Pat Benatar's Big Hit (Written By A Canadian) Turns 40
One of Pat Benatar’s signature hits – a song written by a Canadian – is celebrating its 40th birthday.
The second single from Benatar’s sophomore album Crimes of Passion (which dropped on Aug. 5, 1980), “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” was released as a single on Sept. 15.
It was penned by Eddie Schwartz, a Toronto musician, songwriter and producer. He recorded four albums of his own between 1980 and 1995 but found success writing songs for other artists.
Schwartz, who is now 70, said “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” was inspired by a pillow-punching therapy session he attended in Toronto.
The song was Benatar’s first Top 10 hit in the U.S. and her second in Canada. It went on to be used in video games, commercials and movies like Pitch Perfect and Rock of Ages.
Schwartz, of course, is not the only Canadian to write a hit for artists from other countries. Here’s a look at two other songs with roots in Canada:
“Something to Talk About” - Bonnie Raitt
Bonnie Raitt’s biggest hit, which appeared on her 1991 album Luck of the Draw, was written by Shirley Eikhard, a New Brunswick native who grew up in Oshawa, Ont. and won the Juno for Best Country Female Artist in 1973 and 1974.
Eikhard, now 64, originally wanted fellow Canadian Anne Murray to record the song (Murray had recorded Eikhard’s “It Takes Time”) but her producers passed on it. Still, Murray’s 1986 album borrowed the title.
“Something to Talk About” was a Top 5 hit in the U.S. and Canada for Raitt and earned her a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. (The song lost Record of the Year to “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole.)
“Rhythm of My Heart” - Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart enjoyed considerable success with his recording of “Rhythm of My Heart,” which appeared on his 1991 album Vagabond Heart.
The song was written by Toronto’s Marc Jordan (who was born in the U.S.) and John Capek (who was born in the Czech Republic) and first recorded by Dutch artist René Shuman in 1986.
Stewart’s version went to No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. and topped the charts in Canada and Ireland.
Jordan, now 72, is married to singer Amy Sky.
Listen to music from Pat Benatar, Bonnie Raitt & Rod Stewart