Benatar, Pat - 1982 Get Nervous

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ARTIST: Benatar, Pat
ALBUM: Get Nervous
LABEL: Chrysalis
SERIAL: CHR 1396 (LP)
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 1984, Chrysalis, DIDX 74 (CD)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Pat Benatar - lead vocals * Neil Giraldo - guitars, backing vocals, producer * Charlie Giordano - keyboards * Roger Capps - bass, backing vocals * Myron Grombacher - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Shadows Of The Night * 02 Looking For A Stranger * 03 Anxiety (Get Nervous) * 04 Fight It Out * 05 The Victim * 06 Little Too Late * 07 I'll Do It * 08 I Want Out * 09 Tell It To Her * 10 Silent Partner

Background

When you think of 80s rock vixens, Pat Benatar is one that immediately comes to mind. Great pipes and a great sultry look, combined with great songs, propelled her to mega success in the early part of that decade.

Having said that, her material was always hit-or-miss to me. She certainly had some great songs before this album, but I could never really get into the entire albums.

With this one, however, she really nailed the sound that hits my sweet spot - a good mix of AOR with some new-wave effects thrown into the mix.

The Songs

The big hit, of course, was the epic opener 'Shadows Of The Night'. It's a majorly orchestrated song, with multi-layered vocals and big keyboards. Much denser musically than her past material, this one establishes that her sound is moving more towards the prevailing musical direction of the time. It earned Benatar a Grammy in 1983.

Her new-wave influences are on display in 'Looking For A Stranger', which was the third single. It has kind of a quirky jangly vibe during the verse, heavy on organ, before hitting a chorus that is pure AOR. Another winner.

The title track is another cool track (with a very interesting video). It's the first of five songs written by husband and guitarist Neil Giraldo and songwriter extraordinaire Billy Steinberg.

I've always thought her lyrics were more complex than what you find in the typical rock or pop song, and those are on display throughout the album. A good example of that is 'Fight It Out', the big dramatic ballad that is a true showcase for her vocal power and range.

The prevailing lyrical theme throughout this album seems to be 'the singer as the victim in romantic situations', with 'The Victim' being a prime example of that. It's definitely the heaviest song on here and one that would have definitely suited many harder artists.

Side two of the album kicks off with the second single 'Little Too Late'. Interestingly, all three of the hits from this album were from outside writers. This one has a similar vibe to 'Looking For A Stranger' on the verse, more poppish or new-waveish.

Not so with the pure AOR class of 'I'll Do It', a song that has been one of those album cuts that matches anything the artist has put out. Classic 80s keyboard intro, cool guitar part, strong lyrics - what's not to love here? It has a few musical touches that, while simple, show a great attention to the type of detail that elevates a song even higher.

'I Want Out' dials it back just a bit until Pat again shows her feisty side. It's probably the closest song on here to her earlier material, with a little less going on in the background.

Another absolutely superb album cut is the excellent 'Tell It To Her', with many of the trademarks of the AOR genre.

The album ends with another winner, 'Silent Partner'. It starts in a minimal manner before picking up steam and ending on a strong note.

In Summary

After the multi-platinum success of her prior two albums, this one would have to be considered somewhat of a disappointment in the sales department by reaching only single-platinum sales levels. But to me, she really nailed it in the AOR department with this album.

The overall sound is smoothed out, and the presence of keyboards is greatly increased. This is way way way up there on my list of favourite female-fronted albums and one that continues to get several spins each year.


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