Register to remove these ads

Pat Benatar - Crimes of Passion (1980)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by ladyislingering, May 31, 2010.

  1. ladyislingering

    ladyislingering retired

    Posts:
    5,879
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Location:
    The lobby of the Ritz hotel.
    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

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  2. ladyislingering

    ladyislingering retired

    Posts:
    5,879
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Location:
    The lobby of the Ritz hotel.
    Re: Pat Benatar - "Crimes of Passion" (1980)

    Side B of Pat Benatar's "Crimes of Passion" begins with a nice little ode to yuppies and their clueless, careless, carefree lifestyle. "Little Paradise" is a snarky track, filled with brilliant lyrics.

    The opener for side B prepares you for "I'm Gonna Follow You", which is presented in an almost eerie type of melody, with equally affirmative lyrics. This is perhaps my personal favourite from the entire record. Absolutely striking.


    Two years before, Kate Bush wrote "Wuthering Heights" for her album "The Kick Inside". Pat covered this song in a bit of a more upbeat and accessible manner. I personally prefer Pat's version to Kate's. For your listening pleasure:


    Following "Wuthering Heights" is "Prisoner of Love" (which was featured as the B-side of "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"). I view this, personally, as bit of a filler song, despite the upkeep of Pat's rock sound. The rhymes are quite clever; the song even features the album title (as an alternative to having a title track).


    My favourite line from this track:

    Concluding "Crimes of Passion" is the last track, "Out-A-Touch", which was the only track on the record co-written with the drummer, Myron.

    The intensity of this track is undeniable.


    Pat's piercing cry of "I need you!" ties things together, for a sweet finish of her most popular album to-date. If I should feel so bold as to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, I'm putting it at a 9. Its "moments" prevail.

    My personal picks from this record:

    "You Better Run"
    "Never Wanna Leave You"
    "I'm Gonna Follow You"
    "Wuthering Heights"

    My mother used to play this record all the time when I was just a kid. It's one of my favourites of my entire collection. I mentioned that anyone unlucky enough to be unfamiliar with her first record is "missing out", but anyone unfamiliar with "Crimes of Passion" is REALLY missing out.

    Comments/other banter about this terrific record is welcomed and greatly appreciated.
     
  3. Lynch

    Lynch Rockin' Out

    Posts:
    30,362
    Likes Received:
    6,866
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Location:
    The Land of Sky Blue Waters
    Re: Pat Benatar - "Crimes of Passion" (1980)

    I've seen her in concert a few times and without flat out saying "i hate this ****ing song", she pretty much gets that point across before they tear into it. And of course, it's always a crowd pleaser. But yeah, she doesn't seem to care for it anymore.



    Another point of interest, in concert she always says that she took a lot of crap for this song when the album was released and she also says that she will NEVER stop singing it in concert, or at least not until ALL of the children are safe. Great song, unfortunate subject matter.
     
  4. METALPRIEST

    METALPRIEST Senior Member

    Posts:
    33,636
    Likes Received:
    31
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Re: Pat Benatar - "Crimes of Passion" (1980)

    Another cool review and GREAT album...Hell Is For Children is so sad,moving and epic all at the same time. A real rocking heavy metal styled song! One of her best! The whole album is good!
     
  5. ladyislingering

    ladyislingering retired

    Posts:
    5,879
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Location:
    The lobby of the Ritz hotel.
    Re: Pat Benatar - "Crimes of Passion" (1980)

    Lucky you! I've never had such pleasures. I'd miss the whole thing if I ever saw her in concert, because I'd be too amorous of her to pay attention. :heheh:

    That's one of the most touching things I've ever heard. How beautiful. :grinthumb

    Thank you! Yes, it is a great album. I've played it so many times over the years, and I've never really gotten tired of it.

    Yes. I love "Hell is For Children". If there's one thing in this world that really gets me down, it's child abuse. It's an important subject matter. I'm still kind of puzzled as to how people got so pissed off about it.
     
  6. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    22,546
    Likes Received:
    1,426
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Re: Pat Benatar - "Crimes of Passion" (1980)

    Controversial or not, "Hell is For Children" is my all time favorite Benatar song.

    Great Review!
     
  7. LG

    LG Fade To Black

    Posts:
    36,989
    Likes Received:
    22
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Re: Pat Benatar - "Crimes of Passion" (1980)

    This is the other Pat Benatar album I own.

    Another very well done review Lady.:grinthumb
     
  8. ladyislingering

    ladyislingering retired

    Posts:
    5,879
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Location:
    The lobby of the Ritz hotel.
    Re: Pat Benatar - "Crimes of Passion" (1980)

    I have a copy of "Get Nervous" on vinyl but it was defunct when given to me, but it's also a decent album. One of these days I might sort through my CDs and dig that one out, give it a few listens (it's been maybe 5 years since) and come up with some kind of review for it, but for the most part her first two records were probably the best of her entire catalogue.

    ("Get Nervous" was kind of a lyrically-disappointing miserable record aside from the title track, and she had a few hits throughout the years but the actual whole of her albums to come would be rather dull compared to the two I just recently reviewed.)
     
  9. ladyislingering

    ladyislingering retired

    Posts:
    5,879
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Location:
    The lobby of the Ritz hotel.
    Re: Pat Benatar - "Crimes of Passion" (1980)

    I have a copy of "Live from Earth" on vinyl - from what I have read, "Hell is For Children" (its performance from this record, anyway) was then released as an A-side single with "We Belong" (I think) on the B-side (also from this live recording). Just a little bit of useless trivia. :D
     
  10. Foxhound

    Foxhound retired

    Posts:
    3,589
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Re: Pat Benatar - "Crimes of Passion" (1980)

    That's funny. It never bothered me at all. Nor did I realize it was about child abuse. I just took it at face value.

    :D
     

Share This Page

defer="defer" charset="utf-8">