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Seven the Hard Way


Price: CDN$ 42.95
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B000008DDE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #192,412 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By A Customer on Feb. 28 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is the best Pat Benatar CD. She and Neil Geraldo her husband-guitarist-songwriter-producer are on top of their game.
The guitar work on this one is clearly amazing. If you like U2 Joshua Tree you will love the same type of sophisticated guitar delay repeat, tasteful beautiful melodic keyboards harmonizations/textures and most of all just great songs one after another. In the vocal dept Pat Benatar delivers passionate strong emotional performances song after song. This cd is what "Raised on Radio" is to Journey, underrated but clearly the best cd of the band.
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By Darren on Oct. 18 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is one of Benatar's most underrated albums. Having generated the commercially successful singles, Invincible and Sex as Weapon, it's criticized by some as being another commercial sellout. Listening to the rest of the tracks, it's clear that this album offers much more musically and lyrically than the 'poppy' radio friendly singles that were produced.
Other than the two commercially oriented singles, there is some great songwriting found in the collaboration between Myron Grombacher (Pat's long time drummer) and her guitarist-hubby, Neil Geraldo.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Pat Continues Down the "Arty" Path, but Gives it a Rock Twist Sept. 28 2005
By Neptunian Spirit - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This 1985 record heradled Pat's continued commercial decline (marked by the "only platinum" sales of "Tropico"), but found Pat & Co. continuing to forge ahead as artists. After the slightly successful, but confusing (for some fans at least) "Tropico", Pat found herself in a corner of sorts. The label wanted another record immediately & she found herself wondering which direction to continue. It was clear that Pat was proud of her rock roots, but had enjoyed the art detour that the "Tropico" project offered.

So, "Seven the Hard Way" was hastily assembled. Infused with the arty experimentalism of "Tropico", but the rock fervor of her previous four albums, "Seven" had a very spontaneous, yet slightly throwaway quality. This isn't a bad thing. Some of Pat & Co.'s freshest material came from this album, look no further than the first three tracks.

"Sex As A Weapon", "Le Bel Age", & "Walking In the Underground" all possesed what some would call her trademark rock grit, but was still showcasing the tight focus of her arty material. These to me are some of Pat's best songs in my opinion.
The almost operatic quality of "Le Bel Age" to the underlying jazz smoulder of "Walking In the Underground" found Pat trying to find a middle ground, & doing it successfully.

The core of the record however finds the record's shortcoming's exposed. The three middle tracks tend to blend together, sounding like ideas or moreso polished jam sessions committed to tape, which gives the mid-section a bit of a sagging quality. Good ideas mind you, but ones that never really reach fruition. Pat recovers with the surprising uplifting soul infused "Run Between the Raindrops" which ranks as one of her most endearing ballads. Which moves me to my next point: Pat's voice.

Pat always sounds so enthused & really into the material she is given. I really like how she understands how to manipulate her voice to make it emulate emotion without sounding too dramatic. She captures anger, love, passion altogether in an almost seamless whole.

Overall, "Seven the Hard Way" finds Pat & Co. able to put together a rather strong album under hectic circumstances, which resulted in some of their freshest material. Even with the weak mid-section, the other songs still manage to up this typical 'four star' album to 'five star' status. The follow-up 1988's "Wide Awake In Dreamland" had more of a planned 'arena rock' vibe to it. I highly recommend this to 1980's music freaks, rock fans, & pop fans because there is something here for everyone.

This is one of my all-time favorite Pat records, along with "Tropico", "In the Heat of the Night", & "True Love". Definitely prime choice Pat Benatar. Remember! Don't buy the combo pack of "Tropico/Seven the Hard Way" the songs are edited from their fuller album versions!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Explosively back on form July 31 2011
By B. S. Marlay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
No doubt a dig at her disenchantment with Chrysalis Records who had been demanding she record an album every nine months, Pat Benatar's `Seven the Hard Way' also refers to the fact that this was her seventh album in six years (her fifth being the live album that included studio recordings of `Love is a Battlefield' and `Lipstick Lies'). And if, as the title indicates, frustration fuelled the recording, that is great thing because it is ten times the record its predecessor, the limp and under-written `Tropico', was.

The only thing that prevents `Seven the Hard Way' being the best recording of her career at that point is the two pop songs that start it off. Returning again to Billy Steinberg, who had written songs for all her studio records except her debut, `Sex As A Weapon' is infectious pop in total step with its times. And the second track, `Le Bel Age', also from corporate songwriters, is relatively fluffy as well. Both are the sort of songs that disappear after you have heard them like fairy floss. The rest of the album, though, including Holly Knight's `Invincible', is excellent edgy emotional rock.

The remaining songs are all written by two band members - guitarist/husband Neil Geraldo, who also produced it, and drummer Myron Grombacher. With its hysterically amped 80s rock production, Benatar sings as though she is making her way through a combat zone of explosive drum and synth effects, searing razor guitars, scorching brass and lyrics straight off an emotional battlefield. This is where Benatar's vocals are the best, not in the wafting MOR no-man's land of `Tropico'. She sings with passion and more than a little aggression. There is even a fantastic, bombastic cover of the Holland/Dozier/ Holland track, `Seven Rooms of Gloom', made famous by the Four Tops.

`Walking in the Underground' and `Run Between the Raindrops' are the gorgeous softer end of this set, with jazz and 60s girl group undertones respectively. `Big Life' is a bitchy hard driving rocker, the kind at which Geraldo excelled. `Red Vision' is a grungy, new wave-ish durge straight out of the apocalypse. And the closing `Art of Letting Go', while more restrained, nevertheless ends the record in style.

This was the sort of emotional rock that Benatar could sing with stunning conviction. Extremely underrated, and notable for her absence at the song-writing end, it is definitely one of her best. It's a shame there is only nine songs, though.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Pat Benatar: SEVEN THE HARD WAY (1985) Sept. 17 2007
By Chad DeFeo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In 1985 (the year I was born), Pat Benatar released her seventh album entitled, SEVEN THE HARD WAY. I felt the title of this album fit perfectly, since, after all, it was her seventh album. This album is purely amazing. Every song on this album will not disappoint you.

SEX AS A WEAPON
Second single from the album. An awesome song.

LE BEL AGE
Third single from the album. This song is actually my all-time favorite songs from Pat Benatar. I have many favorite songs from Pat, but this one is my personal favorite out of them all.

WALKING IN THE UNDERGROUND
Great song.

BIG LIFE
Great.

RED VISION
Great.

7 ROOMS OF GLOOM
Amazing.

RUN BETWEEN THE RAINDROPS
Great.

INVINCIBLE
First single from the album. Theme from THE LEGEND OF BILLIE JEAN. Great song.

THE ART OF LETTING GO
Amazing.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Masterful songwriting and production. Feb. 28 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is the best Pat Benatar CD. She and Neil Geraldo her husband-guitarist-songwriter-producer are on top of their game.
The guitar work on this one is clearly amazing. If you like U2 Joshua Tree you will love the same type of sophisticated guitar delay repeat, tasteful beautiful melodic keyboards harmonizations/textures and most of all just great songs one after another. In the vocal dept Pat Benatar delivers passionate strong emotional performances song after song. This cd is what "Raised on Radio" is to Journey, underrated but clearly the best cd of the band.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Turning On The Rock April 10 2007
By Bradley Jacobson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Pat's mild mood of 1984 and her Tropico album was long gone by the time she released Seven The Hard Way in November of 1985. In between the two albums she had what would unfortunetly be her last top ten hit with "Invincible" from the film The Legend Of Billie Jean. When the new mother Pat wanted to take a bit of time off, Chrysalis called upon her old contract which stipulated she had to make a new album every 9 months or she would forfeit her profits until the new album was completed. Meaning the time she spent to herself, her residual checks from all her previous hits wouldn't go to her. Nice huh? So Pat, angry and forced to make another album headed to the studio with Neil. According to them, everyone involved hates this album but to me I think it's actually quite refreshing after Tropico. There's a new spirit to it all, if Pat was pissed off it only improved her vocals, beginning with the single "Sex As A Weapon" Pat found a song to give her interpretation of modern consumerism and it's reliance on the naked bodies and sex to sell products including her own record company, the critics and perhaps the public didn't buy it and just liked the titalation of it all. It was voted one of the worst singles of all time by some schlub whose only criteria for that was Pat's insistance that it meant more than what it seemed. I think it's one of her more overlooked singles, though I know the video was on MTV all the time and still appears on VH1 a lot. For a more obscure and overlooked single we go to the second track, the absolutely brilliant "Le Bel Age", a rock styled ballad with full on drums, major overdubs of Pat's voice and some great lyrics written by Robert Tepper - "There comes a time when we should see things clear/ free from the innocence/ there is no circumstance too severe...Le Bel Age/ only our love will remain/ Le Bel Age/ close to the truth once again" and from that point Pat just keeps singing and singing blowing it out for a full five minutes. From there are three great classic rock songs, full of seether and burning energy "Walking In The Underground" and "Red Vision" are probably two of the darker songs Pat has ever done, in between them is a 3 minute rock gem "Big Life" which was sent to radio for promotion but never did much. The songs are all on the gritty side of the Benatar mobile and the lyrics are dark but to me they make up some of the best stuff she had done up to this point. "Walking" begins with a muffled trumpet blowing before Pat chimes in "Cold sweat/ sweat it out in the land of the midnight sun" while "Red Vision" tells a dirty tale of anger taking over by beginning with a winding guitar and crazed drum roll loop before breaking into a choppy beat and Pat's pissiness, the song has some of my favorite lyrics Pat ever sang, "Mind like a steal trap/ heart like a prison/ with tears of rage you've wept in our red vision". Next up our girl covers the 4 Tops "Seven Rooms Of Gloom" which to me is a fairly obscure Motown song to cover but then I discovered Blondie also covered it and it just brings this whole strange feeling to me, like why are these two bands so connected in my world? Anyhoos, Pat's is the stellar version of my two girls as her voice is full of fire and the mummified horns and grinding guitar and drums makes this thing more horror than desparate love song. If you check on You Tube you can find a live performance of the song that Pat did on MTV Awards in 1985 in a crazy gold wig, but be prepared she rocks the house, and sings live! "Run Between The Raindrops" is a beautiful little song Neil wrote for his new little girl Haley - 'you've got to run between the raindrops if you want to see the sun/ run, run, run between the raindrops/ you're treading water on a river of tears/ and I don't know what to do/ I can take a beating/ but I ain't gonna let it happen to you..." Though Pat didn't want to do it, Chrysalis put "Invincible" on the album, which I'm sure helped sell it but Pat, at the time felt it didn't fit in with the rest of the album. Perhaps not, sure the lyrics are full of fire and passion like most of the album but the Mike Chapman production does have a little more melody and less darkness than the rest of Seven The Hard Way but it hardly stands out like a sore thumb or anything and actually moves you into the final cut "The Art Of Letting Go" which is a kind of combination of the dark sounds here and the light pop on Tropico, so it has that sort of "Invincible" type of mass appeal.


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