Scandal started out as guitarist Zack Smith's project but ended up essentially a backing band for sexy and talented lead vocalist, Patti Smyth, to the point where the billing was changed at one point to Patti Smyth & Scandal. They saw their greatest success between 1981 and 1984, when they had MTV and radio hits, but internal pressures within the band, and its label's push to make her the sole star of the group, eventually caused things to fall apart. By the fall of 1984, only Smyth and guitarist Keith Mack remained from the original line-up.
Raised in New York's Greenwich Village, Smyth was around music all the time, being able to check out the burgeoning folk-rock scene that had laid residence to the MacDougal Street region of the city. She started singing in her teens and by the time her 20s came around, she was already working with songwriter/producer/guitarist Zack Smith, a studio production whiz who had made meticulous demos of many of the songs that eventually made up the first LP.
Originally they worked as a duo, but once they got the demo heard by Columbia Records A&R execs, it was clear a full band needed to be assembled. The initial line-up in 1981 included future David Letterman band leader, Paul Schaffer, and an unknown singer/guitarist named Jon Bongiovi, later to be known globally as Jon Bon Jovi.
With Smyth's harsh-edge vocals and punk-chic looks, the band soon found a friend in MTV. The label released "Goodbye To You" which found a home on AOR radio in America and the popular music television channel. The success of "Goodbye to You" gave Scandal a commercial platform to tour and do a number of popular TV shows, providing them a solid base with rock journalists.