In response to an article from March, 2016. Link to article below.
I must admit…it’s an intriguing analogy…but, it has flaws and sells them rather short.
Firstly, it could be agreed THEY (Simple Minds) let it happen…but record company pressures couldn’t have been easy to avoid, and by all accounts Virgin were very keen for them to do it.
As for the offering of the song? Jim Kerr has stated that Forsey only ever wanted them (Simple Minds) to record it. I’ve never heard ANY confirmed refusal from the Bryan Ferry camp, but Billy Idol has gone on record to say he was NEVER offered the song by Keith. (Do I have to put the picture of his tweet up, AGAIN?)
Simple Minds saw the song as “throw away” and for (what they thought would be) an obscure teen movie. To get Keith Forsey and the record company off their backs, they (rather begrudgingly) agreed.
If a character analogy from the film fits…it’s more a John Bender (Judd Nelson) style pressure from record company and Forsey, to a cool-in-his-own-way but decidedly geeky Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall) character.
Simple Minds agreed for appeasement sake, and hoped that the thing would sink like a stone and go unnoticed. And hindsight is a wonderful thing. We all make mistakes…but as mistakes go! You can see it as both blessing and curse.
And I really don’t think it “fucked Simple Minds up”. Once Upon A Time, anyone? They were recording that as well. I’d hardly call that a fuck up. More “mainstream” than they’d done previously? Certainly! But still something very tangibly “Simple Minds” within it. And, it is quite wrong to try and pigeonhole a band.
Derek didn’t leave. Having released his first solo album Echoes in June of this year, one of Derek’s own quotes within the promotion of his solo debut was, “the band I never left”.
What caused Simple Minds’ TEMPORARY “demise” (for want of a better term) was…overwork. Exhaustion. Pure and simple. 1987 was more the beginning of the temporary death knell. Breaks were too short. Writing suffered. The late 80s and early 90s didn’t seem a good period for them, in a purely creative sense. I’m sure Jim (in particular) would disagree. As a world force in music? Yes…they were there. World tours, etc. But did that mean it was good because it was popular? No.
But that’s my personal opinion.
Blame Simple Minds for their “downfall” by all means…but not because of Don’t You (Forget About Me) because it definitely was not that that did it. It wasn’t even the catalyst.