Saturday, April 30, 2016

"Love Is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Grammy Alert!
Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  1627
Date:  09/24/1983
Debut:  78
Peak:  5
Weeks:  22
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Benatar's album Get Nervous was another platinum hit thanks to three Top 40 hits including the #13 "Shadows of the Night." Although still based in rock, the LP incorporated some modern pop-synth touches that gave the songs a more commercial sheen. Those pop elements would become even more prominent on this single, which was one of two new studio tracks added to Benatar's first concert LP, Live from Earth. Setting aside her more harder edged rock for this song was a bit of a risk, but it paid off quite well. The song would end up becoming her biggest charting Pop hit, her first (and only) #1 at Rock, and her second gold single. It would also nab her a fourth consecutive Grammy for Best Rock Performance, Female.

ReduxReview:  Everything about this song was just right. The timing, the arrangement, the video, etc. Benatar really needed this shot in the arm. She wasn't necessarily hurting, but Get Nervous was a bit of a dip after two major multi-platinum albums that hit #1 and #2. She had to stay fresh for the 80s and this song more than fit that bill. Even though I have never been a fan of live albums, I ran out and got Benatar's just because this song was on it. I played this track a lot while playing the balance of the album maybe twice. She rolled the dice on a pop song and came up winning.


Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Benatar was looking for a hit song to record and reached out to the songwriter Mike Chapman. He was working with another songwriter at the time, Holly Knight, and the pair came up with this song. It was originally conceived as a ballad, but once handed over to Benatar and her husband/producer Neil Geraldo, the song got a makeover that included an upbeat tempo change. When Chapman first heard Benatar's version, he was upset. He hated it. He wasn't the only one. Benatar's label was not fond of it either and didn't want to release it. After much convincing from Geraldo, the song got issued. To everyone's surprise, it became a smash hit and one of Benatar's signature tunes. Chapman has since become a fan of the song even though it's style did not match his or Knight's original vision. (I'm sure the royalty checks can help change minds real quick...)  2) The video for the song was a hit on MTV as well. Featuring an actual storyline, it was one of the first popular videos to incorporate dialog in order to move the plot along.



  1. I definitely agree with you about this's fantastic. I was, however, never a fan of the video. First, it almost seemed like Diana Ross in The Wiz, with someone playing a character far younger than she was. By this time, Benatar was past 30. Second, and even more egregious, was the dancing....uggh. For a rocker like Benatar to be doing that choreography....horrible. I'm sure director Bob Giraldi was trying to redo Beat It for Benatar, but for me, it just did not work.

    1. I agree - it was like Travolta and Newton-John playing high schoolers in "Grease." Yet, we still like the video and watched it a lot. I read an article with Benatar about the dancing. During the shoot, she told the choreography right up front that she cannot dance but would do what she could. It's not great, but at least she hit it with her best shot!