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The Warrior – Scandal

The Warrior by Scandal featured The Warrior, a one-hit wonder from 1984I’ll admit it up front: I never understood “The Warrior.”

I had no idea what Patty Smyth was singing about when this song was released in 1984 and I still don’t get it today.

Sure, I understand she’s singing about how her warrior self is going to make you feel better. Or something like that.

Check these lyrics:
Well, isn’t love..primitive
A wild gift…that you wanna give
Break out of captivity
And follow me, stereo jungle child
Love is the kill…..your heart’s still wild

Stereo jungle child? Warrior? Love is the kill?

Bob Dylan wrote lines like this in the 1960s and people said he was writing poetry. Those same people were also stoned.

Dylan wrote his fair share of gibberish. And the lyrics to “The Warrior” are pure gibberish.

But Americans, we love our gibberish. We love our metaphors for primitive love and the odd stereo jungle child when we can find one.

Listen to The Warrior by Scandal

“The Warrior” by Scandal reached #7 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1984 making Scandal a one-hit wonder. Frankly, I’m a little surprised “The Warrior” was their biggest hit and only song to reach the Top 40. I remember the video for “Goodbye to You” in 1982 back when MTV was actually Music Television and always assumed that was Scandal’s biggest hit. It only reached #62. Silly radio listeners got it all wrong with this band.

I would take “Goodbye to You” long before I ever listen to “The Warrior” again.

Soon after “The Warrior” was released, Scandal broke up and lead singer and the face of the band, Patty Smyth, pursued a solo career. Her first album did okay but broke no sales records. But her second record, Patty Smyth, featured “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough.” That duet with Don Henley of The Eagles rocketed up the charts, ultimately reaching #2 on the Billboard Top 40. Smyth was “this close” (I’m holding my index finger and thumb centimeters apart) from becoming a two-time one-hit wonder. But alas, her follow-up single “No Mistakes” reached #33 and bumped her from that rarified list.

In my opinion, “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough” is more than enough to remember Patty Smyth. But the fact that she’s also married to tennis ace John McEnroe keeps her name in the spotlight. “The Warrior,” unfortunately, doesn’t.

So is “The Warrior” one of the worst one-hit wonders? Not quite. It has a good hook. Patty Smyth sings it like she means it (then again, I’m still not sure what she really means). But it will be years before I enjoy the sounds of “The Warrior” again.

Patty Smyth and Scandal, goodbye to you.

Before you go away, note this other little tidbit: “The Warrior” was co-written by Nick Gilder, the same Nick Gilder who foisted “Hot Child in the City” on the world back in 1978 when it became a #1 Billboard hit and transformed Gilder into a one-hit wonder. But since he co-wrote “The Warrior,” I’m crediting Gilder as a two-time one-hit wonder artist. Impressive work, Mr. Gilder.

Click to hear more two-time one-hit wonders

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I'm an obsessive music collector, cataloger, commenter and trivia nut. Sometimes I'm even a listener. One-hit wonders have always been a guilty pleasure.

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2 Responses to "The Warrior – Scandal"

  1. Krystuffer says:

    lighten up, Waterman!!
    yes the lyrics do make an oblique sort of sense. basically it’s a comparison of dating to hunting. not the most profound or original metaphor in the world, i grant you, but hey, songs have kicked ass with less of a message. remember “I Am The Walrus” or “Blinded By The Light”?
    and if nothing else it’s a sizzlin’ rocker!! i found out recently that Patty Smyth was the first runner-up for the role of replacing David Lee Roth in Van Halen. no offense to Sammy Hagar (perhaps the most underrated rocker of all time), but any doubts you have that Smyth could’ve cut it will be dashed by “The Warrior.”
    so okay if it’s not your cup of tea, but hey, is there any such thing as “everybody’s cup of tea”? not unless you wanna count breathing.

    P.S.: for what it’s worth, i like “Goodbye To You” a lot as well.

  2. Michael Waterman says:

    Love the comments, Krystuffer. That’s the beauty of popular music; some people love what others love! Looking forward to your continuing comments.

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