Okay, today’s prompt is Arrivederci/Bon-voyage/Ciao/Farewell/Goodbye/Hasta la vista/Sayonara/Shalom. So what do I have in my musical archives in response to Jim Adams’ prompt for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday Challenge?
I’m going for this quintessential 1980s hit, Don’t You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds where the guy that’s left dancing alone when his partner says goodbye wonders how parting ways will affect their relationship.
Simple Minds are a Scottish rock band formed in Glasgow in 1977. They have released a string of hit singles, becoming best known internationally for Don’t You (Forget About Me) (1985), which topped the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.
The most commercially successful Scottish band of the 1980s, Simple Minds achieved six UK Albums chart number one albums and have sold more than 60 million albums. Despite various personnel changes, they continue to record and tour.
In 2014, Simple Minds were awarded the Q Inspiration Award for their contribution to the music industry and an Ivor Novello Award in 2016 for Outstanding Song Collection from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors. Other notable recognitions include nominations for both the MTV Video Music Award for Best Direction and MTV Video Music Award for Best Art Direction for Don’t You (Forget About Me) in 1985, nomination for the Brit Award for British Group in 1986 and for the American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group in 1987.
The nucleus of Simple Minds consists of the two remaining original members, Jim Kerr (vocals) and Charlie Burchill (electric & acoustic guitars, occasional keyboards after 1990, saxophone and violin).
The song was written and composed by producer Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff while scoring The Breakfast Club. Both were Simple Minds fans and wrote the song with the band in mind. Forsey played a demonstration for the band’s label, A&M Records, which invited him to meet the band backstage after one of their “Tour du Monde” shows in the US. However, A&M did not notify Simple Minds that Forsey would appear, and the band declined the offer of the song despite Forsey’s enthusiasm for them.
Forsey next offered “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” to Bryan Ferry, then to Billy Idol, whom Forsey was producing at the time, but both declined. According to Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr, the band was reluctant to record the song, as they felt they should only record their own material.
We are Simple Minds – we don’t do songs that sound like Simple Minds. We are Simple Minds. We do our own songs.
The band finally relented after persuasion from A&M and from Chrissie Hynde, Kerr’s wife at the time, and after receiving a phone call from Forsey in which he reiterated his admiration for the band. The band allegedly rearranged and recorded ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ in three hours in the north London studio and promptly forgot about it, believing that it would be a throwaway song on the soundtrack to a forgettable movie.
The song caught the band at their commercial peak, and propelled by the success of The Breakfast Club, became a number-one hit in the US and Canada. It is also the band’s only number-one hit on the US Top Rock Tracks chart, staying atop that chart for three weeks. While only reaching number seven in the UK, it stayed on the charts from 1985 to 1987, one of the longest timespans for any single in the history of the chart.
The song did not appear on the band’s subsequent album Once Upon a Time, but it did appear on the 1992 best-of Glittering Prize 81/92. It soon became a fixture of the band’s live sets – with an extended audience participation section.
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