Monday, August 27, 1979

Pat Benatar’s In the Heat of the Night released

First posted 9/20/2020; updated 10/17/2020.

In the Heat of the Night

Pat Benatar

Released: August 27, 1979

Peak: 12 US, 98 UK, 3 CN, 25 AU

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 1.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Heartbreaker (Geoff Gill, Clint Wade) [3:29] (10/26/79, 23 US, 3 CL, 16 CN, 95 AU)
  2. I Need a Lover (John Mellencamp) [3:30] (2/25/80, 12 CL)
  3. If You Think You Know How to Love Me (Mike Chapman, Nicky Chinn) [4:23] (9/14/79, 49 CL)
  4. In the Heat of the Night (Chapman, Chinn) [5:24]
  5. My Clone Sleeps Alone (Roger Capps, Benatar) [3:29]
  6. We Live for Love (Neil Giraldo) [3:55] (2/25/80, 27 US, 6 CL, 8 CN, 28 AU)
  7. Rated X (Nick Gilder, James McCulloch) [3:17]
  8. Don’t Let It Show (Alan Parsons, Eric Woolfson) [4:04]
  9. No You Don’t (Chapman, Chinn) [3:20]
  10. So Sincere (Capps, Benatar) [3:29]

Total Running Time: 38:20


3.978 out of 5.00 (average of 4 ratings)


About the Album:

Pat Benatar’s debut album was comprised of mostly covers, including three of the song’s four singles. The lead single, If You Think You Know How to Love Me was first recorded by the British rock band Smokie and released as a single in 1975. It peaked at #3 in the UK. Benatar’s version didn’t chart, but did get minor play on album rock stations. The title cut was also originally a song by Smokie.

Benatar’s breakthrough came on the song’s second single, Heartbreaker. It was also a cover song. The original was recorded by Jenny Darren in 1978. Benatar’s version was a top-40 hit in the U.S. and became one of her signature songs.

The third single, We Live for Love, was written by Benatar’s guitarist Neil Giraldo. The pair married in 1982. The song followed “Heartbreaker” into the top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100.

The fourth single, I Need a Lover, was also a cover song. The original was recorded by John Cougar in 1978. It became a top 10 hit in Australia and finally reached the top 40 in the U.S after Benatar recorded her cover version. Benatar’s version failed to chart, but became a popular album rock hit.

Other cover songs included Rated X (Nick Gilder), Don’t Let It Show (Alan Parsons Project), and No You Don’t (Sweet).

Resources and Related Links:

Alan Parsons Project Eve released


Alan Parsons Project

Released: August 27, 1979

Peak: 13 US, 74 UK, 10 CN, 14 AU

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US

Genre: progressive rock lite


Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Lucifer (instrumental) [5:09] (3/80, 50 CL) B1
  2. You Lie Down with Dogs [3:45] v:Lenny Zakatek
  3. I’d Rather Be a Man [3:52] v: David Paton
  4. You Won’t Be There [3:37] v: Dave Townsend
  5. Winding Me Up [4:00] v: Chris Rainbow
  6. Damned if I Do [4:50] v: Lenny Zakatek (9/29/79, 27 US, 30 CB, 28 HR, 25 RR, 10 CL, 16 CN) B1
  7. Don’t Hold Back [3:36] v: Clare Torry
  8. Secret Garden (instrumental) [4:40]
  9. If I Could Change Your Mind [5:49] v: Lesley Duncan

All tracks written by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson. The ‘v’ after the song listing indicates who does lead vocals.

Total Running Time: 39:23

The Players:

  • Alan Parsons (producing, engineering)
  • Eric Woolfson (keyboards, executive producing)
  • Ian Bairnson (guitar, backing vocals)
  • David Paton (bass, acoustic guitar, backing vocals)
  • Stuart Elliott (drums, percussion, backing vocals)
  • Andrew Powell (orchestral arrangements)
  • Duncan Mackay (keyboards)
  • Lesley Duncan, Chris Rainbow, Clare Torry, Dave Townsend, Lenny Zakatek (vocals)


3.271 out of 5.00 (average of 17 ratings)

About the Album:

Perhaps no album polarizes the Alan Parsons Project fan more than this one. “One camp believes that it’s the worst thing that Parsons ever put together…Another camp believes it’s a misunderstood masterpiece. Fascinatingly enough, this may be one of those rare situations where both are half-true.” DV

On one hand, you can find comments like “Eve…involves some of this group’s most intricate songs” AMG that “are highly entertaining with catchy rhythms and intelligent lyrics. Musically, the tempo appealingly switches back and forth from slow to quick, as does the temperament of the album.” AMG

On the other hand, you’ll find comments like “Eve offers plenty of sonic grandeur [but] the lyrics are almost clumsy and sententious enough to give sex a bad name.” RS Even more brutal is the claim that “Eve is perhaps the worst engineered Project CD, for starters, its sound muddy and shallow in places…The drums lack punch in most cases, a sad undermixing of talented drummer Stuart Elliot, and David Paton’s bass work is little more than average.” DV

There is an equally polarized view of the merits of the concept. One description calls this one of the Project’s “finest marriages of both concept and music.” AMG It says the theme “deals with the female's overpowering effect on man. Each song touches on her ability to dissect the male ego, especially through sexual means, originating with Eve’s tempting Adam in the beginning of time. Not only does this idea gain strength as the album progresses, but a musical battle of the sexes begins to arise through each song.” AMG

Look around, though, and you’ll find a very different opinion: “Eve purports to be a song cycle evoking Woman, yet the portrait thrown up by this 3-D space-rock oratorio is of some whory Victorian witch in a leather headdress flicking her garter belt and hissing curses. ‘I’d rather be a man than sin my soul like you do,’ announces David Paton, playing one of the LP’s four male accusers. ‘You lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas,’ spits another. That about sums up Eve’s sexual politics. When it’s finally Woman's turn to reply — Woman gets only two cuts to Man’s four — she’s made to whine about being lonely.” RS

"On…I Robot, the Alan Parsons Project’s bombastic and synthesized orchestral pop rock proved to be a nifty idiom for exploring man-machine myths. But the more human the theme, the more inappropriate such a style becomes. And how much more human can you get than a concept album concerned with sex?” RS

With such differing opinions, it is hard to draw a conclusion. Personally, I consider this one the Project’s weaker efforts musically, lyrically, and conceptually that started with an idea that could have been one of their best works. With the Project’s affinity for using a number of vocalists, this could have been a much more interesting (and balanced) study of relationships between man and woman with an attempt to see both points of view. Having said that, the individual songs are not completely without merit, even if the overall theme slips into a woman-bashing fest.

"The dominating fury of Lucifer, a powerful instrumental” AMG opener, “may be the best instrumental Parsons recorded in the seventies, if not all time; its driving keyboard line and eerie Morse code intro is hypnotic.” DV

The best known song, and highpoint of Eve, is album rock staple Damned If I Do. This “bitter but forceful [gem] sung by Lenny Zakatek” AMG may be the best rocker the Project ever created. Apart from the album, this comes across as just another man lamenting a rocky relationship; in the context of the album, though, it plays into the overly bitter “why do women treat women this way” vibe.

"The loutish You Lie Down with Dogs bears wit with its gender inclined mud-slinging” AMG while “the gorgeous You Won't Be ThereAMG “is a sweet, lyrical ballad, plainly illustrating Parsons’ connection with more single-oriented bands like Ambrosia.” DV The song “spotlights man's insecurity. Sung by Dave Townshend, its melodramatic feel sets a perfect tone.” AMG

“The classically enhanced Winding Me Up follows suit, based on a woman's ability to dominate her mate and opening up with sound of a wind-up doll being cranked.” AMG Both “funny and catchy,” DV it “may be the most underrated song in the Parsons catalog.” DV

If I Could Change Your Mind “is wistful, elegant, and spare, a brilliant ballad with a rare female lead” DV by Lesley Duncan. Unfortunately, the effect isn’t quite the same on the album’s other female lead vocal. “Not even Clare Torry, the ethereal yodeler on Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, can save Don’t Hold Back.” DV

In the end, one has to accept that “Eve…is neither as great as some claim, or as bad as some others insist. Alan Parsons, with or without Eric Woolfson, is one of the most underrated and original voices in progressive rock history, but even he has some misses. Eve has to be counted as one, recommended for only the completist and the fan.” DV

Notes: A 2008 reissue added demos and rough mixes of six of the song from the album along with an edited version of “Elsie’s Theme” from The Sicilian Defence, an album recorded by the Project in 1979 but not released until 2014.

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 3/24/2008; last updated 9/24/2021.

Saturday, August 25, 1979

The Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” hit #1 on country chart

The Devil Went Down to Georgia

The Charlie Daniels Band

Writer(s): Charlie Daniels,Tom Crain, "Taz" DiGregorio, Fred Edwards, Charles Hayward, James W Marshall (see lyrics here)

Released: May 21, 1979

First Charted: June 22, 1979

Peak: 3 US, 4 CB, 3 HR, 2 GR, 9 RR, 30 AC, 11 CW, 14 UK, 5 CN, 14 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 4.5 US, 0.2 UK, 4.7 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 50.1 video, 138.75 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Charlie Daniels was a fiddle player from North Carolina who started his career as a rock musician and songwriter in the early 1960s. He had a hard time getting embraced. He formed a group in 1971 which mixed country and rock. Unfortunately, “the West Coast seemed to think that the big man was too country, and Nashville didn’t have a clue what to do with him.” AC Even after securing a #9 pop hit with the more rock-oriented Kama Sutra label and moving to the more country-oriented Epic Records, the band were seen as “too frantic and hard” AC for the country market.

However, Hank Williams, Jr. sort of opened the door for a mix of country and rock with his increasingly harder sound throughout the ‘70s that started attracting “hordes of former rockers to his concerts.” AC He used Daniels in recording sessions and called him “one of the best country rockers in the business.” AC The stage was set for the Charlie Daniels Band to have an impact in the country and rock worlds.

When recording the next album, Daniels remembered a poem from his school days that concerned the Devil and temptation. AC “Mountain Whippoorwill” was written in the 1920s by Stephen Vincent Benet. TR Daniels reworked the original story of Satan and Johnny facing off with bows instead of harps. He also tapped Vassar Clements’ 1975 “Lonesome Fiddle Blues,” on which Daniels had played guitar, for the melody. WK The result was “the ultimate fiddle song” AC and “one of the greatest country lyric-led instrumentals in modern history.” AC

“The Devil Went Down to Georgia” topped the country charts and reached #3 on the pop charts and became Daniels’ “signature song.” AC The song won the Country Music Association’s Single of the Year award and garnered a Grammy for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. “Not only did Charlie Daniels give the Devil his due, but he forced Nashville to give Daniels’ style of country music its due.” AC


First posted 10/31/2021; last updated 3/14/2023.

The Knack hit #1 with “My Sharona”

My Sharona

The Knack

Writer(s): Doug Fieger, Berton Averre (see lyrics here)

Released: June 1979

First Charted: June 23, 1979

Peak: 16 US, 16 CB, 15 GR, 15 HR, 13 RR, 6 UK, 13 CN, 15 AU, 3 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.4 UK, 10.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 4.0 radio, 72.35 video, 366.77 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Doug Fieger, the lead singer of the Knack, wrote “My Sharona” about the real-life Sharona Alperin. They met when he was 25 and she was 17. She was working at a clothing store and while his own girlfriend looked on, he invited her to a show. Fieger soon broke up with his girlfriend and professed his love to Sharona, although she was still with her boyfriend, who even accompanied her to Knack shows. SF

Fieger said she “sparked something and I started writing a lot of songs feverishly in a short amount of time.” WK Fieger says “My Sharona” came about in about in 15 minutes. Berton Averre, the guitarist and co-writer on the song, was opposed to using her name, but Fieger wanted it to be as direct as possible. WK She also is featured on the cover of the single’s picture sleeve. WK

The song was produced by Mike Chapman, who’d also written and/or produced Exile’s “Kiss You All Over,” Nick Gilder’s “Hot Child in the City,” Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz,” and Suzi Quatro & Chris Norman’s “Stumblin’ In.” RC He said when the Knack played him “My Sharona,” he thought, “How could I not go ito the studio with that song? I knew it was a number one two bars into the song.” TC

The “naggingly catchy” TB song “compressed a sense of teenage sexual frustration into its stutter beat built on simple rock and roll.” FB The stutter effect was reminiscent of the Who’s “My Generation” while the song’s main melodic hook is an inverted version of the signature riff from the Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin’.” WK The Knack were also compared to the Beatles because their music felt like a throwback to the British invasion. Also, “My Sharona” was Capitol Records’ fastest debut single to reach gold status since the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” WK going gold before it even hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. FB

The New York Times called the song “an emblem of the new wave era in rock and a prime example of the brevity of pop fame.” WK Sadly, their pop success was indeed brief. Their name often comes up as one-hit wonders, which is inaccurate, but they did only have two other top 40 hits – “Good Girls Don’t” (#11) and “Baby Talks Dirty” (#38).

A year after the song became a hit, “Sharona” finally caved in and started dating Fieger. They stayed together four years and even became engaged, but his alcoholism and rock n’ roll lifestyle led to their breakup. They remained friends, though. She was with him the last week of his life when he died of cancer on February 14, 2010. SF

In his book World Without a Song, Wilco singer Jeff Tweedy assessed “My Sharona” as “the hardest of all the rocking I had ever heard” JT but also acknowledged the “critical vitriol heaped on” JT the song. He said, “The idea that what makes music so important at its core could be critiqued and rated is laughable in the face of the genuine promise almost any record can deliver to the listener.” JT


First posted 11/14/2019; last updated 5/2/2024.