Don't You (Forget About Me)

"Don't You (Forget About Me)" is a song by Scottish rock band Simple Minds, released as a single in 1985. It was written and composed by producer Keith Forsey and guitarist Steve Schiff. Forsey and Schiff wrote the song for Simple Minds and offered it to several other acts before Simple Minds agreed to record it. The song was inspired by and used in the 1985 John Hughes film The Breakfast Club. "Don't You (Forget About Me)" reached No. 1 in the United States and Canada and became Simple Minds' biggest American hit.

"Don't You (Forget About Me)"
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][2]
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

Theme Edit

"Don't You (Forget About Me)" was written by Steve Schiff, a guitarist and composer with the Nina Hagen band,[7][8] and producer and drummer Keith Forsey while they were scoring the 1985 film The Breakfast Club. Forsey and Schiff were inspired by a scene in which an introvert and a school bully bond while no one else is watching. Forsey said, "It was: don't forget, when we're back in the classroom, you're not just a bad guy and we've got other things in common".[9]

Recording Edit

Simple Minds were reluctant to record the song, as they felt they should only record their own material.[10][11] The band's manager, Bruce Findlay, believed that the song would be successful in the United States. Findlay arranged a private screening of The Breakfast Club for the band in an effort to change their minds, but they still declined.[11]

Forsey offered "Don't You (Forget About Me)" to Bryan Ferry, who declined as he was working on his album Boys and Girls. Ferry said later: "It was just bad timing ... Keith Forsey sent me a demo of the song and it sounded like a hit to me. Simple Minds did a great version of it".[12] According to some sources, Billy Idol – whom Forsey was producing at the time – also declined.[7][10][a] A&M suggested Corey Hart, who had a hit at the time with "Sunglasses at Night", but Forsey did not think Hart was the right singer.[13] Cy Curnin, the lead singer of the Fixx, also declined to record the song.[14]

The band agreed to record the song 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.[15]

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".[16][better source needed] Kerr added the "hey hey hey" at the beginning of the song, and guitarist Charlie Burchill "ramped up the power chords in the intro, helping to turn Forsey's sweet paean to teenage longing into a rousing, stadium-sized anthem".[11] Kerr has stated that the band did not anticipate the success the song would bring them.[10]

Music video Edit

The music video – filmed inside Knebworth House, Hertfordshire – was directed by Daniel Kleinman.[17] 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 2023, it had been viewed more than 280 million times.[18]

Release and reception Edit

"Don't You (Forget About Me)" was played during the opening and closing credits of The Breakfast Club (1985).[19] It was included on the film's soundtrack.[20][21] "Don't You (Forget About Me)" was released as a single on February 23, 1985 in the United States and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100[22] in May 1985.[23] The song reached No. 1 in Canada in June 1985.[24] It is the band's only number-one hit on the US Top Rock Tracks chart, staying atop that chart for three weeks.[25] The song became Simple Minds' biggest American hit.[10][22]

Cash Box said that "though the lyric theme is a simple enough declaration, the lead vocals and vivid orchestration make the tune complex and moving".[26]

The song was included on the band's 1992 greatest hits compilation, Glittering Prize 81/92.[27] It soon became a fixture of the band's live sets,[28] with an extended audience participation section during its inclusion on the 2015 tour to promote the band's Big Music album.[29]

John Leland of Spin described the song as "a romantic and melancholy dance track" that "cuts ice both in the living room and on the dance floor".[30]

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

Cover Versions Edit

In February 2021 Boy & Bear along with Annie Hamilton covered Don't You (Forget About Me) for Australian youth radio station triple j's Like A Version.[31] The cover placed 92nd in triple j's first Like A Version Hottest 100.[32]

Charts Edit

Certifications Edit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[76] Platinum 100,000^
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[77] Gold 45,000
Germany (BVMI)[78] Gold 250,000
Italy (FIMI)[79] Platinum 70,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[80]
1985 physical release
Silver 250,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[81]
2004 digital release
2× Platinum 1,200,000

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

See also Edit

Notes Edit

  1. ^ Forsey has denied that the song was offered to Billy Idol. Idol later recorded a version of the song for his 2001 compilation album Greatest Hits.[11]

References Edit

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