Patty Smyth

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Patty Smyth
Patty Smyth 2011 Shankbone.JPG
Smyth at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival Vanity Fair party
Background information
Born(1957-06-26) June 26, 1957 (age 56)
New York City, United States
GenresRock, classic rock, pop rock, New wave
OccupationsSinger–songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, piano, guitar
Years active1981–present
LabelsColumbia, MCA
Associated actsScandal, Don Henley
 
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Patty Smyth
Patty Smyth 2011 Shankbone.JPG
Smyth at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival Vanity Fair party
Background information
Born(1957-06-26) June 26, 1957 (age 56)
New York City, United States
GenresRock, classic rock, pop rock, New wave
OccupationsSinger–songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, piano, guitar
Years active1981–present
LabelsColumbia, MCA
Associated actsScandal, Don Henley

Patty Smyth (born June 26, 1957) is an American singer and songwriter. She first came into national attention in 1982 as the lead singer of the band Scandal. She went on to record and perform on her own. Her distinctive voice and new-wave image gained broad exposure through video recordings aired on what were then newly emerging cable music video channels such as MTV. Her debut album Never Enough was well received, and generated a pair of Top 40 hits. Smyth had a remarkable stage presence and drew large audiences through the mid-1980s. In the early 1990s she again reached the Top 10 with the hit single "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough", a duet sung with Don Henley. She performed and co-wrote with James Ingram the song "Look What Love Has Done" for the 1994 motion picture, Junior. The work earned her a Grammy Award nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media, as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. Smyth married tennis star John McEnroe in 1997.

Musical career[edit]

With Scandal[edit]

After growing up in the Brooklyn neighborhood Gerritsen Beach, Smyth joined Scandal as vocalist in 1981. The band released a self-titled debut album the next year. Featuring the song "Goodbye to You", it went on to become Columbia Records' biggest selling EP. In 1984, they put out their follow-up, The Warrior. Buoyed by MTV airplay, the album peaked at No. 17 on the charts, and the first song off the release, also titled "The Warrior", was a top-ten smash. However, despite their success, internal strife within the group led to their breakup shortly afterwards.

Solo career[edit]

Following the end of Scandal, Smyth was asked by friend Eddie Van Halen to join the band Van Halen to replace David Lee Roth as lead singer. However, she declined the offer.[1] She guest-appeared on The Hooters 1985 album Nervous Night on the song "Where Do the Children Go" as an accompanying vocalist.

Smyth released her first solo album, Never Enough, in 1987. It contained her version of the Tom Waits song "Downtown Train," which Rod Stewart would make a hit several years later, and the title track "Never Enough," which was co-written with members of the Hooters and based on a song of the same title that Hooters members Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman had written for their earlier band, Baby Grand. She put out another solo effort in 1992, the self-titled Patty Smyth. Off of that effort, she secured a hit record via a duet with Don Henley of The Eagles; "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough" peaked at number 2 in the Billboard Hot 100, and was certified gold for sales of 500,000. The album, also certified gold, featured an additional US Top 40 hit with "No Mistakes" and also spawned the minor hit "I Should Be Laughing". Smyth had previously recorded with Henley as a backing singer on several songs on his albums Building The Perfect Beast and The End of the Innocence.

Smyth subsequently co-wrote the 1994 song "Look What Love Has Done", nominated for a Grammy and an Academy Award after its inclusion in the soundtrack to the feature film Junior. Further soundtrack commissions resulted in her penning the theme tune, "Wish I Were You", to the 1998 feature film Armageddon. (Her husband, John McEnroe, claimed in his autobiography[2] that she was inspired to write the song by his own attempt at a musical career: she was struck by his excitement at playing music, when her feelings about the music industry were far more ambivalent.)

Reunited with Scandal[edit]

In 2004, VH1 recruited Smyth and the surviving members of Scandal for a Bands Reunited episode, resulting in a small reunion tour of concerts on the United States East Coast in 2005. The next year, Columbia/Legacy released a new Scandal compilation CD as part of the We Are The 80's series. The compilation contained three unreleased tracks from the 1982 recording sessions ("Grow So Wise", "If You Love Me", "I'm Here Tonight") as well as "All My Life", previously available on the flip side of "Goodbye To You". In July 2008, Billboard reported the upcoming release of new music by the band[3] (featuring original members Keith Mack and Benjy King). They debuted their first single as a band ("Hard For You To Love Me", also referred to as "Make It Hard") in over 24 years on January 17, 2009 in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Personal life[edit]

Smyth dated punk musician Richard Hell for two years; their daughter, Ruby, was born in 1985. In April 1997, Smyth married former tennis star John McEnroe. They currently live in New York City and have six children between them. Ruby is from her relationship with Hell, and Smyth and McEnroe's daughters in common are Anna and Ava.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

YearSinglePeak chart positionsAlbum
USUS MainUS ACUK[4]CANCAN AC
1987"Never Enough"614Never Enough
"Downtown Train"9540
"Isn't It Enough"26
1992"Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough" (with Don Henley)212212Patty Smyth
"No Mistakes"334
1993"I Should Be Laughing"86
"Shine"
1994"Look What Love Has Done"10623Non-album song
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stuck in the '80s | tampabay.com: Archives
  2. ^ McEnroe, J., & Kaplan, J. (2003). You Cannot Be Serious, Berkley Trade, ISBN 978-0-425-19008-1
  3. ^ "Patty Smyth, Scandal To Reunite, Record". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 510. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]