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25 Greatest Songs of Pat Benatar

The Best of Pat Benatar

By Rick Henry ChristopherPublished about a year ago 9 min read

Pat Benatar has been nominated for induction into the class of 2022's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I get this feeling Benatar will make it this year. To celebrate this impending event I have compiled this list of Pat Benatar's greatest songs.

40. Looking For a Stranger (1982) / 39. All Fired Up (1988) / 38. Rescue Me (1994) / 37. Have It All (2003) / 36. Ooh Ooh Song (1984) / 35. I've Got Papers on You (1991) / 34. I Feel Lucky (1991) / 33. Sex As A Weapon (1985) / 32. Please Come Home For Christmas (1990) / 31. Temptation (1993) / 30. In My Dreams (2003) / 29. So Sincere (1979) / 28. Crying (1979) / 27. Please Don't Leave Me (2003) / 26. The Effect You Have On Me (1993)

25. My Clone Sleeps Alone (1979)

Parent Album: In the Heat of the Night

This futuristic sci-fi song was written in collaboration between Pat Benatar and her bass guitarist Roger Capps. The song was used as the B-side to the single "Heartbreaker." Pat's vocal is mixed front and center putting an emphasis on her powerful voice.

24. I Need A Lover (1979)

Parent Album: In the Heat of the Night

"I Need a Lover" was the first Pat Benatar song to chart anywhere in the world. It reached #24 in Belgium and #31 in the Netherlands. Written by John Mellencamp in 1978 he released the song using the name Johnny Cougar. Mellencamp took the song to #28 in the US and #5 in Australia.

23. Dancing Through The Wreckage (2017)

Parent Album: Served Like a Girl (Soundtrack)

An original song from the documentary Served Like a Girl. The song and documentary focuses on homeless female veterans in the United States. Proceeds from the soundtrack have been donated to the female focused charity Final Salute. "Dancing Through The Wreckage" was released through Linda Perry's (Four Non Blondes) label/production company called We Are Here which empowers the artist to foster their own creative voice. The song was written by Linda Perry, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. The song made it to #22 on the US Adult Contemporary chart.

22. Little Too Late (1982)

Parent Album: Get Nervous

The second single from the album Get Nervous rose to #20 on Billboard's US Hot 100 Singles chart. Songwriter Alex Call wrote the song around the same time he wrote "867-5309/Jenny" which was a huge hit in 1982 for the band Tommy Tutone. Call was a member of Tommy Tutone. Earlier Call was a member of a band called Clover in which Huey Lewis was a member. Lewis was labelmates with Benatar as his entire 1980's output of music was released on the Chrysalis label.

21. Wuthering Heights (1980)

Parent Album: Crimes of Passion

"Wuthering Heights" is a cover of British singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and producer Kate Bush. Bush had an international hit with the song in 1978. Many critics claim Benatar's rendition rivals if not bests Bush's original. Benatar gives us a dynamic pitch perfect vocal.

20. Rated X (1979)

Parent Album: In the Heat of the Night

"Rated X" was written by Nick Gilder and his guitarist James McCulloch and was included on Gilder's 1977 album "You Know Who You Are." The duo also wrote Gilder's 1978 mega-hit "Hot Child in the City." Benatar released "Rated X" as a single which charted at #28 in France.

19. Together (2020)

Parent Album: Non-LP Single

At the age of 68 Pat proves she still has a great voice. The stirring ballad written by Pat Benatar and her husband Neil Giraldo was inspired by the Coronavirus pandemic. The poignant opening line, "Distance will keep us together" drives home the emotional impact the pandemic had on most of us in 2020 as we quarantined, practiced social distancing, and wore face masks in public.

18. Shadows of the Night (1982)

Parent Album: Get Nervous

Benatar won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female, four years in a row. "Shadows Of The Night" was her third win, following Crimes Of Passion and "Fire And Ice," and preceding "Love Is A Battlefield."

In the music video for the song Benatar portrays a pilot fighting the Nazis. The video stars Judge Reinhold as a pilot and Bill Paxton as a Nazi radio operator.

17. Anxiety (Get Nervous)(1982)

Parent Album: Get Nervous

Nine months after the release of Get Nervous the song "Anxiety (Get Nervous)" was released as a somewhat double A-side single with "Anxiety" billed as the A-side and "Shadows of the Night" the B-side. In France "Anxiety" was released as a single with a two song B-side. Despite it's release "Anxiety" did not chart.

16. You Better Run (1980)

Parent Album: Crimes of Passion

"You Better Run" was the first single from the album Crimes of Passion. The song only made it to #42 in the US. On August 1, 1981, the music video for the song was the second video broadcast on MTV, after the network premiered with "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles. The song appeared on the soundtrack for the 1980 film Roadie.

15. Invincible (1985)

Parent Album: The Legend of Billie Jean (Soundtrack) and Seven the Hard Way

"Invincible" was Pat Benatar's fourth and last Top 10 hit in the US.

14. Payin' the Cost to Be the Boss (1991)

Parent Album: True Love

From the Jump Blues album True Love this song was written and originally recorded by blues legend B.B. King in 1968.

13. We Belong (1984)

Parent Album: Tropico

"We Belong" is Pat Benatar's second biggest hit worldwide. Reaching #5 on Billboard's US Hot 100 single's chart matching the same chart position as "Love is a Battlefield," but with less weeks on the chart.

12. I'm Gonna Follow You (1980)

Parent Album: Crimes of Passion

"I'm Gonna Follow You" gained extra traction as the B-side to Pat Benatar's signature tune "Hit Me With Your Best Shot."

11. Heartbreaker (1979)

Parent Album: In the Heat of the Night

"Heartbreaker" has the distinction of being the first Pat Benatar song to chart in the United States. it made it to number 23 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart. Benatar has mentioned this is one of her favorite songs.

10. Out-A-Touch (1980)

Parent Album: Crimes of Passion

A Neil Giraldo, Pat Benatar and Myron Grombacher composition, "Out-A-Touch was used as the B-side to "You Better Run." This is a case where the B-side is equally as strong as the A-side. This was the case with all the singles from Crimes of Passion: "I'm Gonna Follow You" backing "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and "Never Wanna Leave You" the flip of "Treat Me Right."

9. Fire and Ice (1981)

Parent Album: Precious Time

"Fire and Ice" was the lead single for Benatar's third album Precious Time. The song made it to #17 in the US but was a huge hit in Canada making it to #4. It was a sizable hit in Australia (#30) and New Zealand (#22). The song won a Grammy for Best Female Rock Performance. Less than a month after the song was released MTV made it's debut and the video for "Fire and Ice" got a boost from heavy MTV rotation.

8. Treat Me Right (1980)

Parent Album: Crimes of Passion

"Treat Me Right" is the third and final single from the quadruple platinum certified album Crime of Passion. The song made it to US #18 and Canada #12 but failed to chart anywhere else.

7. We Live For Love (1979)

Parent Album: In the Heat of the Night

The significance of "We Live For Love" is that it is the first Pat Benatar song to make it into the top 10 anywhere in the world. The song reached #8 in Canada.

Neil Giraldo, who is Pat Benatar's guitarist and husband, wrote this song by himself. The song was a departure from the standard Pat Benatar sound. Many people thought the song was by Blondie who recently had a huge hit with the similar sounding "Heart of Glass." Both Pat Benatar and Blondie were label mates on the record label Chrysalis. Debbie Harry, the lead singer of Blondie, and Pat Benatar were both in the 1980 film Union City.

6. Love is a Battlefield (1983)

Parent Album: Live From Earth

"Love is a Battlefield" is Pat Benatar's biggest hit worldwide. it made it to #1 in Austrailia, Belgium, and The Netherlands and was #2 in Canada. In the US the song is also her biggest hit reaching #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and was certified Gold by the RIAA. The song won a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

5. True Love (1991)

Parent Album: True Love

When the album True Love was released promoters were calling it a comeback for Pat Benatar and would be the album to bring her back into the Top 10. Of course that did't happen, as a matter of fact it was Benatar's first album to not make it into the US Top 30 reaching #37. However, this new style of Jump Blues suited Pat's voice perfectly and artistically is one her strongest albums.

4. Hell Is For Children (1980)

Parent Album: Crimes of Passion

"Hell Is For Children," a song about child abuse, was written by Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldi along with their bass player Roger Capps. The song was hugely popular in 1980/1981 and received heavy rotation on FM album oriented rock stations. It reached #7 on Tunecaster's Rock Track charts. Tunecaster is a chart that was compiled based on radio airplay and song requests. "Hell Is For Children" generally stimulated conversation whenever it was heard.

3. Never Wanna Leave You (1980)

Parent Album: Crimes of Passion

The Pat Benatar/Neil Giraldi penned "Never Wanna Leave You" was used as the B-side to the classic hit single "Treat Me Right." However, in my opinion, "Never Wanna Leave You" was strong enough to be an A-side in its own right.

2. Promises in the Dark (1981)

Parent Album: Precious Time

Opening her double platinum album Precious Time "Promises in the Dark" is one of the few Benatar singles written by her and husband Neil Giraldo. Most of the songs they wrote together were started by Neil. But this one was started by Pat. She was too embarrassed to let Neil see the words face to face, so she slipped them under the door. The end result is one of the greatest Benatar/Giraldo ever composed.

1. Hit Me With Your Best Shot (1980)

Parent Album: Crimes of Passion

Despite what some people may think "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" is not Pat Benatar's biggest hit. The song made it into the top 10 in both the United States and Canada and also #33 in Australia. However the song did not chart anywhere else in the world completely missing the charts in all of Europe. The song does have the distinction of being Pat's first top 10 hit and was a big assist in helping her album Crimes of Passion become the biggest selling album of her career.

Dolly Parton has also been nominated for The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's class of 2022. I have a sneakin' suspicion she will also be nominated.

Check out my list of The 25 Greatest Songs of Dolly Parton: Click Here

Thank you for visiting!!!


About the Creator

Rick Henry Christopher

Writing is a distraction for me. It takes me to places unknown that fulfill my need for intellectual stimulus, emotional release, and a soothing of the breaks and bruises of the day.

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran10 months ago

    I've only listened to Dancing Through the Wreckage and Together. This was very well written!

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