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Simple Minds and the song they hated... until the cheques arrived

Back in 1985, the 'moody' Scots were finally persuaded to record 'Don't You (Forget About Me)' - a song they didn't write, and one snubbed by two of their peers. Luckily, it was a US number one, writes Ed Power

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Pressure; Simple Minds were convinced to record 'Don't You (Forget About Me)’ after a long stretch in the pub with the track's songwriter

Pressure; Simple Minds were convinced to record 'Don't You (Forget About Me)’ after a long stretch in the pub with the track's songwriter

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Pressure; Simple Minds were convinced to record 'Don't You (Forget About Me)’ after a long stretch in the pub with the track's songwriter

On a muggy evening in Paris in the spring of 1985, Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr started plying strangers with champagne. Kerr was not a habitual drinker; if he had a vice, it was his penchant for oversized sports jackets with loud patterns. But he'd just received a message of world-shaking significance.

"I got a telegraph saying, 'You're #1 on the Billboard charts'," he recalled. " I'm getting rollicking drunk. Everyone who walks into the bar, I'm like, 'Give that man a drink!' Suddenly I'm Frank Sinatra. And it cost me a fortune."

'Don't You (Forget About Me)' was the track to which Kerr owed his place in the record books and the patrons of his hotel bar their night of free booze. The song marked its 35th anniversary last week and there is no better moment to rediscover it and the groundbreaking teen drama with which it will be forever associated, John Hughes' The Breakfast Club.