Retrocon 2024

Bodacious Breakdown: 'If You Leave' by Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark

The MTV era of music was by far the best and gave us thousands of great (and not so great) music videos to accompany our favorite songs on the radio. As a fun way to rediscover these weird, ground-breaking, sexy, epic, and just plain fun visual masterpieces, I'll be offering my very own bodacious breakdowns which will include stills from the video and my off-beat commentary. The featured video will either be selected at random or suggested by you!

Orchestral Manoeuvers In The Dark "If You Leave" 
Released: April 21, 1986
Album: Pretty in Pink soundtrack
Peak Position on U.S. Billboard Pop Chart: #4

The Pretty in Pink soundtrack turns 30 years old in a couple days so for this edition I chose "If You Leave" by Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark. It was the most successful single released from the soundtrack in the US and the only one that cracked the Top 40. Conversly, four other singles including the title track by the Psychedelic Furs made the Top 40 across the pond on the UK chart but OMD's single wasn't one of them.

"If You Leave" was amazingly written and recorded in under 24 hours after director John Hughes requested a different track for the closing scene of the movie. The 120 BPM tempo was specifically used to match "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds which was played during the filming of the dance scene.

Watch the video and then check out my bodacious breakdown...


0:06 - OMD living up to their name.

0:16 - Is this whole video gonna be in the dark?

0:22 - Now I see why it's so dark...they are apparently filming in some kind of art museum after hours. 

0:26 - Yes, it's at a museum after hours and the exhibits are coming to life!!!

0:39 - Bass player emerges from the darkness to stalk lead singer.

0:48 - Someone find that hawk, it's crapping all over the art!!

1:08 - The cinematographer of this video apparently had a second job taking portraits for Olan Mills or JC Penney.

1:36 - Chicken wire? Yeah, they are definitely in the bird exhibit section of the museum.

2:25 - The makeout session lead-in to the sax solo was way too quick. It would've been better to keep the scene in the background while he plays. That's the type of gratutious sax that '80s videos are known for displaying.

2:46 - Lead singer has no respect for this wall sculpture. The museum curator is gonna be pissed in the morning.

3:19 - Peek-a-boo, Mr. Keyboard Player!

3:21 - 3:28 - I haven't seen a keyboard player rock out this hard to one note since...

3:35 - Ahhh! Don't come into frame and scare me like that! Get yourself behind the wall with the rest of the band, Mr. Lead Singer.

3:49 - EWW!! No, I can't watch!!

4:12 - Here's what I think of your wall of love.

4:15 - ♫♫ Don't look back... ♫♫ Don't do it, don't do it...nooo!

Find more Bodacious Breakdowns on RD80s...

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