Don't You (Forget About Me)

Don't You (Forget About Me)
"Don't You (Forget About Me)"
Single by Simple Minds
from the album The Breakfast Club Soundtrack
B-side "A Brass Band In African Chimes"
Released 20 February 1985 (US)
8 April 1985 (UK)
Format 12", 7"
Recorded 1984
Genre New Wave
Length 4:19
Label A&M
Writer(s) Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff
Simple Minds singles chronology
"Up on the Catwalk"
(1984)
"Don't You (Forget About Me)"
(1985)
"Alive and Kicking"
(1985)
Alternate release cover
Music sample
"Don't You (Forget About Me)"

"Don't You (Forget About Me)" is a song known for its being in the soundtrack to the film The Breakfast Club and performed by the band Simple Minds in 1985. The songwriters were producer Keith Forsey (who won an Oscar for "Flashdance... What a Feeling") and Steve Schiff (guitarist and songwriter from the Nina Hagen band).

Contents

Recording history

Forsey asked Cy Curnin from The Fixx, Bryan Ferry and Billy Idol to record the song, but all three declined; Idol would later perform a cover of it on his 2001 greatest hits compilation. Schiff then suggested Forsey ask the Scottish New Wave band Simple Minds, who initially refused as well, but then agreed under the encouragement of their label, A&M. According to one account, the band "rearranged and recorded 'Don’t You (Forget About Me)' in three hours in a north London studio and promptly forgot about it."[1]

The track would become their most famous song and is considered one of the most defining and famous songs of the 1980s. Continuing the rock direction recently taken on Sparkle in the Rain but also glancing back at their melodic synthpop past, it caught the band at their commercial peak and, propelled by the success of The Breakfast Club, became a number-one hit in the U.S.[2] and around the world. It is the band's only number-one hit on the U.S. Top Rock Tracks chart, staying atop for three weeks. While only reaching number seven in the UK, it stayed on the charts from 1985–1987, one of the longest time spans for any single in the history of the chart.

Despite its success, the band continued to dismiss the song, the most obvious slight being its absence from their subsequent album Once Upon a Time. It finally appeared on the 1992 best-of Glittering Prize 81/92.

Two versions were created for release; the edited version of 4:23 appeared on the 45 RPM single and the original motion picture soundtrack album of The Breakfast Club. However, the full and uncut version was released on a 12" single, which topped out at a total time length of 6:32. Most radio formats in the U.S. only programmed the 4:32 version, making it a rarity to hear the full version on radio. The compilation label UTV Records...a Universal Company... included the full version on their 2001 "Pure 80's Hits" Various Artists release. This version contains longer breakdowns and drum fills, a second appearance of the bridge, and a longer outro than the popular edited version.

John Leland from Spin wrote that "'Don't You (Forget About Me),' a romantic and melancholy dance track, therefore cuts ice both in the living room and on the dance floor."[3]

Chart performance

Country (1985) Peak
position
Dutch Top 40 1[4]
UK Singles Chart 7
Canada Music Chart 1
US Billboard Hot 100 1
US Billboard Top Rock Tracks 1
Hit Parade Italia 2
Ireland Singles Chart 3
New Zealand Singles Chart 3
German Singles Chart 4
Australian Singles Chart 6
Belgium Singles Chart 2
European Hot 100 Singles 2

Music video

The music video, directed by Daniel Kleinman, takes place on a dancing floor in a dark room with a chandelier, a rocking horse and Sony televisions, whose screens are displaying scenes from The Breakfast Club. Jim Kerr, the band's lead singer, dances in many scenes.

Cover versions

The song has been covered by numerous artists including:

Sampling

  • Hip hop group Soul Mafia sampled the song's chorus and added in their own lyrics for the verses for JCPenney.
  • Hip hop artist Red Café sampled the song's beat using his own lyrics for the 2010 song.
  • Hip hop artist Nicki Minaj sampled the song's beat for her song Blazin' on her 2010 album Pink Friday.

Live cover performances

  • On his 1985 tour, "Weird Al" Yankovic performed a concert-only parody entitled "Don't You Forget About Meat".[6]
  • Yellowcard played a version of the song as a live twentieth anniversary tribute to The Breakfast Club at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards.
  • Death Cab For Cutie played a cover of the song during a tribute to John Hughes at the 2010 Critics' Choice Movie Awards.

Appearances in other media

Aside from its initial appearance in The Breakfast Club, the song has been featured in various media throughout the years.

Feature films

Television shows

Video games

Commercials and public service announcements

  • A 1990s commercial for milk, paid for by a consortium of Scottish dairies.
  • A commercial for the 2008 SpongeBob SquarePants TV movie WhoBob WhatPants?.
  • The New Found Glory cover version was featured in a 2008 J. C. Penney Back-To-School television commercial.
  • The official website for the search for Madeleine McCann released a video montage of the missing girl set to this song.
  • A commercial for the fall 2011 season of Psych.

See also

References

  1. ^ "A History of Simple Minds". The Official Glasgow Barrowland & Barras Market Site. http://www.glasgow-barrowland.com/stories/simple_minds.html. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Hot 100". Billboard. 18 May 1985. http://www.billboard.com/#/charts/hot-100?chartDate=1985-05-18. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Leland, John (June 1985). "Singles". Spin 1 (2): 37. http://books.google.com/books?id=16jp_aFRHdgC&pg=PA37#v=onepage&f=false. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 22, 1985". http://www.radio538.nl/web/show/id=44685/chartid=5983. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  5. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 163. ISBN 13-978-951-1-21053-5. 
  6. ^ http://alsongs.com/index.cfm?view=alsong&songnumber=124

External links

Preceded by
"Crazy for You" by Madonna
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
May 18, 1985
Succeeded by
"Everything She Wants" by Wham!
Preceded by
"Forever Man" by Eric Clapton
Billboard Top Rock Tracks number-one single
April 20-May 4, 1985
Succeeded by
"Trapped" by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
Preceded by
"Crazy for You" by Madonna
Canadian RPM number-one single
June 1, 1985
Succeeded by
"Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears for Fears
Preceded by
"We Are the World" by USA for Africa
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
June 1, 1985 - June 15
Succeeded by
"Dancing in the Dark" by Bruce Springsteen

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