This image reminds of a great song recorded poorly by two fantastic singers. The extraordinarly touching song "Don't You Forget About Me
" was written for but rejected by Billy Idol, and Simple Minds got pressured into recording it, quite against their will. Years later, Idol finally recorded his own version
, and it fails just as badly. Though we adore both Billy Idol and Simple Minds' Jim Kerr, neither vocalist did the song justice because, apparently, neither could relate to the sentiment. The song is about the devastation of being made invisible on the street, by a former friend or lover who walks past without deigning a glance. Perhaps the two singers, being unforgettable themselves, simply can't relate to the feeling of being forgotten, obliterated. The lyrics mention how "rain keeps falling," and (news flash to Jim and Billy) it's not welcome news for the crops—it's an expression of gloom, depression, despair. Both Kerr's and Idol's vocal performances improve a bit by the end of the song (each performance seems to be a single take; nobody dedicated much time to these recordings), but it's too little, too late. Plus, Idol (bless him) gives us his bedroom voice, as if there never was that breakup that the whole song is about, saying "Will you call my name" as if he wants some positive feedback during lovemaking. It's a hilarious interpretation of the song, and very Billy Idol to be sure, but woefully clueless. We love you both, Jim and Billy! Why did you both hate this great song so much?
"Yesterday he was you pal. What about today?" From The Film Daily, 1932.