Pat Benatar

Rarely has a pop chick rocked quite to the level of Pat Benatar. Patti truly was one of the pioneers in female contemporary rock vocals, especially if her shear amount of charting material is taken into consideration. Her accolades over her career are almost endless. Patti has won multiple Grammies over the years, multiple American Music Awards and even was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. I remember watching Pat Benatar’s videos in the early days of MTV. I was just a lad at the time but I thought she was kind of sexy. I think it was her video for “Love is a Battlefield” that really got my little boy heart in a flutter. Whenever I was watching TV with my patents and a Pat Benatar video came on I’d get embarrassed like I was just caught looking at the underwear section in the Sears catalog.

Pat Benatar was born in Brooklyn New York in 1953. At the age of three she moved to Lindenhurst, New York where she would remain until college. Patti showed an early interest in music and her parents encouraged her to pursue vocals, particularly classical vocals. She was raised in a strict household where rock music was not allowed however her parents eagerly encouraged her to be active in many other types of music, symphonies, opera and theater especially, pretty much anything but rock. Anyone with an once of psychology knows what happened next as kids tend to gravitate towards the forbidden fruit. Patti would listen to rock wherever she could, at friends’ houses and even by sneaking some listening at home on her portable radio. Despite Patti’s rock interests though she stayed the course with the classic track for most of her teenage years. She did so well in fact that she was accepted into Juilliard, a prominent North Eastern musical school. This is where Patti’s story get’s tricky. She rejected Juilliard in favor of pursuing a rather hum drum career in health education at the state college. I bet there were much heated debates over that one at the Benatar household but Patti just wasn’t interested in spending her life in the classical realm. Things didn’t work out in the State school and Patti dropped out to marry her high school sweetheart. They moved to Virginia where Patti became a bank teller. She couldn’t resist the call of the lime light though and after as short while to became a singing waitress at a 50′s style restaurant. Things snowballed from one job to another and before she knew it she was living back in NYC and singing in night clubs there, this led to her being signed to a label and within the release of a couple albums her climb to fame was complete.

After learning about Pat Benatar’s background and observing her style overall it’s clear what region she is from. Having grown up in the shadow of NYC myself I notice certain people seem to echo that region more then others and she is a clear cut example. Emphasized especially because of her rock vocals. Her vocals are powerful, she doesn’t hold back. Her songs tend to be for the women scorned songs about heartbreak and picking up the pieces after an relationship has gone awry. Don’t get me wrong, there are some genuine love songs in there too but what female pop artist doesn’t have those? Looking over her discography I’d suggest starting with her 1980 release, “Crimes of Passion”. It was her breakthrough album and definitely one of her best. Of course you could also just get a greatest hits type-deal and take it from there.

1) In the Heat of the Night [1979]
2) Crimes of Passion [1980]
3) Precious Time [1981]
4) Get Nervous [1982]
5) Live from Earth [1983]
6) Tropico [1984]
7) Seven the Hard Way [1985]
8) Wide Awake in Dreamland [1988]
9) True Love [1991]
10) Gravity’s Rainbow [1993]
11) Innamorata [1997]
12) Go [2003]

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