Great Rock Albums of 1980: Pat Benatar- Crimes of Passion


I know I have brandished the term “Sophmore jinx” around quite a bit on this blog, although I haven’t used it for a while, but I’m afraid that I have to use it again here with the second album from Pat Benatar, “Crimes of Passion.” However, I don’t use it in a negative sense here because this album from the lady who I called the undisputed Queen of Rock in the early 1980s avoids the sophomore jinx totally. For me, even though “Heartbreaker” from the first Pat Benatar album “In the Heat of the Night” remains my favourite song of hers, the second album is even better than the first. Okay, I think it’s her best album.

At first listen, I was totally blown away by the power of the songs in the album. “Treat Me Right,” “You Better Run,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and of course my favourite track of the album, “Hell Is For Children” are all hard rocking anthems that have been listened to and sung in films, stereos and keg parties. These songs alone are why this is my favourite Pat Benatar album. The rest of the album is good too, I especially love her version of “Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush. Her voice can compete with Bush’s and the added guitars give Benatar’s version a different and likeable edge. I would also like to state that her long time guitarist Neil Giraldo has been very much overlooked. He proves he can bend a six string along with anyone.

Track Listing:

1. Treat Me Right

2. You Better Run

3. Never Want to Leave You

4. Hit Me With Your Best Shot

5. Hell Is For Children

6. Little Paradise

7. I’m Gonna Follow You

8. Wuthering Heights

9. Prisoner Of Love

10. Out of Touch

Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar- vocals

Neil Giraldo- lead and rhythm guitars, keyboards, backing vocals

Scott St Claire Sheets- rhythm guitar

 Roger Capps -bass, backing vocals

Myron Grombacher- drums

Pat Benatar ruled as the Queen of Hard Rock from 1979-83 and with albums such as “Crimes of Passion,” it is easy to understand why.

Next Post: The Knack- But the Little Girls Understand

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

7 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1980: Pat Benatar- Crimes of Passion”

  1. Yeah great album. But I’m with you – Heartbreaker is also my favourite Pat Benetar song overall


  2. Good call. I remember buying this the day it was released, and I loved it even more than her debut. The unsung hero of this album, and the several that followed, is drummer Myron Grombacher. Sure, everyone knows about Neil’s incredible guitar playing, and the songwriting is top-notch, but Myron added something special that makes the whole record pop (the verb, not the genre, although it’s that as well). Thanks for highlighting an unheralded classic.


    • Very interesting insight. I never paid much attention to the drumming of Myron Grombacher although I can’t fault it one bit. I am now going to have to listen to it again, (a task to my liking) with that aim. Thanks


      • Being a drummer myself, my ears always perk up when a drummer does something unexpected, especially in the context of straight-ahead pop/rock. Kenny Aronoff got lots of attention for his work with John Mellencamp in the 80s & early 90s (and rightly so), but Grombacher deserved the same kind of recognition.


  3. Love Pat Benatar, love this album, and the first one and the third one especially. I usually go for the rockers most, to include Heartbreaker and You Better Run, but after watching her sing Don’t Let It Show — an Alan Parsons cover — from the first album on an old HBO special, that’s become my favorite of many favorite Benatar tracks. Her voice on that song live is amazing.


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