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Pat Benatar - In the Heat of the Night (1979)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by ladyislingering, May 30, 2010.

  1. ladyislingering

    ladyislingering retired

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    In 1977, a young star was emerging from Long Island, New York. She was 25 years old, and had performed in clubs, musicals, and even sung jingles for Pepsi before being signed to her first record contract from Chrysalis records via founder Terry Ellis.

    On October 26th, 1979, her debut record was released. Produced by Mike Chapman, and backed by a slew of skilled studio musicians, Pat Benatar's "In the Heat of the Night" was a sensation. Peaking at #12 on Billboard's Hot 100 after the success of her single "Heartbreaker" Pat was well on her way to a successful career in the music business. She was a symbol of feminine power; standing at just less than 5'3" with the figure of a backstreet waif, she seemed harmless - until she sang.

    This record has been a personal favourite of mine since I was just a kid; listening through it again tonight has inspired me to scribble out a review, and hopefully influence someone unfamiliar with the record to give it a chance.

    In the Heat of the Night (1979)
    Pat Benatar

    [​IMG]

    Personnel:

    Pat Benatar - Lead singer

    [​IMG]

    Neil Giraldo - Lead guitar, backing vocals
    Scott St. Clair Sheets - Rhythm guitar
    Roger Capps - Bass, backing vocals
    Glen Alexander Hamilton - drums​


    "Heartbreaker", the record's opening track, is a high-energy laissez-faire of rock glory. It reached #23 on the charts that year, released as a 7" single (b/w "My Clone Sleeps Alone"). With deep, raucous, and almost threatening vocals and an insanely catchy chorus, it's not a song to be forgotten. It's still a staple on rock stations all across the country (and others), to this day.


    Don't you mess around with her. She really sounds like she means business.

    "I Need a Lover" is one of four cover songs present on this album. You might remember John Mellencamp's version of a song whose protagonist just wants a little action, no strings attached. Pat's vocals will knock you out, if they didn't at the beginning of the record. (And she sounds like she will, too.)


    "If You Think You Know How to Love Me" is my favourite track from this record. It puts you into a summertime mood, with its dramatic lyrics and vivid imagery. The guitar and drums are really prominent in this track; in my opinion it should have been a huge hit but has long since been forgotten and achieved back-catalogue status for most casual listeners.


    I've always loved that line, personally. Pat's tough-girl persona holds its own in this epic tale of a woman who doesn't necessarily need the man, but if he thinks he can treat her properly, he can stick around if he wants to.

    The album's title track is equally moody, though changes tone a few times throughout the song. With its instrumental twists and turns, it's difficult to get bored with. It even sounds like it was indeed written and recorded "in the heat of the night".


    "My Clone Sleeps Alone", the b-side to "Heartbreaker" when it was released as a single, is a futuristic tale of a utopian world where everyone is cloned, to live in peace; their lives are determined by science alone. Sounds a little familiar, doesn't it?


    Don't let the trickling piano in the beginning fool you. It leads into one of the most hellraising, terrific (albeit rather nerdy) songs you've probably never heard. Despite the following line, I believe it to be timeless.
    Thus concludes side A of the record. Side B will be posted shortly. (Get some listening done in the meantime.)
     
  2. ladyislingering

    ladyislingering retired

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    Re: Pat Benatar - "In the Heat of the Night" (1979)

    Side B of "In the Heat of the Night" begins with a serenade of tender (though high-pitched) vocals and lusty lyrics of "We Live for Love". I'm still not sure whether a person should dance to it, or just sit spellbound by how beautiful it is.


    Keeping up with the overall summertime groove of the record, this one's also a classic. Rarely played on FM radio, though well known by even casual listeners.

    "Rated X" was originally recorded by Nick Gilder (who recorded "Hot Child in the City", also under the Chrysalis label). Pat turns it into something insanely seductive; her voice saunters through every lyric, despite the trashy content therein. Nothing makes prostitution an acceptable profession, but this song is pretty damn good.


    Originally recorded by the Alan Parsons Project, "Don't Let it Show" has made me cry on more than one occasion. It's not a traditional rock song by any means; Pat's voice leans more toward the operatic side for this touching track.


    It's the theme song for the rogue and reject in all of us.

    When Sweet recorded "No You Don't" for their "Desolation Boulevard" a few years before Pat did, they could have never guessed that a woman would kick ass just a little bit harder by covering it.


    And "no, you don't" have to like it, but it's difficult not to!

    "So Sincere" (the only track on the record aside from "My Clone Sleeps Alone", in which Pat co-wrote with bassist Roger Capps) is a peculiar song about a woman who doesn't know why she stays together with her partner, especially since she's able to identify the facade they put on for one another. She knows it's headed for failure, but they're "so sincere" in their falseness that nothing's ever going to change unless someone gets wise.

    My favourite line throughout that entire song.

    It sounds like it should be a ballad, but it's a hard rocking number with a huge impact, that, though it's the end of the record, makes you want to turn it over, and listen to it just one more time.


    "In the Heat of the Night" was followed by "Crimes of Passion" in 1980, which was by far, more commercially successful (peaking at #2 on the charts) but that's a different story for a different day.

    My personal picks from this record:

    "In the Heat of the Night"
    "We Live for Love"
    "If You Think You Know How to Love Me"

    If I had to rate it on a scale from 1-10 (1 being terrible, 10 being totally kickass) I'd set it at a 7. Some of the cover songs are more like "filler songs", while the original compositions are what holds this record together.

    Any comments or stories regarding this record are highly welcome.
     
  3. METALPRIEST

    METALPRIEST Senior Member

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    Re: Pat Benatar - "In the Heat of the Night" (1979)

    Killer, Killer review! My favorite release of hers! My Clone Sleeps Alone, We Live For Love, Heartbreaker, Don't Let It Show and her awesome take no the Sweet's No You Don't?? Heaven...anyone that hasn't got this disc needs to check into it. :grinthumb
     
  4. ladyislingering

    ladyislingering retired

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    Re: Pat Benatar - "In the Heat of the Night" (1979)

    Exactly.

    Never has a woman kicked more ass.

    Anyone who hasn't heard this album is certainly missing out.

    And thank you. I try to keep it interesting and personable.
     
  5. Lynch

    Lynch Rockin' Out

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    Re: Pat Benatar - "In the Heat of the Night" (1979)

    I've said it here many times as well as other music boards on the net... Pat = the greatest female voice in the history of rock. No better place to start listening to her than her first album which starts out great from the first notes of Heartbreaker.

    Good review.
     
  6. ladyislingering

    ladyislingering retired

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    Re: Pat Benatar - "In the Heat of the Night" (1979)

    Agreed. I've loved her as long as I can remember.

    And thanks. I love writing reviews, especially when I'm really passionate about the record I'm writing about. I actually miiiiiight write one for "Crimes of Passion" as well. :D
     
  7. Lynch

    Lynch Rockin' Out

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    Re: Pat Benatar - "In the Heat of the Night" (1979)

    Another great album! :D
     
  8. ladyislingering

    ladyislingering retired

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    Re: Pat Benatar - "In the Heat of the Night" (1979)

    Yes! In fact, I bet'cha I'll get it done within an hour or so. :D
     
  9. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Re: Pat Benatar - "In the Heat of the Night" (1979)

    I am glad to see someone giving some respect and attention to Ms. Benatar.

    Good Job, LiL :)

    I love this album, btw!
     
  10. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    Re: Pat Benatar - "In the Heat of the Night" (1979)

    Very well done Lady.:bow:

    I only have two of her albums, and she is dynamite.

    I bought the MFSL superdisc of this one when it came out.
     

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