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Molly's New Wave 

The stories behind Brat Pack music

"Pretty in Pink," The Psychedelic Furs

As the story goes, Molly Ringwald—herself a fan of new wave music as a teenager—handed director and then-friend John Hughes a copy of The Psychedelic Furs album Talk Talk Talk, pointing him toward the song "Pretty in Pink." It inspired Hughes to pen a screenplay.

In an interview with Mojo magazine in 2010, Psychdelic Furs front man Richard Butler said Hughes butchered the meaning of the song with his script. "The song was about a girl who kinda sleeps around and thinks it's really cool and thinks everybody really likes her," explained Butler. "But they really don't. She's just being used. It's quite scathing."

Somehow, Hughes got it all wrong.

"It was nothing like the spirit of the song at all," continued Butler. "[I]f that's what people thought the story was about and didn't look much further than that, they were getting a very false impression."

"If You Leave," Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark

In the final prom scene of Pretty in Pink, Molly Ringwald's character rushes into the arms of her friend Duckie—played by Jon Cryer. They're in love.

OK, so that's not how it went down in the film. But, that was actually how the film was supposed to end and the two were scripted to be dancing to OMD's song "Goddess of Love," which the band wrote specifically for the scene.

After testing that ending with audiences and learning that it fell flat, Hughes decided to rewrite the finale and have Ringwald end up with Andrew McCarthy's frat boy character. As a result, Hughes asked OMD singer Andy McCluskey to write a new song to fit the ending and only gave the band 24 hours to do it.

"We went into a studio in L.A." McCluskey explained in a recent interview. "We borrowed any equipment we could get our hands on; and we worked until around 4 in the morning. We did a rush demo; we put it on a cassette; and we sent it in to Paramount Pictures. About 9 o'clock in the morning we were woken up by our manager saying, 'John Hughes loves the song! Go back in the studio and finish it!'" The song reached Billboard Top 5 and was the band's biggest commercial success.

"Don't You (Forget About Me)," Simple Minds

The most memorable song from the soundtrack for the 1985 Molly Ringwald film The Breakfast Club was actually written by movie score contributor Keith Forsey and one time Psychedelic Furs drummer.

Forsey shopped the song around to artists to record it for the movie, but was turned down by his first choice, Billy Idol. And though Idol later went on to record a version for his Greatest Hits album, at the time little-known British new wave group Simple Minds finally signed on to make the song a reality. Though at first they didn't want to. The artists only agreed at the insistence of their record label and after a visit from Forsey.

According to Songfacts.com, the "la-la-la" coda in the song was a result of Kerr giving up on writing new lyrics.

About The Author

Ethan Maffey

Both a writer and a fan of vinyl records since age 5, it wasn't until nearly three decades later that Oregon Native Ethan Maffey derived a plan to marry the two passions by writing about music. From blogging on MySpace in 2007 and then Blogspot, to launching his own website, 83Music, and eventually freelancing...
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