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Seven the Hard Way

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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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 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #284,840 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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 (beta) HASH(0x9a407d74) out of 5 stars 15 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a41d7d4) out of 5 stars Pat Continues Down the "Arty" Path, but Gives it a Rock Twist Sept. 28 2005
By Neptunian Spirit - Published on
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!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a41d828) out of 5 stars I love Pat Benetar's music Nov. 15 2014
By Christine M. Wrobel - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love Pat Benetar's music, so I wanted all her albums. This was the hardest to get, but Amazon hat it. I am getting to like all the songs on it. IT is a quieter rock album, but still has songs that will get you going. I love all her stuff.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a41db04) out of 5 stars Explosively back on form July 31 2011
By B. S. Marlay - Published on
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
HASH(0x9a42203c) out of 5 stars Amazing rock, and an even better bite at Chrysilas Feb. 26 2012
By dl - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is an incredible album, one of the best she released, but you need to pay close attention to it. The name...the HARD way, indicating the way her company was pushing her to create another album. Which they shouldnt have done, 1...she already released 6 since '79 every year, 2...had solid sales, 3...was touring to points of exhaustion, bringing in even more money, and 4...SHE HAD A KID!!! If your artist has a baby, let them be a parent for even a little bit. Jeez people. She was clearly pissed, and showed it in several ways, 1, the title, 2, the title art, 3, most of the lyrics...maybe purposefully not well written to make them stop pressuring her to put out failing singles, 4...first album she didnt have a single co-write, and 9, not ten songs. Which she only churned out when pressured. But, one of her best, just over-looked after the branched-out style of tropico.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a422054) out of 5 stars Pat Benatar Cannot Afford To Be Innocent Jan. 10 2015
By Andre S. Grindle - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Following the birth of their first child together,Pat Benatar and Neil Geraldo started right in on their next album. The album itself is populated by funky dance rockers such as "Sex As A Weapon","Invincable",theme to the cult film 'The Legend Of Billie Jean" and a version of Kenny Loggins' "The Art Of Letting Go". "Walking In The Underground" is a rather mysterious,stripped down mid tempo ballad featuring a muted jazz trumpet improvising lightly on the stark melody. "Big Life","Red Vision" and "Run Between The Raindrops" are all rather bold numbers mixing industrial electronica techniques with arena rock guitars. The Four Tops '7 Rooms Of Gloom" is done up in a rather fast paced post punk style-a totally different approach. But not so sure it works for a Holland/Dozier/Holland composition.

A lot of people consider the mid 80's to be the decline of Pat Benatar. A lot of it might be based on the fact that her music became progressively less lead guitar oriented and that the instrument took on a far more rhythmic roll. Yet this album,which took the hugeness of the 80's pop sound and utilized it to bring proto industrial pop influences into Benatar's music gave her an entirely new way to rock out. Of course she also had an infant child. And elected as many mothers in music tend to do and take a few years off from touring and recording to raise the child with husband Neil Geraldo. But if someone such as Pat Benatar had to end a consistent,yearly stream of albums over a seven year period? Especially when each one marked a consistent progressive musical expansion? An album just like this was just what the doctor ordered.