Tuesday, May 15, 2007

John Parr

Naughty Naughty

Time for some good old 80’s Rock and Roll and when I want some solid 80’s guitar riffs, one man comes to mind.

John Parr (born November 18, 1954, in Worksop, Nottinghamshire) is a British musician. He achieved some success by having two hits in the 1980s.

John Parr's first entrance in to music was when he was 12 years old and formed a band with two fellow schoolmates named The Silence. The band enjoyed considerable success. They eventually became professional and started to tour Europe.

Ponders End
When Parr left the band, he joined a group called Ponders End who were hailed as the 'best live act around' in Newcastle, along with Dire Straits. In the end they did not secure a record deal and the band's chapter in history was closed.

Work with Meat Loaf
Parr secured a publishing deal with Carlin Music in 1983 and in the same year Meat Loaf asked him to write some songs for his new album. That led to the fateful meeting with John Wolfe (manager of The Who). Foreseeing the initial demise of The Who, Wolfe was looking for a new venture and Parr seemed to be the one. 1984 saw Parr's first trip to America. He worked with Meat Loaf on Bad Attitude while Wolfe was putting finishing touches on Parr's solo Atlantic recording deal in New York.

Solo and 'The Business'
The above video "Naughty Naughty" was Parr's first U.S. top 40 hit record. The song built his career very quickly by achieving top 3 positions on every rock radio station in America for up to 6 weeks. 1985 saw Parr on the road with his band "The Business" supporting Toto, and playing 10,000-seater venues across America. By the end of the tour, John had a call from one of the world's most successful record producers, David Foster. He requested Parr to record a song for the film "St Elmo's Fire". Parr and Foster wrote a song in honor of wheelchair athlete and activist Rick Hansen, the song was called "St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)" which was also became the theme for the movie St. Elmo's Fire (a "Brat Pack" film unrelated to Hansen's exploits). The song became a Number one hit for Parr around the world and garnered many awards, including a Grammy nomination.

Parr later wrote "Under A Raging Moon" for Roger Daltrey, a song that paid tribute to Keith Moon and told the story of The Who. The album became Daltrey's biggest solo success in America. Parr was soon singing with Marilyn Martin on the song "Through the Night", from Quicksilver soundtrack (1986). Parr wrote and produced further tracks for Martin's debut album, including the hit "Night Moves". A year after, sang the songs "The Minute I Saw You", from Three Men and a Baby soundtrack, and the power ballad "Running Away With You", from The Running Man soundtrack (this song was re-released on "Man With a Vision" album, with the title "Restless Heart"). After the success of Meat Loaf's album, Parr contributed to the next album with the smash duet hit "Rock & Roll Mercenaries". From there he began work with Albert Magnili (director of Purple Rain) on the movie American Anthem for which he wrote and performed the main theme "Two Hearts".

However, after a relatively short period of chart success, John Parr faded into the annals of 1980s musical history, along with other one-hit wonders. He did briefly regain the limelight in 2006 with the release of a dance remix of "St. Elmo's Fire", entitled "New Horizon". It was credited to John Parr vs. Tommyknockers and reached a modest number 43 in the UK Singles Chart.

On March 26, 2007, Parr released Walking Out Of The Darkness, a tribute to Doncaster Rovers ahead of the club's appearance in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on April 1, 2007.

1984 John Parr #48 US
1986 Running the Endless Mile
1992 Man With a Vision
1996 Under Parr
"Naughty Naughty"
"St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)"
"Love Grammar"
"Blame It On The Radio"

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