The group was formed in New York City in 1979 and went through several line-ups, including one in which pop star Madonna was the drummer. In the early 1980s, the band included Madonna, Angie Smit on bass, and the Gilroy brothers, Dan and Ed, both on guitar (Dan sang lead vocals as well). Dan Gilroy was also briefly Madonna's boyfriend, and he eventually allowed her to sing some lead vocals. Madonna ultimately left to form a new band, Emmy and the Emmys.
In the mid 1980s, the band consisted of the Gilroys (with Dan now concentrating exclusively on vocals, while Ed provided all guitars), Gary Burke (bass), Paul Kauk (keyboards), and Stephen Bray (drums). Both Bray and Burke previously had been Madonna's bandmates in Emmy and the Emmys.
The group signed with ZE Records and released its eponymous album in 1987 on MCA Records, which spawned the U.S. hit "Right On Track". A majority of their music videos, including "Right on Track," were filmed by Jeff Stein, director of The Who documentary The Kids Are Alright. They were nominated in the category of Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards in 1988. Later, Randy Jackson (bass) and E. Doctor Smith (The Drummstick joined the band.
A second album was recorded but never released. The band's last single was a cover of The Beatles' song "Drive My Car" for the 1988 film License to Drive. Shortly afterwards the band broke up; Bray later co-wrote several big hits with Madonna.
Dan Gilroy later starred in Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme as Gordon Goose and in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle as Pete the Postman.
On April 5, 2016, Breakfast Club released a new EP titled Percolate, which featured songs from the group's unreleased second album. It is the group's first release of new material in almost three decades.