Pat Benatar

Synchronistic Wanderings

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Pat Benatar was certainly one of the best arena rockers of the early '80s. Not only did she sell albums, but she made records that sounded great on the radio -- "Heartbreaker," "Hit Me with Your Best Shot," "Shadows of the Night," "I Need a Lover," "Love Is a Battlefield," "We Belong," "Invincible," "Sex as a Weapon," even the latter-day "All Fired Up" -- enough hits for a really good hits collection, which she has several of in her catalog; however, not enough for a three-disc box set, which is what Synchronistic Wanderings is. That's not to say that all Benatar had to offer were hit singles, since she did have some good album tracks, or that she shouldn't have a collection of rarities and unreleased material, since some of the demos, live tracks, and unreleased cuts aren't bad, and certainly of interest to fans. The problem is, this doesn't work in an exhaustive, multi-disc retrospective where the hits dry up at the end of the second disc. That means that it's a little difficult for anyone other than hardcore fans to make it through the entire collection. Die-hard Benatar aficionados would be better served by a single-disc rarities collection, which, by the way, is the most interesting part of this set. Synchronistic Wanderings does give a comprehensive overview of Benatar's career, concentrating as much on the detours and side roads as on the well-known paths, but that turns out to be a journey that's a little too exhausting for anyone who isn't already familiar with the general route.

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