Pat Benatar

Live: Summer Vacation Tour Soundtrack

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Just because Pat Benatar's longtime guitarist and husband Neil Giraldo gets top-level billing here doesn't mean anything has really changed. Giraldo has backed her since her heyday and while he may have changed his brand of instrument - it looks like a custom Tele copy, judging by the cover - they still turn out music that is essentially the same as the arena rockers of the early '80s, and Benatar sings it the same fashion as before. Which means that Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo Live is part of that celebrated tradition, the "greatest hits live" album, and that may not be a surprise since it is subtitled the "Summer Vacation Tour Soundtrack" which kind of implies that it taken from an oldies tour. To their credit, Benatar and Giraldo turn in professional, accomplished performances and the 15-track lineup is rich with hits, but it's still a greatest hits live album - which means it's satisfactory for those that just don't care which version of a hit they get (as long as they get the hits man!), and perhaps of interest to those hardcore fans that want everything their favorite artist has done, but is essentially not of interest to the great majority fans that just want to hear their favorite songs, the way they were originally released.

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