Holly Knight managed to make an impact on the rock scene in the 1980s as a prolific songwriter, writing a string of songs that managed to blend muscle with melody. Rarely the recipient of critical acclaim, Knight still helped define the sound of rock radio of the time with Top Ten singles like Pat Benatar's "Love Is a Battlefield, Scandal's "The Warrior," and Tina Turner's "Better Be Good to Me." She had started out with the band Spider at the start of the decade, playing keyboards and adding background vocals to 1980's Spider, 1981's Between the Lines, and 1984's Rough Justice. The band, which included future Late Night With David Letterman drummer Anton Fig, had managed to score several small hits, even inching into the Top 40 with "New Romance (It's a Mystery)" reaching number 39 in 1980.
Following the disbanding of Spider, Knight continued to write and was involved in Heart's 1985 self-titled, comeback album, writing several songs, including the Top Ten "Never." Knight soon joined forces with lead vocalist Paul Engemann and guitarist Gene Black to form the rock trio Device. Again, the result was a minor hit with lead single "Hanging on a Heart Attack" and the parent album 22B3. It would be the only thing that they would release and Knight would continue to see other artists have more success with her songs. She issued a solo album in 1989 that made nary a ripple, but stayed a part of the musical landscape, notching songwriting hits with Tina Turner's "The Best," Aerosmith's "Rag Doll," Lou Gramm's "Just Between You and Me," and Pat Benatar's "Invincible." ~ Tom Demalon
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