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.