Great Rock Albums of 1979: Pat Benatar- In the Heat of the Night

It’s still fresh in my mind thirty-three years later. I remember that day in late 1979 after having to get up at the ungodly hour of 3:30 in the morning because the company XO had volunteered our platoon for mess duty. Gee, that was nice of him. Anyhow, having to clear the early morning cobwebs from my head, I had the radio on when a new fresh rocking sound came blasting out of it. First there was the drum intro, followed by accompanying rhythm guitar and bass. At the end of the line came that little canny lead guitar riff, all of which set the stage for the mind blowing vocals that came along  and completely blew me out of my combat boots. A female voice, clear and powerful, totally rocked my world that day. The song was “Heartbreaker,” and I would learn sometime later, that the voice belonged to Pat Benatar.

“Heartbreaker” is still my all time favourite Pat Benatar song and it is fitting one for her first album, “In the Heat of the Night.” This album established her as the female face of rock, more rockier than Blondie and even Heart, not that I want to take anything away from either of those. For me, this album was different, in my mind, a new even raunchier hard rock and I absolutely loved it, still do.

While, “Heartbreaker” was the break through single for Pat, the rest of the album is still a good rocking listen. I also love the song “I Need a Lover” and even prefer it to the John Cougar Mellancamp version. The other songs also give it credence, like “My Clone Sleeps Alone,” which I find to be rather amusing as well. “In the Heat of the Night” thrust Pat Benatar down our throats and we haven’t been able to get her out of our systems ever since.

Track Listing:

1. Heartbreaker

2. I Need a Lover

3. If You Think You Know How to Love Me

4. In the Heat of the Night

5. My Clone Sleeps Alone

6. We Live for Love

7. Rated X

8. Don’t Let it Show

9. No You Don’t

10. So Sincere

Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar- lead vocals

Nick Geraldo- lead, slide guitars, keyboards

Scott St Clair Sheets- rhythm guitar

Roger Capps- bass, backing vocals

Glen Alexander Hamilton- drums

Maybe my old company XO did me a favour back then when he volunteered me for mess duty. Sure, I would have eventually heard the song “Heartbreaker,” but I question if it would have had the same impact as it did then. That was the song that made me go even harder into the rock and where I would one day discover the delights of heavy metal. Pat Benatar was a true rock icon from 1979 through to 1983 and it was this album that launched it.

Next post: Todd Rundgren- Back to the Bars

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2 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1979: Pat Benatar- In the Heat of the Night”

  1. Yes! Long Live Pat Benatar & Nick Geraldo \m/\m/


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