Saturday, May 18, 1985

Simple Minds hit #1 with “Don’t You Forget About Me”

Don’t You Forget About Me

Simple Minds

Writer(s): Keith Forsey, Steve Schiff (see lyrics here)

Released: February 20, 1985

First Charted: February 23, 1985

Peak: 11 US, 12 CB, 12RR 36 AC, 13 AR, 1 CO, 7 UK, 11 CN, 6 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.6 UK, 0.75 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 228.9 video, 629.92 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The Scottish new wave rock band Simple Minds formed in 1977 and found popularity in the UK where they hit #1 with their 1984 album Sparkle in the Rain. That same year, they landed their fourth top-20 hit in the UK. However, they had yet to dent the United States’ Billboard Hot 100. That changed in 1985 with “Don’t You (Forget About Me).”

The song, featured in the hit movie The Breakfast Club, soared to #1 in the US and gave Simple Minds their first top-10 hit in the UK. It wasn’t written by the band, but by producer Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff, who was a guitarist and songwriter with the Nina Hagen band. Forsey also wrote the #1 hit “Flashdance…What a Feelin’” for the 1983 movie Flashdance and would later write “Shakedown” for Bob Seger, a #1 song from Beverly Hills Cop II. SF Forsey and Schiff’s original demo opens the movie while Simple Minds’ version closes things out. WK

There’s some dispute as to whether the song was written for Simple Minds or for Bryan Ferry. In any event, both said no. Simple Minds thought they should only record material they had written. The song was also rejected by Billy Idol and Cy Curnin of the Fixx. WK The record company suggested Corey Hart, but Forsey didn’t think he was right for the song.

Simple Minds eventually agreed to record the song, although there are varied stories as to why. One version says that Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, persuaded Jim Kerr, the lead singer of the band and her then-husband, after Forsey called her. WK Another account says John Hughes, the director of The Breakfast Club, screened the film for the band. SF Either way, the band still initially thought it would be “a throwaway song on the soundtrack to a forgettable movie.” WK Once they recorded it, however, some of the band members now thought the song had “genuine commercial potential.” WK


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First posted 1/25/2021; last updated 9/26/2022.

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