Sunday, September 30, 2018

"Sex As a Weapon" by Pat Benatar

Song#:  2543
Date:  11/23/1985
Debut:  72
Peak:  28
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Although Benatar's last Top 10 hit, "Invincible," was used as a movie theme, it was also being touted as the first single from her sixth studio album Seven the Hard Way. Unfortunately, the album got issued nearly five months after "Invincible" came out so this next track nearly felt like the LP's first single. It became her seventh Top 10 at Rock reaching the #5 spot. At Pop, the edgy rock tune didn't do as well and it retreated soon after getting inside the Top 30. With momentum lost from the early release of "Invincible" and this song not getting close to the Top 10, the album became her lowest peaking to-date at #26 and only went gold. It was her first to not reach platinum status.

ReduxReview:  By this time, Benatar had basically stopped writing and made no contributions to the LP (although her husband Neil Giraldo would co-write four songs). Ringers were brought in to provide hits for the album including this tune written by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg. It's not a bad track, but it certainly isn't as strong or as memorable as other Kelly/Steinberg hits such as Madonna's "Like a Virgin." The production by Giraldo is slick, dense, and a bit overbearing, which was sometimes the norm back in the mid-80s. It all just sounds a bit forced to me especially when you revisit Benatar's earlier hits. I remember hearing this song for the first time and thinking, "well, that's not going to go very far," and indeed it did not.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Benatar earned her sixth Grammy nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female for this song. Although she didn't win this time around, she had four previous wins in the category. The four wins were all consecutive from 1980 to 1983.


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