We’re doing a deep dive into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Class of 2020 nominees. First up, the woman who set the blueprint for early-80’s rocker-chicks.
This is the first post in what will hopefully be a series I’ll keep up with through the Rock Hall’s January announcement of which nominees make the cut. I’ll clumsily examine who these artists are through a mix of personal knowledge and lazy Wikipedia research. And, yes, I’ve totally borrowed this series’ name from The Colbert Report. We’ll roll through the Class of 2020 nominees alphabetically. First up…
What are they famous for?
Pat Benatar and the early days of MTV are pretty much synonymous. Through the strength of her many hits and the ubiquity of her music videos during the cable network’s nascent period, Pat Benatar pretty much became an icon of the time.
Not only were Pat Benatar and guitarist Neil Giraldo a perfect musical match – each of their first six albums earned at least platinum status with a million copies sold, and they charted over a dozen singles during the 80’s – they also married each other in 1982. And they’re still together!
Best Known Material?
Four top 10 singles beginning with “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” in 1980. This includes back-to-back #5 hits “Love Is A Battlefield” and “We Belong”. And although it hit #10, I’ve always felt “Invincible” has an underrated legacy compared to her other big tracks.
Any behind the scenes Rock Hall drama or stories?
While music fans sometimes give the Rock Hall flack for its somewhat arbitrary decisions about which former members to include, they nominated Pat Benatar as a duo rightly including guitarist Neil Giraldo. Giraldo may not be exalted among the all time great rock guitarists, but listening to Benatar’s material his riffs were a key ingredient.
Odds of Induction… i.e Do They Rock?
Taking a birds-eye view of the 2020 nominee list, Pat Benatar feels very ‘safe’. She ‘rocks’ AND she had substantial mainstream success. I can’t imagine anyone familiar with the history of rock and roll could look at Pat Benatar and come to the conclusion that she doesn’t meet Rock Hall worthiness. She and Neil could walk around that hallowed Cleveland hall and confidently say, “We Belong”. 4-1.