Hit Me with Your Best Shot

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"Hit Me with Your Best Shot"
U.S. vinyl single picture sleeve
Single by Pat Benatar
from the album Crimes of Passion
B-side"Prisoner of Love"
ReleasedSeptember 15, 1980
Songwriter(s)Eddie Schwartz
Producer(s)Keith Olsen
Pat Benatar singles chronology
"You Better Run"
"Hit Me with Your Best Shot"
"Treat Me Right"

"Hit Me with Your Best Shot" is a song recorded by American rock singer Pat Benatar and written by Eddie Schwartz. In 1980, it was released as the second single from her second album Crimes of Passion, which became her biggest-selling album. It hit No. 7 in Cash Box, and reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her first Top 10 hit in the US. It was particularly popular on album-rock radio stations, peaking at number 1 on the US Tunecaster Rock Tracks chart.[2] It was also a Top 10 hit in Canada, although the only other country in which it charted was Australia where it reached the Top 40.

"Hit Me with Your Best Shot" sold well over a million copies in the U.S., achieving a gold certification by the RIAA. The song is one of Benatar's most recognizable tracks. Heard at many baseball and soccer games, the song has been featured on many compilation albums, including both multi-artist works as well as those just focusing on Benatar (such as 10 Great Songs and Greatest Hits).

In a 2022 interview, Benatar told USA Today that she would no longer perform the song in protest of mass shootings in the United States. "(The title) is tongue-in-cheek, but you have to draw the line. I can't say those words out loud with a smile on my face, I just can't," she explained. "I'm not going to go on stage and soapbox - I go to my legislators - but that's my small contribution to protesting. I'm not going to sing it."[3]


Schwartz said that he came up with the title of the song after attending a "pillow punching" therapy session in Toronto, but stated that the title is to be taken metaphorically.[4] The song is in E major and features a general chord progression of I-IV-vi-V, with occasional added chords built on passing and neighboring tones, although Benatar has commented that in hindsight she would have preferred to replace the C♯ minor (vi) chord with F♯ minor (ii).[5]



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[8] Silver 200,000
United States (RIAA)[9] Gold 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

In popular culture[edit]

The song is performed by Pat Benatar in the 1982 movie Spring Fever.


Artists who have performed the song live include singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson, whose version of "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" received praise by Time.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Deggabs, Eric (1998). "Pat Benatar". In Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds.). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Detroit: Visible Ink Press. pp. 94–95.
  2. ^ "Pat Benatar artist popular songs at Tunecaster".
  3. ^ Ruggieri, Melissa. "Pat Benatar refuses to sing 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' after gun violence: 'You have to draw the line'". USA Today.
  4. ^ Wilhite, Jud (2007). That Crazy Little Thing Called Love: The Soundtrack of Marriage, Sex, and Faith. Standard Publishing. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-7847-1944-2.
  5. ^ "Interview with Geoff Reynolds, "Pat Benatar Fires Away on Marriage, Middle Age, and the Future of Rock and Roll," Rocker Quarterly, Vol. IX, No. 4 (Winter 1995-96), p. 47.
  6. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 50 Singles 1988". Aria.com.au. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  7. ^ a b "Top 100 Hits of 1981/Top 100 Songs of 1981". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  8. ^ "British single certifications – Pat Benatar – Hit Me with Your Best Shot". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  9. ^ "American single certifications – Pat Benatar – Hit Me with Your Best Shot". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  10. ^ Grossman, Samantha. "Kelly Clarkson Best Covers: Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Nick Jonas". TIME.com.

External links[edit]