|First posted 3/24/2008; updated 9/20/2020.|
Crimes of Passion
Released: August 5, 1980
Peak: 2 US, -- UK, 2 CN, 16 AU
Sales (in millions): 5.0 US, -- UK, 5.67 world (includes US and UK)
Genre: classic rock
Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
Total Running Time: 37:07
4.508 out of 5.00 (average of 7 ratings)
About the Album:
“With Crimes of Passion, Pat Benatar escaped the dreaded sophomore slump.” AMG Her first album, In the Heat of the Night, was a platinum seller which peaked at #12 and had two top-30 singles. Crimes of Passion sold more than five million copies, reached #2 on the Billboard album chart for 5 weeks, stuck behind John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy. The album also won Benatar her first Grammy Award – for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.
While the album cemented Benatar’s status as a rock icon, the original Rolling Stone review knocked it for its “leaden reworkings of hard-rock clichés,” RS “sodden songwrting and excruciating excesses” RS and accused her of “lacking both subtlety and playfulness.” RS However, Benatar does avoid “the synth-happy trends of the early ‘80s and delivers a hard rocking ten-song session of power pop tempered with a few ballads for balance.” AMG
The lead single from the album was You Better Run. The song had originally been recorded by the Young Rascals and was a top-20 hit in 1966. Benatar’s version fell just shy of the top 40 hit, but became a landmark video in the MTV era as the network’s second video ever broadcast, following the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.”
The album’s success was due “in no small part to the song that would become the most well-known…of her career, Hit Me with Your Best Shot.” AMG The song was her first top ten hit. It was written by Eddie Schwartz, who later co-wrote Paul Carrack’s “Don’t Shed a Tear” (1987) and the Doobie Brothers’ “The Doctor” (1989), both of which were top 10 hits.
The album’s third single, Treat Me Right, became Benatar’s second top-20 hit. On March 21, 1981, the song landed on the maiden album rock chart, despite being nearly three months old at that point. Other songs which likely would have hit that chart had it debuted six months earlier included Hell Is for Children, a slow-building rocker about child abuse, and the ballad I’m Gonna Follow You, released as the B-side of “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.”
“The rest of the album is mildly hit or miss, with a few moments of filler.” AMG Most notable may be Benatar’s version of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights. It “is probably one of the most underrated songs of her entire catalog.” AMG
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