Crimes of Passion is the second studio album by American rock singer Pat Benatar, released on August 5, 1980, by Chrysalis Records. The album is the first to feature Myron Grombacher on drums, beginning a long tenure in Benatar’s band that would last into the late 1990s.
The album debuted on the US Billboard 200 album chart the week ending August 23 and held at No. 2 for five weeks in the US in January 1981, behind John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy.
Crimes of Passion contains the hits “Hit Me with Your Best Shot”, which became her first Top 10 hit in the US, and is considered to be her best-known song, and “Treat Me Right”, a Top 20 hit in the US. Both songs charted similarly in Canada but were even bigger hits on the US Tunecaster Rock Tracks chart peaking at number 1 and 2 on that chart. Neither song was very successful in other countries, aside from “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” reaching the Top 40 in Australia.
The first single released from the album was “You Better Run”, the music video for which was the second music video ever aired on MTV in 1981. It only peaked at number 42 in the US, and New Zealand, and did not chart in Canada, although it rose to number 33 in Australia. The song “Hell Is for Children”, which was not released as an A-side single, was also a hit on album-rock stations ascending to number 7 on the Tunecaster Rock Tracks Chart. Crimes of Passion also contained a cover of Kate Bush’s international hit, “Wuthering Heights”.
Crimes of Passion is Benatar’s biggest selling album, having been certified 4× Platinum (for shipments of over four million copies) in the United States and 5× Platinum (for shipments of 500,000 copies) in Canada. It placed at number 5 on Billboard magazine’s 1981 year-end album chart. It peaked at number 2 in both Canada and France, and rose to number 6 in New Zealand. It was also Benatar’s biggest hit to that point in Australia (number 16) and her first album to chart in Sweden (number 27).
In 1981, Benatar won her first Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance thanks to Crimes of Passion. Crimes of Passion was reissued and remastered on Capitol Records in 2006.
- “Treat Me Right” 3:24
- “You Better Run” 3:02
- “Never Wanna Leave You” 3:13
- “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” 2:51
- “Hell Is for Children” 4:48
- “Little Paradise” 3:32
- “I’m Gonna Follow You” 4:28
- “Wuthering Heights” 4:28
- “Prisoner of Love” 3:05
- “Out-A-Touch” 4:19
- “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” (Single Edit) 2:51
Pat Benatar – lead and backing vocals
Neil Giraldo – lead and rhythm guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
Scott St. Clair Sheets – rhythm guitars
Roger Capps – bass, backing vocals
Myron Grombacher – drums