Song of the Day #2,479: ‘Don’t You Forget About Me (Live)’ – Simple Minds

breakfast_club_endingFull disclosure: I created this top ten list pretty much so I could list today’s SOTD in the #1 spot.

John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club is, incomprehensibly, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and has been very much in the cultural spotlight recently. All that coverage has teleported me back to my early teens, when this film (and this song) were godlike.

The funny thing is that I’d always assumed the track was not written for the film but unearthed by Hughes from a Simple Minds record. Not the case, as it turns out. The song was written for the film by Keth Forsey and Steve Schiff and recorded by Simple Minds only after three other acts declined.

So I’m breaking one of my rules by selecting this song, but I don’t care in the slightest.

#1 Song I Associate With a Movie
‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ – The Breakfast Club

Unlike the rest of the songs I’ve featured on this list, ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ doesn’t accompany a specific scene in its film. Rather, the song bookends the film, much as Brian’s essay does, and runs over the opening and closing credits.

That’s the reason I decided to count down songs that I associate with movies and not my favorite movie scenes featuring songs. Sure, there’s some overlap in those lists, but they’re different.

While I do conjure up the specific image of Judd Nelson’s John Bender pumping his fist in the air as he walks home from Saturday detention, my connection between this song and The Breakfast Club runs much deeper.

This is more than just a movie and more than just a song. Both works are intertwined in my muscle memory as the encapsulation of my teenage self. To this day, I hear this song through pre-teen ears.

It’s rare that I remember the first time I heard any song, especially one I heard 30 years ago, but I vividly recall wondering who sang this track as I heard it over The Breakfast Club‘s opening credits. And when the David Bowie quote (from ‘Changes’) appeared onscreen, I immediately assumed it was him.

Then the black screen of the credits shattered like glass (such a cool touch, to this day) and the best movie I’d seen in my life to that point began.

Below are the film’s opening credits and closing scenes, over which ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ plays. Down below is a live version of the song.

And I hope to hear from my readers in the comment section… what songs do you most associate with specific movies?

Hey, hey, hey ,hey
Ohhh…

Won’t you come see about me?
I’ll be alone, dancing you know it baby

Tell me your troubles and doubts
Giving me everything inside and out and
Love’s strange so real in the dark
Think of the tender things that we were working on

Slow change may pull us apart
When the light gets into your heart, baby

Don’t You Forget About Me
Don’t Don’t Don’t Don’t
Don’t You Forget About Me

Will you stand above me?
Look my way, never love me
Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling
Down, down, down

Will you recognise me?
Call my name or walk on by
Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling
Down, down, down, down

Hey, hey, hey, hey
Ohhhh…..

Don’t you try to pretend
It’s my feeling we’ll win in the end
I won’t harm you or touch your defenses
Vanity and security

Don’t you forget about me
I’ll be alone, dancing you know it baby
Going to take you apart
I’ll put us back together at heart, baby

Don’t You Forget About Me
Don’t Don’t Don’t Don’t
Don’t You Forget About Me

As you walk on by
Will you call my name?
As you walk on by
Will you call my name?
When you walk away

Or will you walk away?
Will you walk on by?
Come on – call my name
Will you call my name?

I say:
La la la…

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10 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,479: ‘Don’t You Forget About Me (Live)’ – Simple Minds

  1. Dana says:

    A perfect choice to conclude these theme weeks. I too had assumed for years that Simple Minds had written this song, my assumption reinforced by the fact that other songs from their album were so similar in sound and style.

    As to your challenge, I’ll have to give that some thought. I suspect my wife and maybe even my kids will more readily come up with examples off the top of their heads.

  2. Rob says:

    Great list, very enjoyable … and I concur with most of your choices. John Hughes was a master at selecting music for his films. Anoother film of his “Some Kind of Wonderful” struck a chord with me when it was released in the mid-80’s. The music selected for this film was largely new wave, with no real “hit-makers”. I can’t provide a specific song, suffice it to say that the whole soundtrack married to the film wonderfully, capturing “first love” and “unrequited love” perfectly. Worth checking out.

  3. pegclifton says:

    This was a great list, really enjoyed your choices. One sound track that really got me was from the movie “The Bill Chill” Loved the music and the way it worked with the movie, and of course the music from La Boheme in Moonstruck has always moved me helping to make that film one of my favorites if not my favorite movie. I know you have featured an aria from a scene in that movie awhile ago, I need to go look it up ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. pegclifton says:

    I cannot forget Maria Callas singing “La Mamma Morta” in the scene in Philiadelphia with Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, very powerful scene and I associate that aria with that movie whenever I hear it

  5. Amy says:

    I’m intrigued to hear that this movie had such a big impact on you. I would have thought Raiders of the Lost Ark would hold that #1 spot for you during your pre/teen years (after all, that was the film that made you want to “jump through glass” as a career ;). This was, of course, a HUGE song/film for me, as it came out during my senior year of high school. When the class voted for the sappy “We’ve Only Just Begun” as our class song, a group of us decided to adopt “Don’t You Forget About Me” as our unofficial anthem, so, yes, this movie/song association (though it does break all the rules) would certainly be in my top 10.

    Another that I just shared with my class the other day is the perfect fantasy ending of Sixteen Candles. “If You Were Here” by The Thompson Twins definitely satisfies your rules, and it would absolutely be in my top 10.

  6. Amy says:

    Okay, so the ones you featured that I, too, would have on my list (not in any particular order):
    – Breakfast Club/”Don’t You Forget About Me”
    – Say Anything/”In Your Eyes”
    – The Big Lebowski/”Just Dropped In”
    Same movie/different song:
    – Pulp Fiction/”Son of a Preacher Man”
    – The Royal Tenenbaums/”Hey Jude” (I knew it, but so what? :P)
    Another film/song from a genre you chose:
    – Sixteen Candles/”If You Were Here”
    Same genre/different film/different song ;):
    – Miller’s Crossing/”Danny Boy”
    My last three…
    – Almost Famous/”Tiny Dancer”
    and I’ll have to think on those last two ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Amy says:

    – Born on the 4th of July/”For What It’s Worth”
    was definitely going to be one of my picks, but I can’t locate the exact scene where the song appeared, so now I’m wondering if it was ONLY in the trailer? (starting at 1:12)? If so, then you’ll have to have a new countdown – best use of songs in trailers ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Amy says:

    When you first announced this theme week, the first song I thought of was “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling” from Top Gun. Since I have such a vivid memory of seeing this film on the huge 163rd street movie screen, and since it was such a huge Tom Cruise film, I could go with that one. Instead, I’m picking the far more iconic Cruise moment/film scene for my last pick. Enjoy!

    Risky Business/”Old Time Rock and Roll”

  9. Maddie says:

    “It’s Rainin’ Men” from Bridget Jones’s Diary ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Maddie says:

    and my mom’s internet isn’t working, but she wants to add this to her growing list: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAKOwWsu-nk (The Replacements/ “I Will Survive”

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