Monday, December 24, 2018

"Le Bel Age" by Pat Benatar

Song#:  2628
Date:  02/15/1986
Debut:  73
Peak:  54
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Benatar's second single from her album Seven the Hard Way, "Sex As a Weapon," wasn't as big of a hit as she needed. Although it got to #5 at Rock, it stalled just inside the Pop Top 30 at #28 and that did not help to sell LPs. Seven would eventually go gold, but it peaked at a career low #26 for Benatar. This third single didn't help to boost sales either. It stopped at #19 Rock and couldn't even get close to the Pop Top 40. At the time this debuted on the chart, the song's co-writer Robert Tepper was inching up the chart with his own solo hit "No Easy Way Out" from the Rocky IV soundtrack. (Note - the song's title is French for "the beautiful age." All other lyrics are in English.)

ReduxReview:  Benatar's Seven the Hard Way was not an album chock full of radio-ready hits, so it was going to have a tougher time finding an audience than her previous efforts. It was also a bit over produced and over-arranged, which you can hear at the oddball beginning of this song. This track isn't too bad and it does have a fairly good chorus (although its a mystery why the French phrase was used), but it's a bit brash and overdone, especially where reverb is concerned. It's fine for an album track, but it wasn't going to make it as a single. By this point is just seemed that Benatar was floundering a bit and not sure where to take her music or her career.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  For the album, Benatar chose to include a cover tune. She selected  "7-Rooms of Gloom," which was originally recorded by The Four Tops. Their version was a #10 R&B/#14 Pop hit in 1967. At the time, the group was at their peak with their biggest album Reach Out. That LP featured three Pop Top 10 hits, including their #1 hit "Reach Out I'll Be There," and three Pop Top 20's, which included "7-Rooms." It was a big run of single with four of them written by the famous Holland-Dozier-Holland team. The Four Tops would remain popular through the 70s grabbing two more Pop Top 10's and twelve R&B Top 10's. Their last major hit would come in 1981 with "When She Was My Girl" (#1 R&B/#11 Pop).


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