Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The #63 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era: "Crimes of Passion" by Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar made a huge splash with this album.  Her debut was solid and has picked up steam in the time since.  But in 1980, Pat put forth what to that time was the second best album ever by a female.  I'll let you guess what the top one was.

Crimes of Passion is loaded with excellent tracks.  The hits "Hit Me with Your Best Shot", "You Better Run" and "Treat Me Right" gave the album attention, but it got here because of all the other songs.  Three hits aren't enough to land a spot in the Top 100 Albums of All-Time in the Rock Era* on their own.  The ultra-important release "Hell Is For Children", about child abuse, was heavily played on album rock stations and has definitely become a classic.  "You Better Run" has the distinction of being the second music video played on MTV (That's "Music Television" for those that understandingly have no idea what the "M" could stand for today.)  

Not only is there not a bad song on the album, I think they are all rated "Excellent" and would rank this album higher on my personal list.  Benatar really outdid herself here.  She has other great albums (her debut, Precious Time and Get Nervous are all super albums), but this one is the only one that had the statistics to reach the Top 100 Albums*.  The first side (back when the album was in LP form) was a home run, as "Never Wanna' Leave You", sung perfectly by Benatar, is also included early in the album.  Benatar's remake of  the Kate Bush song "Wuthering Heights" and "I'm Gonna' Follow You" are super tracks but as mentioned, all are excellent.

The album reached the #2 position for five weeks and, as you are familiar with by now, another important factor is weeks in the Top 10.  Pat picked up 28 weeks there and spent 93 on the album chart.  The album has sold 4 million copies so far and has an excellent Track Rating* of 9.15.

Crimes of Passion:
1.  "Treat Me Right" (Pat Benatar, Doug Lubahn) --3:24
2.  "Never Wanna Leave You" (Benatar, Geraldo, Neil Giraldo) --3:13
3.  "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" (Eddie Schwartz) --2:51
4.  "Hell Is for Children" (Benatar, Roger Capps, Giraldo) --4:48
5.  "Little Paradise" (Giraldo) --3:32
6.  "I'm Gonna' Follow You" (Billy Steinberg) --4:28
7.  "Wuthering Heights" (Kate Bush) --4:28
8.  "Prisoner of Love" (Scott St. Clair Sheets) --2:05
9.  "Out-A-Touch" (Benatar, Giraldo, Myron Grombacher) --4:16

You can't have a singer reach the status that Benatar has reached or have an album of this caliber without a great band and she was blessed there.  Husband Neil Giraldo played lead and rhythm guitars and keyboards, in addition to writing several of the songs.  Scott St. Clair Sheets played rhythm guitar, Roger Capps was on bass and Myron Grombacher played drums and percussion.
You see Keith Olsen's name mentioned often as a producer for several of these albums.  Word gets around, and the artists who want to have the best albums will choose a producer of his talent.  Olsen and Chris Minto engineered the album at Sound City, it was mastered by Greg Fulginiti and Jo Hansch of Artisan Sound Recorders.  Leon LeCash provided photography for the album.

Crimes of Passion was recorded in 1980 and released August 6, 1980 on Chrysalis Records.

Pat Benatar has #63 for the Rock Era--Crimes of Passion.

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