Movie Reviews

Every Song On The Breakfast Club Soundtrack

Summary

  • The Breakfast Club, a quintessential ’80s high school film, launched careers and changed teen movies forever with its brilliant writing, down-to-earth story, and excellent performances.
  • The soundtrack, featuring hits like “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds and “Fire in the Twilight” by Wang Chung, showcased new wave sounds and became a beloved part of the movie’s legacy.
  • The Breakfast Club soundtrack has been recognized as a snapshot of popular teen music in the ’80s and has influenced subsequent teen dramas and movies.



John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club was the quintessential ’80s high school film, and it had a soundtrack full of songs that went on to become just as beloved as the movie itself. Released in 1985 to rave critical reviews, the film follows a group of disparate students who come to know each other over the course of a day in Saturday detention. The Breakfast Club captured the high school experience in a way that had never been attempted before, and it felt completely tuned into the culture of the 1980s. Besides launching the careers of “The Brat Pack”, it also changed teen movies forever.


Grossing $45 million (via Box Office Mojo) against a relatively minuscule budget, the movie was a smash hit that showcased the talents of its stars, including Molly Ringwald and Emilio Estevez, and is usually ranked among Hughes’ best ’80s movies. Outside its brilliant writing, down-to-earth story, and excellent performances, the film’s music was perhaps its most underrated aspect, and the new wave sounds firmly placed it in its time period. The soundtrack album was mostly a vehicle for the hit single “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds, but supplemental music from the score and pop songs from artists like Wang Chung were just as strong.

Breakfast Club Soundtrack Song

Musical Artist

“Don’t You (Forget About Me)”

Simple Minds

“Waiting”

Elizabeth Daily

“Fire in the Twilight”

Wang Chung

“I’m the Dude”

Keith Forsey

“Heart Too Hot to Hold”

Jesse Johnson & Stephanie Spruill

“Dream Montage”

Gary Chang

“We Are Not Alone”

Karla DeVito

“The Reggae”

Keith Forsey

“Didn’t I Tell You”

Joyce Kennedy

“Love Theme”

Keith Forsey



When Exactly Every Song Plays In The Breakfast Club

“Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds: The title track from the movie was not only the biggest hit on the soundtrack, but it was also one of the biggest hits of the entire decade. The epic new wave tune plays over the film’s opening credits and continues in instrumental form under the film’s opening monologue about the adult perception of students.

It plays again in The Breakfast Club‘s ending as all the characters go their separate ways with Claire giving Bender her earring and Allison kissing Andrew. It plays over the film’s end credits as Bender punches the air and is caught in a freeze-frame.

“Don’t You (Forget About Me)” landed at number 1 on the
Billboard Hot 100
after the soundtrack’s release in 1985.


“The Reggae” by Keith Forsey: The instrumental tune plays several times throughout the film, and essentially serves as the tension hook in the score. “The Reggae” is heard for the first time during the moment when Bender removes the screw from the library door while Vernon drinks from the water fountain. It continues under that scene until the confrontation between Bender and Vernon where the former tells the latter to “eat my shorts“. “The Reggae” is heard the second time when Bender escapes the broom closet by crawling through the ceiling and cracking jokes to himself.

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“Waiting” by Elizabeth Daily: While most of the music used in the film was overt, the song “Waiting” was actually snuck into a scene rather subtly through the use of diegetic sound. The Elizabeth Daily tune composed specifically for the movie is heard playing through Carl the janitor’s headphones as he comes into the library and says hello to Brian. It continued to play as he argues with Bender about the position of janitors in society.

“Didn’t I Tell You” by Joyce Kennedy: Rolling over from the previous song “Waiting” by Elizabeth Daily, the Joyce Kennedy tune plays through Carl’s headphones as he continues his diatribe towards Bender after the teen was disrespectful to him for being a janitor.


“Fire in the Twilight” by Wang Chung: The other big pop song on the soundtrack album, Wang Chung’s hit song plays during the memorable scene in which the teens run through the hallway while trying to avoid being caught by Vernon. It plays until they reach the dead end and Bender decides to distract Vernon by running through the halls, so the others could get away.

“Dream Montage” by Gary Chang: The bluesy instrumental piece plays during the hilarious moment in the film when the teens all imbibe in Bender’s stash of weed. It continues under the moment when Brian does his jive talk routine and Claire brags about how popular she is while everyone scoffs.

“I’m The Dude” by Keith Forsey: The hard-rocking instrumental plays during the scene where Andrew comes out of the closet after smoking weed and dances furiously around the library punching the air and jumping over furniture. It continues until he returns to the closet and screams so loud that the glass door shatters.


“We Are Not Alone” by Karla DeVito: Movies like The Breakfast Club often rely on a wide variety of musical stylings to accentuate the story on screen. The Karla DeVito song “We Are Not Alone” was essentially the anthem for the finale of the film as it explored the idea that the teens in the film had finally found community with each other. The song is heard playing over the library speakers after Brian put it on, and it underscores the movie’s memorable dance sequence as all the teens come together and enjoy the music.

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“Love Theme” by Keith Forsey: Another piece of the film’s underrated score that made it onto the soundtrack, “Love Theme” plays during the scene where Claire gives Allison a makeover and rolls over into the moment when Andrew is suddenly struck by her looks. The song also plays in the scene where Claire visits Bender in the broom closet, and she kisses him after asking what he truly thought of her makeup trick from earlier.

“Heart Too Hot to Hold” by Jesse Johnson & Stephanie Spruill: To close out the movie on a good note, the rocking duet from Jesse Johnson and Stephanie Spruill plays over the film’s end credits after the Simple Minds song fades out.

Where To Listen To The Breakfast Club Soundtrack


While the soundtrack released as an album was hardly comprehensive, it did represent most of the songs featured in the film. Certain instrumentals made it on the record, while others were sadly left on the cutting room floor. The film’s soundtrack was released as The Breakfast Club (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) in 1985 and was anchored by the chart-topping hit “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds. The album was made available for streaming on the platforms Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, and Youtube Music.

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The Breakfast Club Soundtrack Is Part Of Its Legacy

Bender, Brian & Andrew Dancing In The Breakfast Club.jpg


…they offer a modern audience a snapshot of exactly what sounds and feelings were popular among teens of the era.

The Breakfast Club has been fondly looked back on and homaged in a number of teen and tween dramas since its release.Dawson’s Creek’s detention episode acknowledged the teens in the episode would never be the Breakfast Club and Victorious parodied the movie with their episode “The Breakfast Bunch.” Alongside the iconic scenes of the movie, however, there’s an acknowledgment that the soundtrack is a big part of what made the movie so popular.


Critics have called many of the songs on the soundtrack “forgotten ‘80s tracks,” but they offer a modern audience a snapshot of exactly what sounds and feelings were popular among teens of the era. In particular, Simple Minds’ opening and closing track for the movie is the most remembered. It’s been said that the Scottish rock band might have wanted to distance themselves from the song initially so that they wouldn’t solely be associated with a teen movie, but “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” gave the group their first international hit.

The song has also become a huge part of pop culture history. The moment the song plays and Judd Nelson’s Bender pumps his fist into the air has been recreated in countless media, including in the finale performance of the Barden Bellas in Pitch Perfect, a movie focused on a capella music, but also in which one character believes it to be one of the greatest musical moments in a movie of all time.

The Breakfast Club soundtrack has cemented its pop culture legacy alongside the movie.


The Breakfast Club Movie Poster

The Breakfast Club

After receiving detention, a group of five high-school students bonds as they realize they have quite a bit in common despite being from different friend groups. Despite being over 35 years old, The Breakfast Club still stands as one of the quintessential movies of the ‘80s and one of director John Hughes standout films.

Release Date
February 15, 1985

Cast
Molly Ringwald , Ally Sheedy , Anthony Michael Hall , Judd Nelson , Emilio Estevez

Runtime
97 minutes

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