Don't You (Forget About Me)

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"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 1985
Genre New wave, synthpop
Length 4:23
6:32 (extended version)
Label A&M
Writer(s) Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff
Simple Minds singles chronology
"Up on the Catwalk"
"Don't You (Forget About Me)"
"Alive and Kicking"
Alternate release cover
Music sample

"Don't You (Forget About Me)" is a 1985 song performed by the band Simple Minds. The song is best known for being played during the opening and closing credits of the John Hughes film The Breakfast Club. It was written by producer Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff (guitarist and songwriter from the Nina Hagen band).

Recording history[edit]

Forsey asked Cy Curnin from The Fixx, Bryan Ferry and Billy Idol to record the song, but all three declined; Idol later performed a cover of it on his 2001 compilation album Greatest Hits. Schiff then suggested Forsey ask Simple Minds who, after refusing as well, 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]

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 to 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 and thereafter was only performed rarely live. It appeared on the 1992 best-of Glittering Prize 81/92.

Two versions were created for release. A short version of 4:23 appeared on the single and the original motion picture soundtrack album of The Breakfast Club. A longer version of 6:32 was released on 12" single. This version contains longer breakdowns and drum fills, a second appearance of the bridge and a longer ending.

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]

Molly Ringwald who starred in The Breakfast Club recorded her own version of the song on her 2013 album Except Sometimes.

Chart performance[edit]

Country (1985-1986) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 6
Belgium Singles Chart 2
Canadian Singles Chart 1
Dutch Singles Chart[4] 1
European Hot 100 Singles 2
German Singles Chart 4
Irish Singles Chart 3
Italian Singles Chart 2
New Zealand Singles Chart 3
UK Singles Chart 7
US Billboard Hot 100 1
US Billboard Top Rock Tracks 1

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Daniel Kleinman, takes place on a dancing floor in a dark room with a chandelier, a rocking horse and television sets, displaying scenes from The Breakfast Club.


"Don't You Forget About Me" is heard in film The Breakfast Club in the beginning and ending credits.

Cover versions[edit]

American rock singer David Cook recorded a pop rock-leaning version, which was released as a promotional single on March 7, 2011.[citation needed] His recording served as the exit song played when contestants were eliminated on the tenth season of American Idol.[5] The song was covered by actors Jenna Ushkowitz, Darren Criss, and Chord Overstreet on the FOX television series Glee, in the season five episode "Trio".[citation needed] "Don't You Forget About Me," sung a capella, is a dominant part of the finale/medley that closes the 2012 movie Pitch Perfect. The song itself plays a narrative role in the film, as the leading male character (Jesse, played by Skylar Astin) has introduced the lead female (Beca, played by Anna Kendrick) to the film The Breakfast Club, but he is rebuffed. Beca then orchestrates the song into the film's finale as an apology to Jesse, singing the lead herself.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A History of Simple Minds". The Official Glasgow Barrowland & Barras Market Site. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "The Hot 100: May 18, 1985". Billboard. 18 May 1985. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Leland, John (June 1985). "Singles". Spin 1 (2): 37. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 22, 1985". Retrieved 1 March 2008. 
  5. ^ Halperin, Shirley (3 March 2011). "David Cook Covers 'Don't You (Forget About Me)' for 'Idol' Exit Song". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved 5 February 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Leave Right Now" by Will Young
American Idol Farewell Song
Season 10 (2011)
Succeeded by
"Please Remember Me" by Scotty McCreery