Proposed: The Warrior by Scandal is the definitive 80’s pop song.

Proposed: The Warrior by Scandal is the definitive 80’s pop song.

Check the video

Arguments for.

  1. It was written and produced in 1984, to coincide with the launch of the eighties. As most people know, the eighties did not officially begin until 1984, when the world gave us AIDS, the cosby show, Macintosh and Michael Jackson’s hair on fire. Good times, good times. From 1980 up until the end of 1983, was basically just preparation time. The general population was still shaking off the vibes of the 70’s which were as yet echoing through time like a bad Doobie Brothers’ reverb. It wasn’t until the movie Flashdance (1983) when sensibilities were allowed to change for the better, and by 1984, the world was ready for the 80’s to finally begin.

  2. Sung by Patty Smyth. She was married to Eddie Van Halen, and then to John McEnroe you know. So, basically, like, she’s been witness to every form of eighties excess and self-absorbtion imaginable. Snorting blow off the paw of a sedated polar bear in Simon LeBon’s secret malibu basement? Yup. Throwing a tantrun at the stewardess and refusing to board the plane until the interior is re-designed in colors that match your new album cover. Yup, yup and double yup.

  3. Infectious. You can’t help but sing along. And if you’ve had 4 drinks or more, you will be unable to control yourself from ‘shooting’ the person in front of you with your finger-guns in time to the “bang! Bang!” of the lyrics. Even Patty can’t stop herself (see video). It’s pitiful, but you were raised in the eighties so you are inured to shame.

  4. The same-titled album went platinum in 1984, and then the band broke up at the height of their success after the “warrior” tour. So this was their last big hit before seperating due to ‘artistic differences’ (I love it when they do that!).

  5. The video. Set in a post-apocalyptic future where people wear leotards and garbage and the streets are ruled by gangs of angry dance-fighters. Yeah, it’s a tried and trusted fomula. Our impish and impossibly cute heroine starts the video looking a bit confused, like she’s just woken up and can’t remember what she got up to last night. Obviously nothing good, right? Hairs all bunched up in a weird knot, and someone’s gone and drawn on her face – what does it say – I hope it’s not “I crave cock” again. No, it’s just some lines and stuff. Thank God. Now I guess it’s time to find a guy, I think I’ll have a look over there. Oh shit, the dance fighters are out again. There’s one that’s been sleeping in spaghetti! Was that two guys kissing?! Yeah it was. Oh, there’s a straight guy (I can tell because he’s not kissing another guy). Wait, those dance fighters are gonna get him. And he’s already got a bimbo. Wait a minute, he doesn’t like that bimbo. All right! I’m gonna jump him – victory! Time for a little dance. The eighties shuffle - step to the side, tap foot, step to the other side, tap foot. Swing arms listlessly. And fade.

  6. Primal screams. Yep, this track has them. “ooooooooooohhhHHOOOOHHooooo”

  7. The music. I’m no musicologist, or even an musicograher, but there really doesn’t seem to be anything out of the orinary here. Intro, verse, verse, chorus, verse verse chorus, end. It’s as good a candidate as anything for a genre-defining archetype.

  8. Lyrics. They don’t get much better than this. Unfortunately, due to the forum rules on reproducing copyrighted materials, I can’t post the entire lyrics. Which is a shame because every word is worthy of analysis and comment. Even on just a casual glance you can see that the lyrics are full of references to other eighties songs, TV shows, bands, movies or phenomena of the times. I’ll just hit some of the highlights.

(a) You run, run…run away*

Basically, people in the eighties were always running (not to be confused with jogging, soft “j” which was also a favorite pasttime, but not amongst the power pop set). Whether you were running to the hills, running for your lives or just running a little bit hot tonight, you, as a child of the eighties, will almost certainly recognise this standard theme of eighties culture. The Flock of Seagulls confessed to it. Bruce (and his squeeze Wendy) were born to do it. And DMC would have only been half a rap group without it. In any case, it was important to emphasize this ‘running’ theme by repeating the words as many times as possible. In this case, three times in the opening five-word phrase. Pure genius.

(b) Feeding on…your hungry eyes

Again, another common theme in the eighties was hunger. David Bowie was all about the hunger. So was Bob Geldof. Whether it was because girls were opting for the salads only and the guys were coming off week-long speed binges, or because they were all just too busy feeding the world to take care of themselves, the skinny eighties rockstar was pretty much famished 24/7. Even to the point where their very eyes became hungry. I don’t understand the physiology exactly, but Eric Carmen (of Dirty Dancing, and later South Park, fame) did .

(c ) Who’s the hunter…who’s the game?

Pass that blunt and just ponder the deepness.

I could go on, but I’ll take a rest and see what others think.

Arguments against? Further supporting evidence?

Points deducted for not being a Prince protege group nor hailing from Athens, GA.

Other than that, good job old bean.

I think you have made a grave error.

The song that most captures the 80s:


  1. Anthony Michael Hall

  2. Emilio Estivez

  3. Judd Nelson

  4. Ally Sheedy

  5. Molly Ringwald.

You’ll never sell me that the 80s had better music than the 70s. “Flashdance” works for my argument…ugh, useless!

[underlining mine]
In the mid 1980s, Smyth became friends with Valerie Bertinelli and her then husband, Eddie Van Halen. When David Lee Roth left the band Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen invited Smyth to replace Roth as the band’s lead singer. Smyth declined the offer.

No mention of them ever being married :confused:

Actually, I can help myself. Their original five-song EP was brilliant, including “Goodbye to You” and “Love’s Got a Line On You.” This, OTOH…meh. I have to give the “in all fairness” disclaimer, i.e. if this song were by some new group, it wouldn’t have had the same expectations preceding it.

Riding on the success of the EP, I think.

If it’s “Run away” you want, I got yer Aerosmith right here:

I never bought into the music video genre, so most of this I’ll let you have. David Lee Roth said something to the effect “Music video? The pictures and music have nothing to do with one another.” DLR is a dick, IMO, but I gotta agree on this. I just never bothered with most of it. Maybe the Scandal video was cutting edge for its day, only to be turned into run-of-the-mill later on.

I had very high hopes for Scandal. They weren’t realized. No doubt Patty was a hottie and I loved her voice.

True fact: Scandal was the very first nationally known musical act I ever saw perform live, this was during their “Goodbye to you” phase.

They opened for Adam Ant.

Patty Smyth was quite cute back then.

I would agree with the OP, this is pretty much the definitive 80s pop song, and I don’t mean that as a compliment (to the song, the OP was great).

No. It was and is a horrible song, and anybody with marginally discerning taste knows it’s a steaming pile of shite.

I know that a bunch of airheaded overgrown cheerleaders think all that incredibly stupid 80’s music is retro cool, but there’s a whole bunch of people like myself out there who had to spend their supposedly best years with Reagan as president and a bunch of right-wing, generation-betraying yupsters in pastels in our faces, and we would just as soon put all today’s ignorant little 80s-loving shitheads up against the wall and pull the trigger repeatedly, because they’ve learned nothing and have nothing positive to contribute to society.

But I digress…

I’ve always felt that Don’t You Want Me by The Human League was the song of the eighties, but I can’t gather myself up to do a point-by-point analysis.

I can’t help giggling when Patti sings “your eyes touch me physically.” Sounds gooey. :smiley:

Well, seeing as how I recognized neither the band nor the title, I’d have to say no. Upon listening, yeah it was vaguely familiar, but that’s it.

I was only really into music the 1st 1/2 of the 80s, but I’d nominate some dance tune, either Dung’s proposal, Relax, Gang of Four, XTC, etc.

Of course, I guess we’d have to define the category. The OP would probably require consideration of (IMO) crap like Survivor, Twisted Sister, etc.

Powerful evidence in support of the OP, if you ask me! :smiley:

I agree - it always makes me :rolleyes:


As for the OP, great video recap!

Bon Jovi had their first hit in 1984 with Runaway. Very entertaining OP and I can only wonder what Van Halen would have been like with Smyth.

I do disagree with the OP on one point, the 80s didn’t start in 1984, they started when Reagan was shot. This has already been determined on these boards.

And I agree, the fact that “The Warrior” is a steaming pile of dung of a song is one of its strongest arguments for it being the definitive 1980s pop song.

Not the best.

Not the most memorable.

Not the most influential.

Just definitive.

The 80s started in 1980, with Motorhead’s Ace of Spades.

Lemmy is God.

You got me there. :smiley:

Never heard of it. To me, the seminal 80s song is Micheal Jackson’s “Thriller”.

Isn’t “Highway to the Danger Zone” in the running?

I have no take on whether the OP is correct in its assumptions, but you have to admit it was a very entertaining and well thought out post. I laughed out loud, so thank you!

Modern English’s Melt with you. This seems to sum up the 80’s song for me.

How else are hungry eyes able to eat unless they touch something physically?

I’d say Take On Me by A-ha