16 Classic Performances by the First Lady of Rock!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From the '70s to the '90s, this release showcases the versatility and range of this incredible performer. Ballads, high energy, pop, blues....it's all here in one unbelievable package which also includes two previously unreleased live performances. Whether your looking for your first Benatar CD or adding to your ever-growing collection, you can't go wrong with 16 Classic Performances from Pat Benatar!"
Not the best 'best of' collection by Benatar
L.A. Scene | Indian Trail, NC USA | 07/03/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Pat Benatar is an artist who probably will get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame someday. Benatar has put together a solid music portfolio that easily can warrant a 'Greatest Hits' album. Like many artists, Benatar has put together several 'Greatest Hits' collections - each bringing a different perspective. Such is the case with Benatar. "Heartbeaker - Sixteen Classic Performances" is one of several Greatest Hits collections she made. "Heartbreaker" isn't quite as deep as the 2 disc collection "All Fired Up" or the individual 2 volume "The Best of Pat Benatar". At the same time "Heartbreaker" does go more current than 1989's "Best Shots". The bottom line is - be warned, this collection does have some holes.The lineup of songs starts in 1979 with "Heartbreaker" and goes to 1993 with the inclusion of "Crazy" from "Gravity's Rainbow". There are two "Live and Unreleased" versions that are included as the last two songs. These technically are just two live versions of previous Benatar songs. The first is "Helter Skelter" - a remake of the Beatles tune. This is a live version of Benatar's Studio version from her 1981 album "Precious Time". I don't think this is one of Benatar's better live performances. The second song is a live version of her classic "Hit Me With Your Best Shot". This is a better live version as you hear Benatar's deep vocals belt out a very nice version of this song. This collection does not contain studio versions of these songs. As for remakes, another remake is included and that is Benatar's version of John Cougar Mellancamp's "I Need a Lover". This song is from Benatar's debut album "In the Heat of the Night". Benatar puts an outstanding "female rock" spin on this song that really adds a new dimension to the song - surpassing even Mellancamp's version.My personal favorite of the collection is "Sex as a Weapon" from 1986. This song features some outstanding guitar work by Pat Benatar's husband Neil Geraldo (or Giraldo). Benatar's vocals show incredible range as well as she talks from the female perspective about a male using exploting Sex. I was surprised that this became my favorite since this wasn't a Benatar or Geraldo penned song. "Promises in the Dark" is another song where you will hear the range of Benatar's vocals - she really hits some high notes compared to some of her more baritone tones we hear on other songs. Once again Geraldo shows he is no Mr Pat Benatar as he belts out some great guitar work. This was a Geraldo-Benatar penned song. "Love is a Battlefield" is included from 1984's "Tropico" album and features the spoken intro by Benatar (in a gentle voice) that goes "We are young, heartache to heartache we stand; No promises, no demands; Love Is A Battlefield". Radio sometimes omitted that intro and I think that is what made that particular song a classic. Benatar can also show she can do other things besides Hard Rock and Ballads. The newer songs "True Love" and "So Long" have almost a Jazz/Supper Club like feel to it - and it shows another dimension to Benatar's talents. Another new song "Crazy" brings a blues like feel to it.As mentioned above, there are some glaring holes. Several key songs from Benatar's portfolio are missing. The first is her classic "Shadows of the Night" from 1981's "Ger Nervous". To me no Benatar collection is complete without this song. Other songs missing are "Treat Me Right" from 1980's "Crimes of Passion", "Fire and Ice" from 1981's "Precious Time", and "Invincible" from 1985's "Seven the Hard Way". Also missing from "Seven the Hard Way" is "La Bel Age" - many may not consider this as popular as the other missing songs, but to me this is one of the great Pat Benatar songs. "Shadows of the Night", "Invincible", and "Fire and Ice" are on an the earlier Greatest Hits album "Best Shots", but at the expense of "I Need A Lover" and "Sex as a Weapon". All of the missing songs are from her two CD set "All Fired Up".The collection is in near chronological order. I can understand the two live cuts being at the end of the collection, but why not fix the two or three songs needed to put things in chronological order? The liner notes are pretty thin as well. No lyrics are included. Songwriting and production credits are listed for each song and each the album for each song is listed. Another interesting fact is that Benatar's husband uses the name Neil Geraldo through about 1985, then goes to his actual spelling Neil Giraldo. Right before Geraldo changed his spelling, Pat Benatar starts to list her name as Pat Giraldo in 1984 and continues to use her married name throughout the songwriting credits from that point on. This is right around the time that Neil and Pat started a family, so this makes some sense.This collection does have some good songs, but as a body of work it is disappointing. My advice would be to purchase "All Fired Up" since this has a much more complete collection even though the live songs are not included."