say more about Benatar’s influence and popularity than anything else.
She was a rocker without apology, and that may have hurt on pop radio a bit, but MTV came along at the right time for her, and she, along with husband Neil Giraldo, made that transition to videos work for her, using her sexuality and personality to great effect. She also has an ear for covers, tackling songs by the Rascals and Paul Revere & the Raiders.
This collection collects her singles and some important album cuts as well. As time went on, her material softened a bit, moving to pop and she was less interesting. She then tried genre experiments as well (four cuts from her jump blues album seems a bit much) before fading away. But for the fan, or even the casual fan, this is the best collection and mostly shows her strength.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: She was a singing waitress early in her career.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE A-: There’s a bit too much time spent on her later stuff, but all of her important work is here.