Cover Battle – “Love is a Battlefield” September 12, 2014
Classically trained as an opera singer, Pat Benatar broke out into superstardom during the 1980’s and became a bona fide badass rock goddess. At the age of 61 she and her collaborator, guitarist, husband Neil Geraldo are still touring and going strong.
Her song, “Love is a Battlefield” plays as a kind of empowerment anthem. This theme is actualized in the official video where Benatar (as a runaway) becomes … a dancehall girl (??) and eventually leads her fellow coworkers in a dance/rebellion/walkout against their sleazy controlling boss. I mean, this guy even has a gold tooth. And I think it’s chipped!
This song doesn’t seem to be a popular one for covers. Sure, there are random regular people doing various versions all over Youtube but I couldn’t find any name artists that have done one. However, I was inspired to choose this song from a commercial for an upcoming Lifetime movie, Deliverance Creek. I was only half listening to it, then I caught the words and realized what song they were doing. I listened more intently and decided to track it down. And here we are.
Holly Knight’s Story of O, featuring Sara Skinner is the group that performed the Deliverance Creek cover. It’s very dark and creepy. It brings an element to the song that is totally fresh, yet haunted. And twisted. And decayed. I love this reinterpretation. And I may actually watch Deliverance Creek, too. Incidentally, Holly Knight is one of the original writers (along with Mike Chapman) of “Love is a Battlefield”.
There’s a version done by Canadian artist Jann Arden that I’m not such a fan of. I really liked Jann’s 1994 album, Living Under June, so I was looking forward to hearing what she did with this. She takes it much slower than the original, but not as a slow as Story of O. I think, maybe this midway tempo just beiges it out and makes it the aural equivalent of decorator neutral. It’s blah, meh and uninspiring.
The last one I have for you today is not actually considered a cover. It’s billed as a “literal version” where the words comment on and make fun of the imagery of the actual video. The few I’ve seen have been very funny and enjoyable. This one is as well.