“Will you stand above me?
Look my way, never love me?
Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling,
down, down, down.”
History lesson: The 1985 song is best known for its integral inclusion in the John Hughes’ film, The Breakfast Club, known now as the movie’s unofficial theme song, playing both at the start and the end of the film. The songwriters, Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff approached various artists to record the song for the film, Cy Curnin from The Fixx, Bryan Ferry and Billy Idol to name them, and they all refused (though Idol would release a cover version, in 2001). Schiff then suggested Forsey ask the Scottish New Wave band Simple Minds, who initially refused as well, but then agreed under the encouragement of their label, A&M. The song would never be a “favorite” of the band’s, though it is most certainly their most known song. 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 1985–1987, one of the longest time spans for any single in the history of the chart.
(editor’s note: I am not fond of Idol’s cover, and cannot imagine Bryan Ferry or Cy Curnin doing the song, either, even though I like all three of the initially asked artists.)
Personal reflection: John Hughes films made an enormous impact in my life, especially what would later be coined the Molly trilogy (Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink). Some of this may be due to the fact that Molly and I are the same age, and thus her stories (and, of course, the other characters’, as well) resonated so much more because I was that age at that time, sitting there in a darkened theater, understanding and feeling all of it. That said, the movies still hold strong to me, even as an adult, with The Breakfast Club having the most longevity, as far as the emotions and themes of the film.
I, for one, cannot hear this song and not think immediately of Judd Nelson’s character, John Bender, walking across that field in his long trench coat and his newly acquired earring from Claire Standish, his fist being thrown up into the air. I get chills just thinking about the scene while listening to the song. It is one of those magical musical/cinematic moments that I love so very much.
All that said, it is a damn good song, too.
Don’t You (Forget About Me) :: Simple Minds