Simple Minds are a Scottish rock band who first started recording in the late 1970s, but who shed their initial New Wave roots in the mid-1980s. Led by lead singer Jim Kerr, the group was well-established in the U.K. and Europe by 1984 when their album Sparkle in the Rain was produced by Steve Lillywhite. Thanks to Lillywhite’s production, an exotic native country, and even similar hairstyles by the lead singers, there were common comparisons to U2.

The Breakfast Club was a teen comedy from John Hughes, and the filmmakers were looking for a hit song to anchor the soundtrack and to promote the movie. Written by Flashdance writer Keith Forsey, “Don’t You Forget About Me” was turned down by Bryan Ferry, Billy Idol, and Cy Curnin from The Fixx. Simple Minds turned it down, but after discussions with their record label reconsidered. The song was quickly recorded, and the band continued recording their next album. Thanks in part to the popularity of the movie, the song has since become a classic from the decade, and itself was a worldwide hit including number one in the U.S.

Simple Minds’ next album was a hit in America, finally. Another top 5 hit followed, “Alive and Kicking”, and two more top 30 singles from the album (“All the Things She Said” and “Sanctify Yourself”), giving the group their only Gold album in the U.S. Subsequent albums would not be as successful, though the group continued to score platinum albums in the U.K. for the next decade.