80s Song of the Day: If You Leave by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

If You Leave by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) was released on April 21, 1986, with La Femme Accident as the B side. It is a single from the Pretty in Pink soundtrack and is featured in the final scene of the movie.

if you leaveIf You Leave is OMD’s highest-charting single in the United States, where it reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also a Top 5 hit in New Zealand. In the United Kingdom, it reached No. 48.

According to a New York Times Magazine article, OMD wrote If You Leave after John Hughes decided to change the ending to Pretty in Pink after poor test audience reactions. (Originally, Molly Ringwald’s character ended up with Jon Cryer’s Duckie instead of Andrew McCarthy’s Blaine.) Hughes had asked the band for a song for the new ending two days before they were due to begin a tour, and If You Leave was written and recorded in under 24 hours as a result. The original ending featured another OMD song, Goddess of Love, which was released on The Pacific Age later in 1986.


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