Heartbreaker – Pat Benatar | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#23); 1980

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Diminutive in stature, Patricia Andrzejewski’s voice was outsized from the beginning. Her family was to poor for amenities such as air conditioning so on hot Long Island summer nights, young Pat’s vocalizing would waft through the open windows.

When the boy across the street yelled for her to shut up, Pat would promptly beat him up. Fortunately, those who caught Pat at a Manhattan Catch A Rising Star club’s open mike night, responded more positively.

By now she was Pat Benatar, from an earlier marriage, who belted out cabaret standards as well as rock and pop. In 1977 she showed up after a Halloween party decked out in a black vampire costume, and caught the crowd’s eye as well as its ear.

With a striking image to go with her amazing voice, Pat was signed up by Chrysalis Records. Christmastime 1979 brought Pat the gift she’d been working toward since childhood: a record on the chart. Heartbreaker broke Pat nationally, the first of many hit records.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Mike Chapman
  • Peter Coleman

Lyrics Written by:

  • Geoff Gill
  • Cliff Wade