"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).
Eddie Schwartz, writer of the song, 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. 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). The song was released as a single in the USA, and possibly other markets, in a mix with an additional lead guitar track. The song was also one of the songs available to put on a free mail-order customized mix CD with every pizza order as a part of a Pizza Hut promotion for their "New Yorker"-style pizza at the time.
The song was sampled by D12 in a song of the same name. It was originally made for Eminem's seventh studio album Recovery, released in 2010, but it did not make the final cut. In early 2011, however, the song was leaked on the Internet.
Appearances in other media and popular culture
In the reality TV series The Glee Project, contestants sang the song as part of a mashup of "Hit Me with Your Best Shot"/"One Way Or Another" in the sixth episode entitled "Fearlessness" in the second season.
The song is featured in a Prestone Antifreeze Coolant commercial in 1999.
The song is covered by the character Erica in the TV series "The Goldbergs".