Song of the Day #291: ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ – Simple Minds

simplemindsCertain songs are so intertwined with movies they’ve appeared in that they sort of become extensions of the film. The films of Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Andersons Wes and Paul Thomas come immediately to mind.

I don’t think I can ever hear ‘Stuck in the Middle with You’ or Urge Overkill’s cover of ‘Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon’ without being thrown back into Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Nor can I hear the piano coda of ‘Layla’ without picturing the parade of corpses toward the end of Goodfellas. Nico’s version of Jackson Browne’s ‘These Days’ is married to the image of Margot Tenenbaum stepping off the green line bus and Aimee Mann’s ‘Wise Up’ and ‘Save Me’ conjure up the heart and soul of Magnolia.

But, for me, the most powerful example of a song and film intertwining has got to be Simple Minds’ ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ and John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club. I vividly remember sitting in the movie theater — a 13-year-old boy at an R-rated movie — and being blown away by that film. And of course it all starts with this song playing over the credits, leading up to the David Bowie quote from ‘Changes’ that gets shattered to reveal the opening scene.

At the time I figured this song was by David Bowie, because I’d never heard it before and the quote seemed like a connection. Perhaps if I had known the song it wouldn’t have such a powerful connection to the film for me to this day. But I’m glad it does… the film and the song are both far more powerful thanks to their marriage.

So, gentle readers, which songs do you associate entirely with a film they’ve appeared in?

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #291: ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ – Simple Minds

  1. Amy says:

    Last July, a post by Ned got me thinking about this same question. The song I chose to focus on then – “Ooo Child” by The Five Stairsteps as featured in Boyz N the Hood is, of course, no longer available on You Tube. Still, that’s probably the song that has the most powerful connection for me. In addition to the one you feature today, and the many songs Quentin Tarantino has featured in his films.

  2. Dana says:

    I think the movie-song association is definitely made more powerful when you don’t really know the song independently before hearing it in the context of the movie. That certailny was the case with today’s song choice as Simple Minds was fairly unknown until this song put them on the charts with the success of the movie.

    But there are certainly exceptions to the unknown song rule. Layla in Goodfellas qualifies. I would add In Your Eyes from Say Anything to that list.

    Hard to hear Stayin’ Alive without picturing Travolta’s feet walking down the sidewalk. Given Maddie’s recent obsession with Groundhog Day, I would have to add I’ve Got You Babe to the mix. Also throw in “I’ve Got a Horse Right Here (Can Do)” from Let it Ride and Heart & Soul from Big.

    Both Wise Up and Save Me by Aimee Mann bring me back to Magnolia. Can’t hear “You Can Leave Your Hat On” (especually the Cocker version) without thinking of 9 1/2 Weeks.. Also hard to hear “Skalamoosh, Skalamoosh, can you do the Fandango” from Bohemian Rhapsody without seeing Wayne and Garth singing it in their car in Wayne’s World

    The opening notes of Old Time Rock and Roll by Bob Seger put the image of Tom Cruise dancing in his underwear into my mind (not sure I’m even comfortable admitting that one). But I will admit that Unchained Melody puts the far more pleasant image of Demi Moore being seduced in Ghost into my mind. So, i think I will end it there!

  3. Clay says:

    Or maybe it’s the shirtless Patrick Swayze you’re really remembering!

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