Sunday, November 17, 2013

Scandal - Love's Got A Line On You

Formed in 1981 by guitarist Zach Smith, Scandal had a charismatic female lead singer, a knack for writing radio-friendly pop/rock songs and a focus on videos.  This could have translated to huge success, but personnel problems plagued the band, limiting their success.

Scandal was best-know for their lead singer, Patty Smyth.  Attractive and stylish, Smyth was the perfect front woman for the band.  According to legend, Columbia signed the group based on the homemade video shot for ... "Love's Got A Line On You" (more on that later).  The debut EP would go on to become the biggest selling EP in Columbia Records' history.

The band's second LP, The Warrior, also did well, but Smyth left Scandal soon afterwards and the group broke up.

For the blog, we went with the aforementioned  "Love's Got A Line On You," from the debut EP.  The song reached #59 on the charts, making it (at the time) Scandal's highest charting single.  The video really shows off the band's MTV-friendly image.

And of course, thanks to the wonders of the internet, we have the original video (supposedly shot for $20) that helped the band get signed:

Cool trivia facts:  Scandal is a virtual treasure chest of cool facts.  Lets start with the original video above (the inexpensive one).  Does the rhythm guitarist look familiar?  If you guessed that it was Jon Bon Jovi, well, it is.  Two years before his MTV breakout "Runaway," he was kicking around the New York recording scene and worked with the band.  Supposedly, the drummer is none other than Clem Burke (best known for his work with Blondie, although he also played with The Romantics during much of the 1990's).

Scandal is also a one hit wonder (this really surprised me).  While "The Warrior" was a #7 hit, they did not have another top 40 single.  "Goodbye To You" hit #65, "Love's Got A Line On You" reached #59 and both "Hands Tied" and "Beat of a Heart" peaked at ... #41.

Some readers may recall that Patty Smyth (who was pregnant at the time) was asked to join Van Halen; she turned it down and the gig went to Sammy Hagar.  By the way, Patty Smyth's "Never Enough" video (which was a cover) was posted on ERV in April 2014.

Lastly (and sadly), the original members of the band have not fared well in recent years.  The band's original bassist, drummer and keyboardist have all passed away.

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