Don't You (Forget About Me)

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"Don't You (Forget About Me)"
Dont You Forget About Me (alternative cover).jpg
Standard non-US artwork
Single by Simple Minds
from the album The Breakfast Club (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
B-side"A Brass Band in African Chimes"
Released20 February 1985 (US)
8 April 1985 (UK)
RecordedNovember 1984[1]
Genre
Length4:20
6:32 (extended version)
LabelVirgin
A&M (US)
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Keith Forsey
Simple Minds singles chronology
"Up on the Catwalk"
(1984)
"Don't You (Forget About Me)"
(1985)
"Alive and Kicking"
(1985)
Audio sample
"Don't You (Forget About Me)"
Music video
"Don't You (Forget About Me)" on YouTube

"Don't You (Forget About Me)" is a song performed by Scottish rock band Simple Minds. It was written and composed by producer Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff, a guitarist and songwriter from the Nina Hagen band. The song plays during the opening (Schiff and Forsey's demo) and closing (Simple Minds' recording) credits of the John Hughes film The Breakfast Club.

Recording history[edit]

The song was written and composed by producer Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff while scoring The Breakfast Club. Both were Simple Minds fans and wrote the song with the band in mind. Forsey played a demonstration for the band's label, A&M Records, which invited him to meet the band backstage after one of their "Tour du Monde" shows in the U.S. However, A&M did not notify Simple Minds that Forsey would appear, and the band declined the offer of the song despite Forsey's enthusiasm for them.[2]

Forsey next offered "Don't You (Forget About Me)" to Bryan Ferry, then to Billy Idol, whom Forsey was producing at the time, but both declined.[2][a] The record company suggested Corey Hart, who had a hit at the time with "Sunglasses at Night", but Forsey did not think Hart would be the right singer for the song.[3] Fixx lead singer Cy Curnin also passed.

According to Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr, the band was reluctant to record the song, as they felt they should only record their own material. "We are Simple Minds—we don't do songs that sound like Simple Minds. We are Simple Minds. We do our own songs," he recalled to the BBC in 2018. The band also were frustrated that their attempts to find success in the U.S. market had not succeeded in getting them significant radio airplay, and did not see how recording the song would turn out any better.[2]

The band relented after persuasion from A&M and from Chrissie Hynde, Kerr's wife at the time, and after receiving a phone call from Forsey in which he reiterated his admiration for the band.[4] According to one account, the band "rearranged and recorded 'Don't You (Forget About Me)' in three hours in the north London studio and promptly forgot about it,"[5] believing that it would be a throwaway song on the soundtrack to a forgettable movie.[2]

In the process of recording, Simple Minds added parts such as Kerr's "la lala" vocal fills. They then resumed work on Once Upon a Time, their next album. However, some of the band members had realized they had recorded something with genuine commercial potential.[2] The song's famous out-bridge (the previously mentioned "lalalala" lyrics) actually came from a tired Kerr doing some final riffing during the production day. His plan was to simply put in some filler material that he and the band could replace with something better the next day, but when the rest of Simple Minds heard the out-bridge they loved it so much that they told Kerr that it should be left just as it was to finish the song. Kerr said that was fine with him.

Music video[edit]

The music video, filmed inside Knebworth House, Hertfordshire, was directed by Daniel Kleinman.[6] It takes place in a darkened room with a chandelier, a rocking horse, a jukebox, and television sets displaying scenes from The Breakfast Club. The room gets increasingly cluttered with random objects as the video progresses until the last minute. The video was published on YouTube on 3 December 2010; as of July 2021, it had been viewed more than 200 million times.[7]

Release and reception[edit]

Continuing the rock direction recently taken on Sparkle in the Rain, but also reflecting their melodic synthpop past, the song caught the band at their commercial peak, and propelled by the success of The Breakfast Club, became a number-one hit in the US in May 1985[8] and in Canada in June 1985. It is also the band's only number-one hit on the US Top Rock Tracks chart, staying atop that chart for three weeks. While only reaching number seven in the UK, it stayed on the charts from 1985 to 1987, one of the longest timespans for any single in the history of the chart.[citation needed]

The song did not appear on the band's subsequent album Once Upon a Time, but it did appear on the 1992 best-of Glittering Prize 81/92. It soon became a fixture of the band's live sets – with an extended audience participation section during its inclusion on the 2015 tour to promote the band's Big Music album.[9]

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

John Leland from Spin wrote, "'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."[10]

In popular culture[edit]

The song was first featured in the film The Breakfast Club starring Emilio Estevez and Molly Ringwald, becoming well-known. It was used in Easy A starring Emma Stone and Pitch Perfect starring Anna Kendrick. It was also in the soundtrack for many television shows including Loose Women and Hollyoaks. It was featured in the seventh and final season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., covered by the fictional band, the Deke Squad.[11] The song is used in the animated sitcom Futurama at the end of a heartwarming episode ("The Luck of the Fryrish") when protagonist Philip J. Fry finds his namesake nephew's grave and read the epitaph, discovering that his brother Yancy named his newborn son in memory of Philip: "Here lies Phillip J. Fry. Named for his uncle to carry on his spirit." Performed by the Victorious Cast featuring Victoria Justice, this song was also used in one of the Victorious episodes, "The Breakfast Bunch". It was featured in the animated sitcom Regular Show during the season 3 episode "Fuzzy Dice"; when the episode is wrapping up, the song plays as a montage of what happened to the cast after they got the dice by defeating the Capicola Gang. It was later featured in the animated sitcom Close Enough, a spiritual successor to the aforementioned series, during the episode "The Canine Guy"; when the episode is wrapping up, the song plays as a montage of what happened to the animals after they were released. The song was also used in the second Season 23 episode ("Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts") of the animated sitcom The Simpsons.

Track listing[edit]

7″: Virgin/VS749 (UK), 7″: A&M Records/AM-2703 (US)[edit]

  1. "Don't You (Forget About Me)" – 4:20
  2. "A Brass Band in Africa" – 5:10

12″: Virgin/VS749-12 (UK), 12″: A&M Records/SP-12125 (US)[edit]

  1. "Don't You (Forget About Me)" – 6:32
  2. "A Brass Band in African Chimes" – 9:22

12″: Virgin/VSX 1250 (Canada)[edit]

  1. "Don't You (Forget About Me)" (extended version) – 6:32
  2. "Don't You (Forget About Me)" – 4:20
  3. "A Brass Band in Africa" – 5:10

1988 3″ CD: Virgin/CDT2 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Don't You (Forget About Me)" – 4:20
  2. "A Brass Band in African Chimes" – 9:22

1988 CD: A&M Records/75021 2375 2 (US)[edit]

  1. "Don't You (Forget About Me)" (live) – 9:02
  2. "Bass Line" – 4:37
  3. "The American" – 3:33

1990 CD: Virgin/THEME10 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Don't You (Forget About Me)" – 6:35
  2. "Up on the Catwalk" (extended version) – 7:36
  3. "A Brass Band in African Chimes" – 9:24

Personnel[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[51] Platinum 100,000^
Italy (FIMI)[52] Gold 25,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[53] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Cover version[edit]

  • In 2001 Billy Idol, who refused the song in 1985 before it was offered again to The Simple Minds, recorded a version of the song for his 'Greatest Hits' album. It was released as a single in Germany but failed to chart.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Billy Idol later recorded a version for his 2001 compilation album Greatest Hits.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Don't You (Forget About Me) No 1 on U.S. Billboard Charts". Simpleminds.com. 20 May 1985. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Don't You (Forget About Me)". SimpleMinds.org. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Keith Forsey". Moderndrummer.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  4. ^ Simpson, Dave (15 November 2016). "Simple Minds: how we made 'Don't You (Forget About Me)'". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  5. ^ "A History of Simple Minds". Glasgow-barrowland.com. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  6. ^ Davies, Alan (23 April 2020). "Movie The Breakfast Club's links to Knebworth House". The Comet. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Simple Minds - Don't You (Forget About Me) [Official Video]". YouTube. 3 December 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Simple Minds Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  9. ^ Simpson, Dave (April 2015). "The Guardian". The Guardian (2). Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  10. ^ Leland, John (June 1985). "Singles". Spin. Vol. 1 no. 2. p. 37. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Simple Minds". IMDb. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Simple Minds – Don't You (Forget About Me)" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Simple Minds – Don't You (Forget About Me)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  15. ^ "Radio 2 Top 30" (in Dutch). Top 30. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  16. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0530." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  17. ^ "CHART NUMBER 1485 – Saturday, June 08, 1985". Archived from the original on 7 November 2006. Retrieved 8 January 2017.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link). CHUM.
  18. ^ "Lescharts.com – Simple Minds – Don't You (Forget About Me)" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  19. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Simple Minds – Don't You (Forget About Me)" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  20. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Don't You (Forget About Me)". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  21. ^ "Top 3 in Europe" (PDF). Eurotipsheet. Vol. 2 no. 21. 27 May 1985. p. 7. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  22. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 22, 1985" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  23. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Simple Minds – Don't You (Forget About Me)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  24. ^ "Charts.nz – Simple Minds – Don't You (Forget About Me)". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  25. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1965 – 1989 Acts S". The South African Rock Encyclopedia. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  26. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Simple Minds – Don't You (Forget About Me)". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  27. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Simple Minds – Don't You (Forget About Me)". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  28. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  29. ^ "Simple Minds Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  30. ^ "Simple Minds Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  31. ^ "Simple Minds Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  32. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending MAY 18, 1985". Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2017.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link). Cash Box magazine.
  33. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  34. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Simple Minds – Don't You (Forget About Me)". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  35. ^ "Simple Minds - Chart History". Rock Digital Songs. for Simple Minds. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  36. ^ "Simple Minds Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  37. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts - 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 28 August 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  38. ^ "Jahreshitparade Singles 1985". Ö3 Austria Top 40 (in German). Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  39. ^ "Ultratop Jaaroverzichten 1985". Ultratop 50 (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 10 June 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  40. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0619." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  41. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts 1985". GfK Entertainment Charts (in German). Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  42. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1985". Dutch Top 40 (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  43. ^ "Dutch Charts Jaaroverzichten Single 1985". Single Top 100 (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  44. ^ "The Official NZ Music Charts - End of Year Charts 1985". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  45. ^ "SWISS YEAR-END CHARTS 1985". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  46. ^ "Top Pop Singles" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 97 no. 52. New York, NY, USA. 28 December 1985. p. T-21. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  47. ^ "Top Dance Sales Singles" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 97 no. 52. New York, NY, USA. 28 December 1985. p. T-23. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  48. ^ "Top Rock Tracks" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 97 no. 52. New York, NY, USA. 28 December 1985. p. T-30. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  49. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1985". Archived from the original on 30 September 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2014.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link). Cash Box magazine.
  50. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  51. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Simple Minds – Don't You Forget About Me". Music Canada.
  52. ^ "Italian single certifications – Simple Minds – Don't You Forget About Me" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 29 July 2019. Select "2017" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Don't You Forget About Me" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli" under "Sezione".
  53. ^ "British single certifications – Simple Minds – Don't You (Forget About Me)". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 12 April 2019.

External links[edit]