liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,

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Music From the Cube: What Am I Listing To Today?

No laughing at the old lady now.

Otherwise I'll just have to hurt you.

And yes, I'm back to my old LJ style (sort of, just some color adjustments and a slight layout change). This layout is easier to read, IMHO. I may flirt with other styles, but this one seems to work the best.

Pat Benatar
[Support the Artist]

I'm about to show my age.

I'm about to show my truly geeky musical taste of the younger self.

Not sure which is worse, truth to tell.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present: Pat Benatar.

I owned In the Heat of the Night, Crimes of Passion, Precious Time, Live from Planet Earth, and Wide Awake in Dreamland on cassette tape. I even remembered buying some of them them from Strawberries and how you'd have to reach through this hole in the plexiglass to grab the cassette you wanted and drop it down to the conveyer belt that took your selection to the cash register. I owned Get Nervous, Tropico, and Seven the Hard Way on vinyl (UNBELIEVABLE!). I even converted Seven the Hard Way to cassette at one ponit.


Now my Pat Benatar collection consists of exactly two CDs and one double-CD on loan from my parents. My entire Benatarian remainders are below for your perusal. All in all, I believe I may have outgrown Ms. Benatar. However, I would still grab Get Nervous, Seven the Hard Way and Wide Awake in Dreamland from the used bin if I could find them cheap.

Enjoy a tour through my *shudder* musical childhood.

Tropico Rating=$$
How I Got This CD: Bought used back in college to replace the vinyl LP I bought in high school.

Funny how I liked this LP (yes! vinyl! shut up!) a whole lot more when I bought it high school. I'm not loving the CD so much these days, but I'm holding on out of some misguided sentimentality. There were two hits off this one, 'We Belong,' which I really do like for its poppy heart, and the 'Ooh Ooh Song,' which has me going, "WtH?" whenever I hear it. Also notable, Benatar finally includes a "po' widdle me boo-hoo I'm a rock star" song in her repetoire with "Takin' It Back." Unlike most of the songs from 70s and 80s that fall in this genre (otherwise know as: songs that make me want to beat singers to death), this one is actually cheeky and tweaky, complete with a bawdy wink. It's less annoying than most, but definitely a sign that Benatar is about to tumble off the charts.

My favorite tracks off this one, however, is the haunting 'Temporary Heroes' and equally haunting 'The Outlaw Blues.' While neither one of these songs got any airplay that I know about, both these tracks do wind up on Benatar's compilations distressingly often, although rarely are they both on the same compilation. I know there are at least two different versions of 'The Outlaw Blues' as a result of these multiple releases. Either way, both songs make perfect bookends for this CD.

Sample Song Downloads: Temporary Heroes, The Outlaw Blues

Best Shots Rating=$$
How I Got This CD: Bought used while living in Rhode Island.

This is a disappointing compilation, probably because I always enjoyed Benatar's non-hits more than her actual hits. The version of 'The Outlaw Blues' on this is...interesting. All these years later, I'm still not sure whether I like it or not. Also, the CD is front-loaded with all of Benatar's most bombastic, arena-rock, big-hair 80s, MTV video age songs. Don't get me wrong. I still love 'Shadows of the Night' and get a cheesy thrill from 'Invincible (Theme from the Legend of Billie Jean).' However, add her version of John Cougar Mellencamp's 'I Need a Lover' into the mix and it's enough to make your head go 'splody, and not in a good way. Since I can't avoid the hits off this one, here are a couple of old-school Benatar tunes for your enjoyment.

Sample Song Downloads: Fire and Ice, Hit Me With Your Best Shot

All Fired Up: The Very Best of Pat Benatar Discs 1 & 2 Rating=$$$
How I Got This CD: Borrowed from the parental units

If you really want a decent compilation without investing money in the whole Benatar collection, this one is probably your best bet. There are enough hits to keep the pop fan happy, but enough lesser-known cuts included to keep me happy. The compilation spans Benatar's career from 1979 when she began all the way up to her post-hit period in the early 90s. While a decent collection, it doesn't have the truly bizarre tracks that I really loved off CDs like, Seven the Hard Way or Wide Awake in Dreamland.

Since it's a two-CD set, I'm offering 4 songs off this one. 'If You Think You Know How to Love Me' is an odd little number off Benatar's first LP (yes, cassette, shut up) that's strangely low-key considering she was going for the rock diva crown back in 1979 when In the Heat of the Night was relased. Definitely grab the MP3 for this one, if only because of the creepy vocals. 'Little Too Late' is the ultimate "fuck you and your apology" song off Get Nervous, an LP (yes, I owned the vinyl already!). 1982's Get Nervous was definitely underated as a whole, the bombastic 'Shadows of the Night' aside, because there are a couple of goodies tucked into the tracks. 'Le Bel Age' is an interesting number off Seven the Hard Way and I think it may have been a minor hit. Although one of my favorite tracks from that Seven the Hard Way (originally owned in vinyl, now long gone from my collection), it isn't my big-time favorite track. 'Somebody's Baby' is a stunning and haunting track off the 1993 Gravity's Rainbow (Look! a CD/casette/LP I never owned!) and is definitely a keeper once you download it.

Sample Song Downloads: If You Think You Know How to Love Me, Little Too Late, Le Bel Age, Somebody's Baby


Read the index for previous thumbnail reviews.

Rating system:
None = Avoid at all cost. Worth cutting your ears off to avoid if someone threatens to play it for you. When faced with even the threat of its cellophane-wrapped presence, your best option is to RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!

$= If you stumble across it for cheap in a used bin, it might, maybe, perhaps could be worth the buy, but only if you need a cheap coaster for your cold drinks or a cool-looking frisbee.

$$= You might want to give this CD/artist a try, but only if the sample track tickles your fancy. Don't bother buying this one new because the good tunes you'd get out of this one ain't worth that kind of money.

$$$ = Worth looking for on a casual basis and maybe even buying new, but no big rush.

$$$$ = Definitely worth having in the ol' CD collection and definitely worth buying new, but don't re-arrange your personal "must have" list to get your hands on it.

$$$$$ = Why haven't you bought this CD yet? Go. This is a "Want. Take. Have." situation because you so want this.

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