The revolution was indeed televised and, as the fifth column forces at MTV opened a breech in American defences, a (new) wave of British bands swarmed ashore, to quickly conquer their washed-up US competition. Videos were their weapons of mass distraction and, with them, the UK troops swiftly occupied the American charts, from where they ruled on high for much of the Eighties.
So why was it that Simple Minds refused to enter the fray, standing on the sidelines as a new generation of bands sailed off to a new world of fame and fortune? Of course the band shot videos, but they were fairly stolid affairs, with none of the flash and visual panache of their compatriots, as the group's fascination with film steadfastly refused to translate into an equal preoccupation with its smaller relative.
But the media is the message, as the success of "Don't You (Forget About Me)" would prove. It's a solid single, if lacking the aggression of its predecessor "Up on the Catwalk", the exuberance of "Speed Your Love", and the waves of power that washed across "Waterfront". Keith Forsey's production gives the song some kick but, at its heart it's an almost introspective piece, far from instantly infectious for all its ringing keyboard chords, and pointedly lacking a hook, a fact that even Jim Kerr's most impassioned "hey, hey"s can't quite cover. And then one discovers that the song was originally offered to the Psychedelic Furs, in the aftermath of ”Pretty In Pink”, and all of that makes sense.
Not that it mattered, regardless. The song’s prominent and perfect placement within The Breakfast Club movie did wonders and, for the first time, Simple Minds not only entered the top half of the American pop chart, but amazingly shot to its very top. Back home, the single also took the band to new heights, providing another first for the group when the 45 entered the UK Top 10.