The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History: Song #403 …Don’t You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds. (RS)

This list of songs is inspired by lists published by radio station KEXP-FM from Seattle in 2010, as well as the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part I will faithfully countdown from their lists, starting at Song #500 and going until I reach Song #1. When you see the song title listed as something like: Song #XXX (KEXP)….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. Song XXX (RS) means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: Song #xxx (KTOM), it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In any case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, just so everyone is aware, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Here is the story behind today’s song. Enjoy.

RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.

Song #403: “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds.

Like many young adults, my university years were a time of personal growth and awakening for me. Being exposed to so many new cultures and opportunities was good for me in many ways. Musically speaking, being in Toronto afforded me the chance to experience new genres of music and to be introduced to bands and singers I had never heard of before. One of those new-to-me bands was Simple Minds. I first became aware of Scotland’s Simple Minds when a roommate of mine handed me an album called Sparkle in the Rain. On that album, I was introduced to classic Simple Minds songs such as “Waterfront”, “Up On The Catwalk”, “Book of Brilliant Things” and “Speed Your Love To Me”. That album led me to check out their previous work which brought songs such as “Love Song”, “Promised You a Miracle” and the very first 12-inch single I ever owned called “Someone, Somewhere in Summertime”. I thought that Simple Minds were terrific! Lead singer, Jim Kerr, had an excellent, deep singing voice and the band, as a whole, had a greater bredth of sound than the usual synth-pop bands of the day. I was not alone in my admiration. “Simple Minds” had several Gold records in Canada and the UK. The one country that seemed oblivious to their charms was the U.S. That all changed with movie by John Hughes called The Breakfast Club.

The song, “Don’t You (Forget About Me) is a funny song. It was written by songwriters Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff with Jim Kerr and Simple Minds in mind. However, the band rejected the song when first approached. Bryan Ferry (of Roxy Music) and Billy Idol were also offered the song, only to reject it as well. The record company suggested a Canadian singer named Corey Hart might want the song but, before offering the song to him (just as “Sunglasses at Night” was reaching #1), the songwriters reapproached Simple Minds. Luckily for all concerned, Jim Kerr had started dating the lead singer of The Pretenders, Chrissie Hynde. She thought that the song had mainstream potential and, if the band wanted a U.S. breakthrough then, this song might be the open door they had been waiting for. Turns out that Hynde was correct.

The Breakfast Club was a film that came to define the 1980s for many. The song, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”, bookending the iconic movie’s opening and closing credits as it does, served as the movie’s anthem. Even though Simple Minds went on to have more hits in Canada and the UK, such as “Alive and Kicking”, “Sanctify Yourself” and “The Belfast Child”, The Breakfast Club Soundtrack was their only #1 hit in America. My beautiful wife likes this song so she will be happy with today’s post. As for me, Simple Minds have always meant more to me than this one song. They are one of my university bands. They are one of the bands that took me in a lifelong direction toward Alternative music. As much as Simple Minds are best known for a movie soundtrack song, to me they are part of the soundtrack of my entry into adulthood. Consequently, I will never forget them.

In the video below, I will play a video that shows clips from the movie. If Leah (my eldest daughter) is reading this, I think she should watch this because in the video she will see so many iconic scenes that were copied on the show, Victorious when they did their Breakfast Club-themed episode. As well, in the comments section, I will post a video of the band playing live from their performance in 1985 at Live Aid. Enjoy.

The link to the music video to “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds, from the original motion picture soundtrack to The Breakfast Club can be found here. ***The lyrics version can be found here.

The link to the live music video of “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds can be found here.

Simple Minds have a wonderful website that is well worth checking out. A link to that website can be found here.

Thanks, as always, to Rolling Stone Magazine for helping to inspire the writing of this post. A link to their website can be found here.

***All original content contained within this post remains the sole property of the author. No portion of this post shall be reblogged, copied or shared without the express written consent of the author. ©2021

Author: Tom MacInnes

Among the many characters I play: husband, father, son, retired elementary school teacher, writer, Cape Bretoner, lover of hot tea and, above all else, a gentleman. I strive to make a positive difference in the lives of others. In Life, I have chosen to be kind.

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