St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion) – John Parr | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1 for 2 weeks); 1985

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

John Parr’s entry into the big time was the indirect result of partial amnesia suffered in 1980, when he was inadvertently caught up in a brawl at London’s Rainbow Club. Also at the Rainbow that day was John Wolff, The Who’s manager, who was helping the injured. Wolff

took John home to recover, and later offered him a chance to record demos. From there John moved into recording, eventually placing Naughty Naughty on the American chart in 1985 (#23), where it caught the ear of David Foster.

Foster asked Parr to help write the theme for St. Elmo’s Fire, which was still being filmed, and told him they had just one day to do so. Parr took inspiration from a video about paraplegic Rick Hanson’s around-the-world trip in a wheelchair to raise money for spinal cord research.

John and David’s co-composition worked exceedingly well, as Elmo viewers assumed the song related directly to the flick’s follow-your-dream message.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • David Foster

Lyrics Written by:

  • David Foster