Here's the full story behind OMD's 'If You Leave' during '80s classic 'Pretty in Pink'
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark is in the middle of a short North American tour so bandmate Andy McCluskey has been doing the usual media rounds. In this excellent interview with WeloveDC.com, he explains how OMD came to write and perform the classic song If You Leave for the John Hughes movie Pretty in Pink:
"It came about quite simply because John Hughes was a huge fan of British music. We had been very successful in other parts of the world—particularly Europe—for several years, selling millions of records, but we had been alternative in the United States. So there were people who liked who liked what we were doing. We were asked by John Hughes to write a song for Pretty in Pink. We were really flattered and excited.
"So we went down to Paramount Studios; we saw them shooting; and we met Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, and John [Hughes]. They gave us a script and they said, 'We want a song for the big finale in the prom scene.' We said, great! We went home and we wrote them a fantastic song. We came back with a 2-inch tape, ready to mix it in L.A. prior to a tour we were going to do.
"But John was kind of like, 'You know what? This is a really good song, but we have tested the film to audiences and they don’t like the ending. So we are going to reshoot the ending with a completely different end. Molly Ringwald is going to end it with Andrew McCarthy’s character now—not Duckie, the Jon Cryer character. So the song doesn’t really make any sense any more. Could you write another one?'
"Holy s**t! We have a single day to write another song? Anyway, that’s what we did. We went into a studio in L.A.; 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!' "
Are you wondering what the song was that OMD wrote first for Hughes? It was Goddess of Love.