After enjoying success from her debut album entitled "In the Heat of the Night", Pat Benatar set out on a new project in 1980, with producer Keith Olsen (who had also worked with the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne, and the Grateful Dead). "Crimes of Passion" was released on Chrysalis records on August 6th, 1980. It sold an excess of 5 million copies, and reached #2 on the Billboard 200 (a system in which the hottest records are ranked in a set of 200) for that week. The record ahead of hers was John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Double Fantasy" (just to put into perspective her talent and star power during this time). It would continue to remain on the album charts for 93 weeks, spending over 18 of those weeks in the top ten. In September of 1980, Pat won a Grammy award for "Best Female Vocal Rock Performance" of that year. In October she was on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Pat was definitely moving up in the music business; the following review will leave you with no doubt of this, or the timelessness of "Crimes of Passion" as a classic rock album. Crimes of Passion (1980) Pat Benatar Personnel: Pat Benatar - lead singer Neil Giraldo - lead guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals Roger Capps - bass and backing vocals Myron Grombacher - drums "Crimes of Passion" opens with "Treat Me Right" (which charted at #18 in the US), a searing flight of feminist dominance. It has a traditional rock sound, with a solid beat; Pat's vocals are positively electrifying. It's business as usual. Its lyrics portray a female protagonist telling her significant other that she's going to walk away if he doesn't shape up. Jam-packed with attitude and strength of spirit, it's this record's way of telling you to buckle up. (Or buckle down.) "You Better Run" was the 2nd music video to air on MTV (before that was the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star") thus making Pat the first female artist to ever appear on that network. (To my recollection she was even in the "bumps", or station calls for MTV that year.) It was a cover of the original by 60s group The Rascals, and climbed to a disappointing 42nd place on the US singles chart. The groove in the beginning almost sounds as if there's a badass rocker chick strutting up to you, and you're certainly in for trouble if you don't start running. In other words, it's 3 minutes of femme fatale rock fury. And it's fabulous. "Never Wanna Leave You" is a soothing trip of hypnotic rhymes and soaring vocals. It's a little gentler than the previous tracks, but the beat is strong as ever and there's even some layering of Pat's vocals present at some point in the song. "I never wanna leave you" gets a little repetitive and excessive toward the end, but the almost spinning sound of the guitar certainly makes up for any boredom you might encounter. "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" (b/w "Prisoner of Love"), one of Pat's most popular signature songs, reached #9 on the charts in the United States, and sold more than one million copies in that country alone. Sources indicate that it's a song Pat doesn't take great pleasure in performing live, due to its massive popularity and how often it's chosen for airplay over other equally classic hits. Concluding side B of the record is a controversial track written about child abuse. Ignorant people were enraged by this recording, and it caused quite a ruckus in the media. Due to this foolishness, it was not released as a single. However, it's still heard on rock stations all over the globe. The song itself is chilling; the subject matter is rather disarming but delivered in such a tender and passionate manner that you can't help but listen. It's more like a ballad through the first portion of the song, fading into an upbeat duel of guitars and percussion. Sends chills down my spine every time. It might be just that Pat is shouting "HELL!" in a raucous manner into my ears (it even scared me a little as a kid) or that the lyrics (which Pat wrote herself) are simply disturbing, heartbreaking, and touching. Certainly it gets better from here. Side B will be posted in just a few minutes. Until then, there's a lot of listening to be done for the interested.