Sunday, March 19

Our lives at 45 rpm

A new Dullard feature begins here: "Our lives at 45 rpm."

During a recent closet cleanout, I ran across my box of 45s, purchased mostly during the 1980s. For the entertainment of you, the faithful reader, I'll pick one at random and offer a few thoughts on it along with some trivia. Perhaps other Dullard contributors will chime in on this musical excursion, which will perhaps enlighten and most certainly embarass...

Single: "Don't You (Forget About Me)"
Artist: Simple Minds
Year released: 1985
Highest U.S. chart position: 1

: The first time I heard this song on the radio, I thought it was by Billy Idol. It still could have worked with him.

The song, of course, is by Simple Minds, who to this point were relatively unknown on these shores. They didn't write "Don't You" and tried to downplay its success and focus on their own material. But it's still the song they're best known for.

"Don't You" is a perfectly serviceable pop song, catchy from the opening drum and chords. Vocalist Jim Kerr isn't as obnoxious here as he would be with the Simple Minds albums that would follow. His shallow angst and longing on the track matches the "Breakfast Club" movie as no other song could.

Unfortunately, "Don't You" has stayed with us and remains a staple of "I Love the 80s" playlists — to the point that I am ready to forget about it all over again.

The B-side is something called "A Brass Band in Africa." It would be fascinating to know whether any human being who bought this 45 ever listened to it.

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