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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Benatar, Pat - 1985 Seven The Hard Way
Benatar, Pat - 1985 Seven The Hard Way

ARTIST: Benatar, Pat
ALBUM: Seven The Hard Way
LABEL: Chrysalis
SERIAL: OV 41507 (LP), VK 41507 (CD)
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: Click here for reissue details


LINEUP: Pat Benatar - vocals * Neil Geraldo - lead guitar * Donnie Nossov - bass * Charlie Giordano - keyboards * Myron Grombacher - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sex As A Weapon * 02 Le Bel Age * 03 Walking In The Underground * 04 The Big Life * 05 Red Vision * 06 7 Rooms Of Gloom * 07 Run Between The Raindrops * 08 Invincible (The Legend of Billie Jean) * 09 The Art Of Letting Go


Pat Benatar is undeniably one of our great female rock vocalists of all time. One would have to be living on another planet to be unaware of Benatar success in the 1980's. From her first hit 'Heartbreaker' in late 1979, Pat recorded a steady string of multi-million-selling albums and singles. 'In the Heat of The Night' , 'Crimes of Passion', 'Precious Time' , 'Get Nervous' , 'Live From Earth' and the uneven 'Tropico' all yielded one or more hit singles. By 1984, Benatar had become a household name thanks to a strong MTV presence and consistent airplay. While 1984's 'Tropico' moved away from the harder tinged material found on the earlier hits, Pat and hubby-guitarist-songwriter-producer Neil Giraldo started seeking additional outside songwriters to punch up waning album sales for what would become her seventh opus. 'Seven The Hard Way' is the quintessential AOR choice of her career IMO. On this, Pat and Neil are on top of their game here. Pat's voice is stronger than ever and Neil's fret work is clearly amazing. Not to mention the beautiful melodic/stunning keys!

The Songs
Taking nothing away from her vocal abilities, Pat's success can always be attributed to the aid of outside songwriting and the guitar work from her husband, Neil Geraldo. This is evident on the strong opener 'Sex As A Weapon' which boasts an affirming female perspective on male exploiting sex. Benatar's vocals show an incredible range on the almost operatic 'Le Bel Age' which is another highlight. 'Walking in the underground' is slower paced ditty that harkens back to her artsy/fartsey work on 'Tropico'. The next three cuts are AOR paint by numbers but still evoke some tasteful beautiful melodic keyboard harmonizations and textures. Benatar gets back on track in a major way with the endearing 'Run Between The Raindrops' which IMHO is one of her better ballads. Even though 'Invincible' (the theme song to the cult film 'Legend Of Billie Jean') became one of the most overplayed songs of the year, Pat still delivers it in spades. Another emotional performance continues with 'The Art of Letting Go' which closes out this amazing collection of songs.

In Summary
Even though an AOR essential, 'Seven The Hard Way' barely dented the Top 30, peaking at #26 and hardly going Gold in the states. The album did boast a Top 10 single with the aforementioned 'Invincible', but her days of multi-platinum commercial success in the US were over. This wasn't the case in the UK and Australia where 'Seven The Hard Way' hit the Top 10 and the follow-up, 1988's 'Wide Awake in Dreamland' hit the Top 20. The AOR fueled anthem 'All Fired Up' ( written by yet another outside songstress - Kerryn Tolhurst) went Top 20 in the USA and UK and was a #2 smash down under, becoming one of the biggest hits of 1988. While Benatar abandoned her AOR roots briefly for 1991's bluesy 'True Love', she would eventually return to the sound that made her one of the most respected female voices in rock. She still writes and tours with hubby Neil and even daughter Haley present day up to the present day.

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#1 | jefflynnefan on April 01 2008 00:43:29
I went to see Pat last year at one of those small Native American Casinos and had a good time. This isn't one of my favorites by her though. Neil is a underrated guitarist.
#2 | Eric on January 29 2009 21:24:44
Never got Pat Benatar's appeal (even in spandex) but I do agree that Giraldo as a guitarist doesn't get much attention. I love his work on 'Shadows Of The Night'. Back to Pat B, I don't care for her voice and did she really come up with a classic album? For me her records had two or three good cuts followed by a lot of very average material- this album included.
#3 | gdazegod on January 15 2013 05:14:50
Probably should do a few more of her albums especially the earlier ones. Agree with Eric, much of her stuff is hit and miss.
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