Flashback: Simple Minds Hit Number One With ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’
It was 38 years ago today (May 18th, 1985) that Simple Minds hit Number One with “Don’t You (Forget About Me).” The song, which knocked Madonna’s “Crazy For You” out of the top spot, stayed at Number One for one week until it was displaced by Wham’s third-straight chart-topper, “Everything She Wants.”
“Don’t You (Forget About Me)” was written specifically for the John Hughes comedy The Breakfast Club by producer Keith Dorsey and Steve Schiff and had previously been turned down by Billy Idol, Bryan Ferry, and Fixx frontman Cy Curnin. The producers had suggested Corey Hart tackling the tune — but Dorsey disagreed. Dorsey — through frontman Jim Kerr’s then-wife Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders — convinced the Scottish band to record the soon-to-be classic hit.
In all, Simple Minds scored five Top 40 hits between 1985 and 1991: “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” (#1); “Alive And Kicking” (#3); “Sanctify Yourself” (#14); “All The Things She Said” (#28); and “See The Lights” (#40). To date, Simple Minds have scored one Top 10 album in the U.S., with 1985’s Once Upon A Time peaking at Number 10.
Frontman Jim Kerr told us Simple Minds makes a concerted effort to ensure new material can stand tall against the band’s classic works: “Let’s be honest, because I do it myself when you talk about vintage bands, or something — even the ones that you’re fond of. When they bring out a new work, invariably you’re gonna want it with some trepidation because rarely is it as good as it was back in the day. Rarely does it match up, and we not only struggled with that, but we wanted to do everything within our powers and against the odds to come up with an album where you could feel the band engaged as much as we were back in the day.”