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17 March 2011 @ 06:31 am
Bp's Song of the Week #109: Pat Benatar "Promises in the Dark"  
Pat Benatar “Promises in the Dark”


As a youngster in Central NY my exposure to music came from two sources, WOUR (Utica NY’s rock station), and MTV. As a 7-year old I don’t think I was at all interested in Pat at the time, but more that pulsating riff, Neil Giraldo’s solo and especially the count back in after the hard stop (why that was so cool I don’t know, but it was). And even during that signature Giraldo solo, listen to that riff still chugging along underneath – great. And the guitar melody underneath the pre-solo section – so fitting. The bell-ringing ride cymbal coming out of the solo – it’s the little things that make a song great.

Let’s not forget about Pat though. While I was a guitar man as a kid, I’ve come to appreciate amazing vocalists over the years and that’s where the other level of magic comes from on this. There are few singers with the range, power, and tone of that she achieves. And she does it all on this one track – the soft, tender beginning with that amazing tone, you’re close to tears right along with her….until she kicks it into the second verse and that Benatar spunk and feistiness starts to show. By the time the chorus rolls around she’s kicking and rocking! Note I didn’t say ‘screaming’ as she never screamed – she always has complete control.

Back in the early ‘80s there was a great string of ‘live’ videos and this is one of my favorite (right up there with Billy Squier’s “Lonely is the Night” which is brilliant) – the triple view of Pat at the beginning is just a wonderful way to start this one and sets the tone perfectly. This version of the song was taped live in front of fan club members and friends – some of my favorite videos are those old ‘live promos’ like this. Some great camera work is featured: check out the first verse triple image Pat for example; the hand held during Neil Giraldo’s brilliant guitar solo; the shots from behind Myron Grombacher’s drum kit, etc. What’s also interesting is the rehearsal mix (check out some of the same camera angles – very interesting): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lb00PjSIaPo

BTW, I highly recommend her memoir, Between a Heart and a Rock Place (2010).

More Pat Benatar:
Promises in the Dark (live 2001)
All Fired Up (live 2001)
Neil Giraldo highlight reel