Patricia Andrzjewski was born January 10th, 1953 in Brooklyn, NY, USA. About that time rock and roll was just getting rolling. Her father was a sgeet metal worker. Her mother had sung professionally in the choir of the New York City Opera. Since their daughter was interested in singing, they made sure she had voice lessons and learned to sing correctly. It turned out to be a good thing they did.
Pat's ideas about music were more like those of THE WHO or Robert Plant. She once said: 'I hated opera, because it was my moms music. I was more into pop and rock. But I never thought I was going to sing anything but classical'. After a marriage to Dennis Benatar ended efforts to get into showbusiness were renewed. Amongst other things, she performed on open auditions night at Catch A Rising Star, then a top New York night club. If you've ever been to one of those, you know what you usually get are people, who want to be in showbusiness. Someone who is good, but not outstanding. So you can understand everyone's surprise, when PAT BENATAR boomed through the mediocrity. Club manager Rick Newman was so impressed, he signed her to a management contract.
Rick booked Pat and a back up band into clubs around New York. They covered current hits, until talent scouts of Chrysalis Records discover the very talented lady and immediately sign her up to their label in '78. During the same year, Pat recruits Neil Geraldo (ex-DERRINGER), who assembles a backing band for the recording of her debut album "In The Heat Of The Night". With some promotion and touring, the public starts listening to the music and the album reaches #12 on the U.S. charts. Soon "Heartbreaker" (the first single), "I Need A Lover" (written by JOHN C. MELLENCAMP), "We Live For Love" (penned by Neil Geraldo) and "You Better Run" (originally done by THE YOUNG RASCALS in '66) starting to turn up on the radio.
In August '80, PAT BENATAR released her second album "Crimes Of Passion", produced by Keith Olsen. It includes "Hit Me With Your Best Shot", which is a challenge from a strong, independent woman. The single reaches #9 on the charts and becomes a million-seller. While "Hell Is For Children" was inspired by a L.A. Times' newspaper story about abused children, "Wuthering Heights" is a cover song, usually associated with KATE BUSH. In February '81 Pat is recognized by garnering her first Grammy award for the 'Best Rock Vocal Performance Female' and "Crimes Of Passion" achieves multi-platinum sales. The third album "Precious Time" was released in August '81. It includes hits like "Promises In The Dark", "Fire And Ice" and "Helter Skelter" (which was the only BEATLES song Pat felt comfortable with singing as a woman!).
PAT's image was that of an aggressive and sexy woman and her stage present was strong. Chrysalis records knows sex sells records and it exeeds the platinum-sales plateau. But, as PAT points out: 'I try to tell those people that they're missing the point. I'm not going to be masculine and I am not going to be a frilly girl, who gets what she wants because she's frilly. There's a middle ground and that's where I want to go. I get a lot of shit for going down the middle, but I'm hanging in there'.
In February '82, PAT married guitarist/producer/songwriter Neil Geraldo. Half a year later she released her fourth effort "Get Nervous" (produced by Neil Geraldo and Peter Coleman), which includes "Shadows Of The Night". This song starts out on a high note, that only someone with a two and a half octave range could hit. Also found on the album are "Little Too Late" and the underrated "Silent Partner". PAT's first live performance album "Live From Earth" was released a year later. It's recorded in France and California during her U.S. and European tours of 1982 and 1983. It contains two new studio recordings; "Love Is A Battlefield" (which was a huge hit single everywhere and gives PAT her fourth Grammy for 'Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Female') and "Lipstick Lies" (a song about the falseness of makeup).
In '84 the album "Tropico" was released, which includes the single "We Belong" (and tells undoubtedly about PAT and Neil's relationship). The "Ooh Ooh Song" was also a hit in the U.S., even though part of it is in Spanish. This was one of the few efforts at any European language. "Suburban King" is about displaced industrial workers, while "Outlaw Blues" is hauntingly beautiful. Although PAT doesn't admit it anymore, she was in a movie. It was called "Union City". Despite of the fact that it isn't an outstanding film, it contains two noted women rockers: starring Deborah Harry (BLONDIE) and PAT BENATAR very briefly at the end. It's December '85 and PAT released her seventh album, called "Seven The Hard Way". Highlights are "Sex As A Weapon", "Le Bel Age" and a Motown song "7 Rooms Of Gloom". "Invincible" was the theme song for the Helen Slater starring movie 'Legend Of Billie Jean'. Also she participated in the recording of "Sun City" for Artists United Against Apartheid", which comprised a total of fifty artists. In the same year (February '85) daughter Haley was born.
In '87 PAT released the first compilation album of her career in the U.K., which gets the obvious title "Best Shots". It becomes her best selling album in the United Kingdom. A year later "Wide Awake In Dreamland" and the single "All Fired Up" hit the U.S. charts. The album even reaches the gold status. "Best Shots" gets released in the U.S. in '89 and attains another gold status for PAT. She also recorded a version of "Please Come Home For Christmas" in 1990 (originally by CHARLES BROWN) especially for the Desert Storm coalition troops, who served in the Mideast during the Gulf War.
Her critically acclaimed blues album "True Love" sees the light in '91. It contains the single "Payin' The Cost To Be The Boss" (cover B.B. KING) and shows a completely different and softer side of PAT. On "Gravity's Rainbow" (which was released in '93 and produced by Neil Geraldo and Don Gehman (R.E.M. / JOHN MELLENCAMP)), PAT continues to redefine her sound in a nineties context. A few examples are "Everybody Lay Down" (with dub echoes) and "Crazy" (shuffling bar blues with a HENDRIX feel). After the release of this album, PAT gives birth to her second daughter Hana in March '94. Shortly afterwards, "All Fired Up: The Very Best Of PAT BENATAR" was released as a 2-CD set. The compilation features an array of all hits, including her more recent work. Several other "Greatest Hits" packages have appeared since then (for example: "Back To Back Hits"). They are a good introduction to PAT BENATAR and it's worth tracking down the albums.
In '95 the first major U.S. tour in five years occurs over the summer with REO SPEEDWAGON and FLEETWOOD MAC and PAT also takes her band to Australia and Japan. She performs for an enthusiastic and sold out crowd. The next year ('96), we find PAT and her band on a major summer tour with the STEVE MILLER band. Besides playing her best shots, some new material is added to her live set. New songs such as "River Of Love" and "Only You" get great response from the audience. PAT currently recorded a brandnew album "Innamorata" (on CMC Int. records/BMG) for summer '97 release. The album will be accompanied by a major U.S. tour with STYX, starting on May 20 in Florida. Don't miss it!! This lady knows how to rock & roll! Someone who could have chosen any music, but just wanted to rock and who was an example to many other rock ladies. A woman, who brings her rock of the highest quality!!!
written by: Jack Little/copyright Metal Maidens)
IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (Chrysalis '79)
CRIMES OF PASSION (Chrysalis '80)
PRECIOUS TIME (Chrysalis '81)
GET NERVOUS (Chrysalis '82)
LIVE FROM THE EARTH (Chrysalis '83)
TROPICO (Chrysalis '84)
SEVEN THE HARD WAY (Chrysalis '85)
WIDE AWAKE IN DREAMLAND (Chrysalis '88)
BEST SHOTS (Crysalis '89)
TRUE LOVE (Chrysalis '91)
GRAVITY'S RAINBOW (Crysalis '93)
ALL FIRED UP: THE VERY BEST OF PAT BENATAR (2 CD set; Crysalis '94)
HEARTBREAKER - 16 CLASSIC PERFORMANCES (CEMA '99)
BACK TO BACK HITS (Crysalis ?)
CONCERT CLASSICS (Renaissance Records '98)
INNAMORATA (CMC/BMG '99)
SYNCHRONISTIC WANDERINGS 1979-1999 (3 CD box set) (EMI/Capitol '99)
WE LIVE FOR LOVE
HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT
TREAT ME RIGHT
FIRE AND ICE
PROMISES IN THE DARK
SHADOWS OF THE NIGHT
LITTLE TOO LATE
LOOKING FOR A STRANGER
LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD
OOH OOH SONG
SEX AS A WEAPON
ALL FIRED UP
LET'S STAY TOGETHER
EVERYBODY LAY DOWN
EVERY TIME I FALL BACK
BEST SHOTS (HIT VIDEOS) (Chrysalis '89)