By the time he enjoyed huge success with his iconic track St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion) in 1985 John Parr was already a veteran of the music industry. He served his apprenticeship in various bands from the age of 12 playing working men’s clubs across the North of England. When superstardom came beckoning for him in the 80s he had been a professional musician for over half his life – and he was only in his early 30s! Since then, he has sold 10 million albums and has toured with some of the most iconic acts ever to grace a stage including Foreigner, Toto, Tina Turner, Bryan Adams, Heart, Richard Marx and Journey.
It all really kicked off for him in 1983 when he signed a publishing deal with Carlin America. That same year Meat Loaf asked him to write some songs for his new album. That in turn led to a meeting with John Wolff, who was tour manager for the Who. He would secure John’s solo recording contract and the rest is history.
In 1985 Naughty Naughty became his first U.S. top 40 hit, reaching No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100. Real Housewives fans might recognise his co-star in the video. Yes, that is indeed Lisa Rina, who at the time was best known for her work on the show Melrose Place.
While breaking the US was a huge deal his next track would be an international smash. A phone call from David Foster asking him to write a song for the seminal Brat Pack film St Elmo’s Fire would lead to his signature song. The film starred the hottest actors of the day including Ally Sheedy, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy and Demi Moore so it was already an assured hit. But it was elevated even further by John’s soaring track St Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion), with a classic video featuring all the stars of the film.
The song spent 20 weeks on the Irish charts reaching number 5 and it hit No 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. In the almost 40 years since its release, it has taken on a life of its own being utilised for advertising, sports, and charity events. It’s garnered many awards and was even nominated for a Grammy.
It wasn’t John’s only movie hit in the 80s. The following year, 1986, he duetted with Marilyn Martin on Through the Night, from the Quicksilver soundtrack.
In 1987 he contributed the title song The Minute I Saw You to the Three Men and a Baby soundtrack. The film was another smash hit continuing his run of movie music success. There would be several more soundtrack hits including Restless Heart’ from The Running Man soundtrack, Two Hearts from American Anthem and Love Grammar from Flight of the Spruce Goose.
He also found time to reunite with his old pal Meat Loaf to record the track Rock ‘n’ Roll Mercenaries which was the lead track from Meat’s fifth studio album Blind Before I Stop.
Alongside his stellar recording career John is also an accomplished songwriter. He has penned tracks for Tom Jones, the Monkees, David Essex and Bucks Fizz to name just a few.
He continues to write, record and tour and we are thrilled to be welcoming him to this year’s Forever Young Festival on Saturday July 15th.
John Parr plays the ‘Forever Young’ festival in Palmerstown House Estate on Saturday July 15th, 2023. ‘Forever Young’ is a three-day celebration of the music of the 1980s featuring artists such as Andy Bell (Erasure), Bananarama, Billy Ocean, Tony Hadley, ABC and many more.
Full line-up and tickets are available here