The Breakfast Club was released 30 years ago today and there is still nothing like that feeling you get at the end of The Breakfast Club when Simple Mind is playing and Nelson’s fist is in the air. John Hughes: A Life in Film tells the story of acquiring the song and the band that ultimately preformed it.Meanwhile, Manning was sent off to England to find a band to record the theme song.
Keith Forsey was an early pioneer of disco, who worked with legendary producer Giorgio Moroder on Donna Summer’s club records, as a drummer, and on the song “Flashdance… What a Feeling” from the movie Flashdance, as a co-writer.
“Someone said to John, ‘Get Forsey to score your movie and it’ll be like getting Moroder,’” said manning. “So Forsey wrote this song and did a demo. It was perfect for the movie.”
Manning and record producer Dabid Anderle flew to England to find a band to do the song. They wound up stuck there for a month.
“We had a cut of the movie and had this song, and David Anderle was going around London showing the tape to bands,” recalled Manning. “All were passing. English schooling is so radically different they couldn’t come to grips with the story. Everyone said, “Where’s the headmaster?”
Then Chrissie Hynde – an influence on Sheedy and Nelson, remember – totally got the movie. But she would have to commit to a music video. Since she was pregnant, she refused. However, she was married at the time to Jim Kerr of Simple Minds.
“She told Kerr, ‘You have to do this movie,’” said Manning. “David Anderle said, Perfect – that’s an A&M act. They’re on our label!’ I was just happy to finally leave London.”
Manning and Anderle returned to L.A., only to hear Simple Minds had passed. Tanen thundered at A&M’s Gil Friesen that A&M needed to tell its band to do this song. In a rebellious mood, Simple Mind sent a track to L.A. designed as in empathetic Screw You.
“It was the same song but horrifying,” said Manning. “They had changed the song to make it ‘their own’”. So A&M forced Simple Mind not only to re-record the track, but to do it exactly like demo. Everything, including the orchestrations, was to be the same.
Not only did the film’s closing track, “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” words and music by Forsey and Steve Schiff, break Simple Minds into the U.S. market, it became the band’s only U.S. no. 1 single, in April 1985. While the songs in the film are not especially cutting edge, the way John juxtaposed them with his scenes is. Just think of that final song going against Nelson’s fist pump of triumph.
“Those lyrics really work for the picture,” John told a journalist. “It’s saying ‘Just don’t forget about me. You don’t have to love me, just don’t forget about me. Don’t leave me out in the cold. I just don’t want to be obscure.’ Which I think is a good battle cry at sixteen.”a Rafflecopter giveaway