Album: Talk Talk Talk, 1981
Justification: Let’s be honest: the first thing you think of when you see this song title is Molly Ringwald, right? The teen classic casts a ridiculously long shadow, after all, all but obscuring the band who did the song after which the film was named. We can discuss the politics of the song, if you like: does Richard Butler celebrate the sexual freedom of the titular Caroline, who enjoys getting her kit off (“pretty in pink” is equivalent to “birthday suit”) and who laughs and give you her clothes, or does he side with the lovers who talk of the notes and the flowers that they never sent, and call her easy? I tend to side with the former interpretation, but that’s probably because, all things being equal, I tend to side with the interpretation that isn’t freakishly misogynist.
The band re-recorded this to tie in with the film in 1986, banging it on the end of the hastily-recorded and not-terribly-good Midnight to Midnight (although, if you ever see it, it’s worth getting just for the amazing ‘All of the Law’ – it’s one of those rare and wonderful Incredible Songs Buried On Otherwise Fairly Shit Albums), but the original is still the best. The ‘Furs have reunited, of course, after the Butler brothers formed the underperforming Love Spit Love, and if they toured here I would go in a heart(break)beat.