Wednesday, March 8, 2017

"The Warrior" by Scandal featuring Patty Smyth

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1963
Date:  06/30/1984
Debut:  77
Peak:  7
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After Scandal's self-titled EP became a surprise gold seller, the band set out to record their full-length debut album. Armed with a set of songs, they went into the studio with star producer/songwriter Mike Chapman. By this time, lead vocalist and songwriter Smyth was becoming the standout star of the band and a decision was made to give her top billing along with the band's name. Smyth and bandmate Zack Smith co-wrote the majority of the songs for the LP, but a few tunes were recruited from other writers. This lead single was one of them. Written by Holly Knight and Nick Gilder (of "Hot Child in the City" fame), the song became a major hit at Rock reaching #1. The tune then slowly made its way up the Pop chart until it finally got into the Top 10. It would end up being the band's only single to reach the Top 10.

ReduxReview:  Here is a song that is both loved and made fun of, almost at the same time. Yes, the whole warrior motif along with the "bang-bang" was as corny as Kansas in August, but damn if that chorus ain't da bomb! And Smyth sold the whole thing very well. You have to really commit to make a song like this work and she certainly did. My guess is that this song came about because the record company didn't hear a hit in the batch of songs the band wrote, so one was located. It has corporate hands all over it, but I can't say the decision wasn't valid. It became their biggest hit and a signature tune for Smyth, who would launch a solo career soon. The tune is both quirky and compelling and it made for a very memorable 80s hit.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  This single was helped along by a popular video on MTV that Smyth wasn't necessarily a fan of. With a decent budget from the label, the whole "warrior" theme came into play with several oddly costumed "creatures" fighting in a back alley with a lead guy who nearly resembles some kind of cat. Smyth mimes the song while all painted up and near the end begins to rumble with the lead guy. It was all very strange (and very bad), but a young MTV generation loved it. However, Smyth was dismayed when she first saw the finished product. She though it looked like a second-rate version of Cats.


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