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Simple Minds Thought Psychedelic Furs Should Record ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’

·Editor in Chief, Yahoo Music
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The two most popular songs in the John Hughes movie discography are the Psychedelic Furs’ "Pretty in Pink,” which inspired a movie of the same title, and Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” the anthem of a generation and the theme for another massive John Hughes/Molly Ringwald film, The Breakfast Club. And interestingly, right before Simple Minds appeared on this year’s Billboard Music Awards to celebrate The Breakfast Club’s 30th anniversary, the Scottish new wave band’s frontman, Jim Kerr, told Yahoo Music that he once actually thought the Furs should record “Don’t You” instead.

“[Simple Minds guitarist] Charlie [Burchill] and I are big fans of Psychedelic Furs. In fact, when we first heard the demo of ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me),’ it sounded like a Psychedelic Furs song. We thought, 'You should get Psychedelic Furs to do this.’ But we’re kind of glad that they didn’t,” he quipped.

“I don’t think anyone knew either the movie or the song would become so iconic — not just for one generation, probably two,” Kerr added. “We have to tell the truth: No one knew.”

As for a longstanding urban legend that “Don’t You” was originally intended for Billy Idol, Kerr adamantly debunked that rumor. “No, that’s not correct. It’s a popular lie! The reason I know that is Keith Forsey, who produced the song, also produced Billy. But he told us that Billy said he would’ve done it.” (SPIN’s oral history of the song reveals a few other candidates that nearly recorded it; Billy Idol later did a version for his 2001 greatest-hits compilation.)

While Simple Minds had a string of successful singles, like “Promised You a Miracle,” “Waterfront,” “Up on the Catwalk,” “Sanctify Yourself,” and “All the Things She Said,” and they recently reissued their classic Sparkle in the Rain album, their Breakfast Club theme, which was written by Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff, became their signature song. But Churchill told Yahoo Music they never had any qualms about being known for a song that wasn’t their own composition: “In fact, it was a great bonus for us, because it kicked a door open. We never felt any kind of regret. The song we had after that ['Alive and Kicking’] was a huge hit.”

The late John Hughes, whom Kerr described as a “teddy bear,” was a pioneer of alternative-rock film soundtracks, long before Twilight or The Hunger Games, and Simple Minds always appreciated the Brat Pack director’s Anglophilia. “The thing that was always amazing about John and all those movies that came out is that John had this ear for English music and British music,” said Kerr. “Even though the movies are very much American, the soundtracks were usually U.K. bands: Psychedelic Furs, Simple Minds, OMD, and others. It was amazing, that mix. He obviously had a vision, that John.”

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