Love Is a Battlefield

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"Love Is a Battlefield"
Pat Benatar Love is a Battlefield.jpg
US 7-inch variant of standard artwork
Single by Pat Benatar
from the album Live from Earth
B-side"Hell Is for Children" (live version)[1]
ReleasedSeptember 12, 1983
StudioMCA Whitney (Glendale, California)
Length5:23 (album version)
4:11 (single edit)
Pat Benatar singles chronology
"Looking for a Stranger"
"Love Is a Battlefield"
"We Belong"
Audio sample
Music video
"Love Is a Battlefield" on YouTube

"Love Is a Battlefield" is a song by American singer Pat Benatar, recorded and released on September 12, 1983, as a single from Benatar's live album Live from Earth (1983), though the song itself was a studio recording. It was written by Holly Knight and Mike Chapman. The song was ranked at number 30 in VH1's list of the 100 Greatest Songs of the 1980s.[2] "Love Is a Battlefield" went on to sell over a million records.[3]

Background and composition[edit]

Knight and Chapman wrote this song for Benatar initially as a mid tempo song. After some exploration with drum machines and the band, producer Neil Giraldo decided to make it an uptempo song.[4][5] The single was Benatar's second US million-seller and is tied with "We Belong" as her highest-charting single in the United States. It topped Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for four weeks and peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1983.[6]

It reached number one on the Australian singles chart in February 1984 and remained there for five weeks, becoming the 11th biggest-selling single of the year.[7] In the Netherlands, the song topped the charts for four weeks; it reached number two on the 1984 year-end chart. The song was re-released in the United Kingdom in March 1985 and reached number 17.[8] It was awarded a gold certification in Canada as well.[9]

The single was unlike most of Benatar's previous work, as it featured an electronic dance element, but guitars and drums were still present. In 1984, the song won Benatar her fourth consecutive Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.[10]

"Love Is a Battlefield" is set in the key of D minor,[11] at a tempo of 91 beats per minute.

Music video[edit]

The Bob Giraldi-directed music video[12] features Benatar playing a rebellious teenage girl running away from her home with her father (played by actor Trey Wilson) warning her, "If you leave this house now, you can just forget about coming back!" after he disowned her. Her mother looks on helplessly and her brother (played by actor Philip Cruise) watches sadly from an upper-story window. She later becomes a taxi dancer at a seedy club to get by in the city, New York. She writes to her brother, telling him about her exciting new life, while her father seems to feel guilty about being angry at her. Later in the video, she witnesses the club owner (played by actor Gary Chryst) harassing another dancer. Benatar rounds up the women and leads a rebellion against him. As the club owner is cornered by the women against his will, he tries to seduce Benatar only to have her throw a drink in his face. Angered by this, he tries once again to assault her but Benatar and the women overpower and defeat him, then storm out of the club dancing into the sunrise before bidding goodbye to one another, thanking Benatar for their escape. The women escape and strike out on their own and Benatar walks into the sunrise. The final scene shows Benatar sitting in the back of a bus headed for an unknown destination. The video was choreographed by Michael Peters,[13] who appears briefly in the video.

A special dance club remix of the song was created by Jellybean Benitez. Benitez also created an edited version of his mix specifically for the video. It differs slightly in structure and instrumentation, and aside from appearing in the video, has never been commercially released.

The video was one of the first ever to feature the use of dialogue - Philip Bailey's "I Know" was the first but Benatar's got more exposure.[14] The scenes featuring dialogue include the opening scene of Benatar stomping out of the house while being berated by her father and the scene featuring the pimp harassing the female dancer in which she shouts "Leave me alone!"

The video was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video[15] and is included on the DVD for the film 13 Going on 30.



Certifications for "Love Is a Battlefield"
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[9] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[39] Silver 200,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[40] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

In popular culture[edit]

The song was featured in the television series Psych.[41] In the television series Drop Dead Diva,[42] the song was performed by the actresses Brooke Elliott and Faith Prince. It was also featured in the 2004 film 13 Going on 30,[43] where "love is a battlefield" is the mantra of the main character Jenna Rink, played by Jennifer Garner.[4] The Kay Gee Remix version featuring Kay Gee and Queen Latifah, is played on the end credits of the 1998 film Small Soldiers.[44] The song is also featured in the last episode of season 2 of Stranger Things, prior to the Snow Bal scene. A Russian-language cover version of this song was used in the Family Guy season 19 episode, "Meg Goes to College", in a scene where Meg auditions her talent scholarship.

Cover versions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Benatar – Love Is a Battlefield". discogs. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  2. ^ "VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 80's" – via Scribd.
  3. ^ "Pat Benatar – Love Is a Battlefield". Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Love Is A Battlefield by Pat Benatar". Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  5. ^ "Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo on Rewriting "Love is a Battlefield"". Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (8th ed.). Billboard Publications. p. 57.
  7. ^ a b "National Top 100 Singles for 1984". Kent Music Report. No. 548. December 31, 1984 – via Imgur.
  8. ^ a b "Pat Benatar: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Canadian single certifications – Pat Benatar – Love Is a Battlefield". Music Canada. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  10. ^ "Grammy Awards: Best Rock Vocal Performance – Female". Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  11. ^ Chapman, Mike; Knight, Holly; Benatar, Pat (October 25, 2004). "Love Is a Battlefield". Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  12. ^ "Pat Benatar: Love Is a Battlefield (1983)". IMDb. September 20, 1983. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  13. ^ "Michael Peters (I) (1948–1994)". IMDb. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  14. ^ "Pat Benatar - Love is a battlefield @". - the music video database.
  15. ^ "Love Is A Battlefield (1983)". Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  16. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. pp. 32–33. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  17. ^ "Pat Benatar – Love Is a Battlefield" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  18. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 4423." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  19. ^ "European Top 100 Singles" (PDF). Eurotipsheet. Vol. 1, no. 5. April 30, 1984. p. 9. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  20. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Love Is a Battlefield". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  21. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 11, 1984" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  22. ^ "Pat Benatar – Love Is a Battlefield" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  23. ^ "Pat Benatar – Love Is a Battlefield". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  24. ^ "Pat Benatar – Love Is a Battlefield". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  25. ^ "Pat Benatar Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  26. ^ "Pat Benatar Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  27. ^ "Pat Benatar Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  28. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles – Week ending December 10, 1983". Cash Box. Archived from the original on September 11, 2012. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  29. ^ " – Pat Benatar – Love Is a Battlefield". GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  30. ^ "European Top 100 Singles" (PDF). Eurotipsheet. Vol. 2, no. 16. April 22, 1985. p. 9. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  31. ^ "Pat Benatar: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  32. ^ "The Cash Box Year-End Charts: 1983 – Top 100 Pop Singles". Cash Box. December 31, 1983. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  33. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1984 – Singles" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  34. ^ "Top 100 Singles of 1984". RPM. Vol. 41, no. 17. January 5, 1985. p. 7. ISSN 0033-7064 – via Library and Archives Canada.
  35. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1984" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  36. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1984" (in Dutch). Dutch Charts. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  37. ^ "Hot 100 Songs – Year-End 1984". Billboard. Archived from the original on January 2, 2021. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  38. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts – 1984" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  39. ^ "British single certifications – Pat Benatar – Love Is a Battlefield". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  40. ^ "American single certifications – Pat Benatar – Love Is a Battlefield". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  41. ^ "Songs and music featured in Psych – E2: Murder?...Anyone?...Anyone?...Bueller?". Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  42. ^ "Drop Dead Diva – What If? Season 1, Episode 11". IMDb. September 27, 2009. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  43. ^ "13 Going on 30 (2004) – Soundtracks". IMDb. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  44. ^ "Small Soldiers (1998) – Soundtracks". IMDb. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  45. ^ "Luke Evans - Love Is A Battlefield (Official Video)". Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved December 8, 2019 – via YouTube.