Friday, January 29, 2016

John Parr-Running The Endless Mile (1986)


Listening to 80's music will forever be an endless endeavor of mine, though I didn't have to run to far to find the next album in my lifelong marathon. My sprint with Robert Tepper's "No Easy Way Out" the other day had gotten me thinking about other solo gritty-voiced rockers from my favorite decade whom I haven't heard in a long time. That's when John Parr popped up in my head, a man I got introduced to years ago when I enjoyed my first memorable listen to his epic 1985 hit, "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" (which eventually led me to get the soundtrack from which it came), then got reacquainted with when I heard his 1984 hit, "Naughty Naughty" on satellite radio. I'll tell you what else is epic: the opening track to Parr's 1986 album, "Two Hearts". Wouldn't be surprised if this song was used as a motivational theme song for a sports team or featured in a movie centered around an athletic competition of some kind, as the production does have a spirited, Olympic-anthem vibe to it. Really, every song on this album was an epic adventure for me with Parr's vocals leading the way. High-intensity energetic thrillers like "Scratch", "Don't Leave Your Mark On Me" and "King Of Lies" (love the ' I'm-a-bad-boy ' attitude he adopts on this jam) totally gets me pumped while it was sheer pop bliss (or should I say power pop bliss?) on "The Story Remains The Same" (a very delightful pop arrangement and dancey groove this one has, not to mention a sliver of that same breathtaking Olympian air during the synthesized instrumental breaks). But there's still one other that reigns supreme above all of these: "Steal You Away". Yes, I was quite literally stolen away and taken up into music heaven on this majestic gem of a love song! The happy melody, accented by the sweet saxophone, and the confident lyrics that speak about the songwriter's determination to get the woman he wants will make you want to bask in this song all day long! Especially the hook, which by itself is something to run the endless mile with:

1. Two Hearts (American Anthem)
2. Don't Worry 'Bout Me
3. King Of Lies
4. Running The Endless Mile
5. Don't Leave Your Mark On Me (Mark 2)
6. Scratch
7. Do It Again
8. Blame It On The Radio
9. The Story Remains The Same (Vices)
10. Steal You Away (Flight Of The Spruce Goose)

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