A lot of us who grew up in the 1980s can remember some of the great (or we thought they were great) movies of the decade. Purple Rain. Risky Business. 48 Hrs. And of course, many of what were called the “Brat Pack” movies: The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire, among others.
Today’s song was featured in one of those movies: the beloved, at least for a sizable portion of the population, Pretty In Pink. Today’s 80’s Mania Mondays song is Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark’s “If You Leave.”
Filmmaker John Hughes wrote and co-produced the movie from which today’s song was featured. Hughes was coming off a string of successes with teen-comedy movies, starting with the first movie he directed Sixteen Candles. After that, he also was associated with, either by writing or directing, or both, films such as The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Hughes was also responsible for Home Alone, the biggest grossing live action comedy of all time, and also wrote the script for National Lampoon’s Vacation. It’s safe to say that Hughes had a hand in some of the most memorable movies of the decade.
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark was a band out of England that hadn’t had much stateside success prior to their biggest hit. The group performed electronic music before switching to a more mainstream pop direction. Not long after they made the US charts, they were asked to submit a song for the Pretty In Pink soundtrack. Their submission “Goddess Of Love” tested negatively with focus groups, so they quickly wrote “If You Leave” in 24 hours before they were heading out on tour. Once the song hit the airwaves, it raced into the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100.
The group was unable to capitalize on the momentum of that soundtrack single, though they were did release two more top 20 pop hits following “If You Leave.” After breaking up in 1996, the band re-formed in 2006, and are still performing today.
Do you remember this song, and the movie it came from? If so, what are your memories about either of those, and for that matter, any of those teen comedies of the 80s? I hope you enjoy today’s track, and as always, thanks for reading and listening.