Saturday, September 22, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Simple Minds

Artist:Simple Minds
Song:Don't You (Forget About Me)
Album:The Breakfast Club: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The Scottish band Simple Minds had their only US number one hit with Don't You (Forget About Me) from the 1985 hit film The Breakfast Club. They had a couple of other hits including the top five hit Alive and Kicking. But most fans probably first heard the band in The Breakfast Club. The two main guys behind Simple Minds are lead singer Jim Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill. They were childhood pals in Glasgow. In 1977, they joined the punk band Johnny & The Self Abusers led by John Milarky. Kerr and Burchill brought in pals Tony Donald on bass and Brian McGee on drums. After playing a few shows, Kerr wanted more input into the music. When Milarkey refused, Kerr and his buddies left to form Simple Minds. Milarky's pal guitarist Alan MacNeil also joined Simple Minds. They signed with Arista and released their debut album Life In A Day in 1979. Simple Minds' sound was heavily influenced by Roxy Music. After three disappointing albums, Simple Minds left Arista for Virgin. Opening for Peter Gabriel got them a US deal with A & M. They did well in England but had trouble breaking through in the US. Don't You (Forget About Me) was written by The Breakfast Club music producer Keith Forsey and guitarist Steve Schiff from Nina Hagen's band. The song had already been turned down by The Fixx lead singer Cy Curnin, Bryan Ferry and Billy Idol. Kerr didn't want to record it either but A & M convinced them it could break them in the US market. And it topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1985. Kerr always downplayed the success of the song because of course he didn't write it. They deliberately left it off the 1985 album Once Upon A Time. The top five hit Alive and Kicking was on that album along with lesser hit singles Sanctify Yourself and All The Things She Said. It was their most successful album to date. But it was too commercial and alienated fans of their early albums. This led to a slow decline though they were still popular in England. The decline accelerated when Alan MacNeil left Simple Minds in 1989. By the time Virgin dropped them in 1995, Simple Minds was just Kerr and Burchill using session musicians. They are still around and are currently recording new music to be released in 2013. I suspect most folks are only familiar with Don't You (Forget About Me) and The Breakfast Club soundtrack is cheap. Here's the video for Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds.

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