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Label: Bel Chiasso Records

Release Date: April 14, 2015

Rating: 8.5/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

From the moment you hear Pat Benatar’s lush vocals on disc opener “Shadows Of The Night,” you know you are in for a great ride through her catalog and career.  “All Fired Up” is a classic, but this version takes on more of a guitar theme, as Neil Giraldo puts his live stamp all over the track, at time drowning out the lead vocals of Benatar.  “We Live For Love” sounds as if it was ripped from the original recordings – the vocals and guitars are crisp and fit well together.  “Sex As A Weapon” kicks in and the guitars are familiar and fun.  When Pat opens her mouth and starts singing, you realize that although the high notes might not be there, the power, energy, and commitment are.  “We Belong” opens with Giraldo referencing his pick flicking abilities, but the songs strength lies in the beautiful vocals from Benatar combined with the cool piano interlude that opens track and continues as the song continues. “You Better Run,” which is one of Pat’s hardest rockers, sounds as rich and heavy as it did back in 1980 when Crimes Of Passion was released.  “Love Is A Battlefield” takes you back as soon as you hear the keyboards and that classic opening “We are young, heartache to heartache…”  The drums and bass, courtesy of Chris Ralles and Mick Mahan respectively, anchor this track, much as they did the rest of the disc.

“Invincible” has a cool groove, courtesy of the chugging guitar riffs and Pat’s strong lead vocals, that gives it more of a laid back feel than the original.  “So Sincere” is an added bonus on this collection.  This album cut from 1979’s In The Heat Of The Night is a great addition to the many hits performed on this collection, with great vocals and killer guitar work.  “Promises In The Dark” starts off with an introduction explaining the origins of the Benatar / Giraldo writing once they became involved.  The intro sheds new light on the track and the piano opening gives the song depth.  Benatar explains the backstory of “Hell Is For Children” before the powerful track takes off.  Giraldo’s piano piece that opens the track combines with the keyboards and morphs into the familiar guitar piece their fans know and love.  The songs lyrics are as important and poignant today as they were when this was first released. Just before Pat and band rip through a roaring, rocking, and audience engaging version of “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” Neil takes to the mic and talks about his early days recording, writing, and producing with other artists, when he tears into a version of Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl.”  “Let’s Stay Together” from 1988’s Wide Awake In Dreamland is the other deep album cut performed this evening that never became a big hit for Benatar and Giraldo.  The vibe of this track is fun and light and the perfect lead into set closer and arguably the pairs biggest hit.  “Heartbreaker” kicks as much ass in 2014 as it did when it first hit the airwaves in 1979.  This version also captures the fun atmosphere a live performance allows when Pat and Neil swirl in their own cool twist on Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire” and Roky Erickson’s “Don’t Slander Me” and a huge guitar solo that allows Giraldo to shine.

Tracklisting: Shadows Of The Night – All Fired Up – Invincible – We Live For Love – So Sincere – Sex As A Weapon – Promises In The Dark – We Belong – Hell Is For Children – You Better Run – Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Love Is A Battlefield – Let’s Stay Together – Heartbreaker





Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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