Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, September 7th

On this day in 1985: David Bowie and Mick Jagger were at #1 on the U.K. singes chart with their version of the Martha and The Vandellas 1964 hit ‘Dancing In The Street.’ The song had been recorded as part of the Live Aid charity appeal. The original plan was to perform a track together live, with Bowie performing at Wembley Stadium in London and Jagger at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, until it was realized that the satellite link-up would cause a half-second delay that would make it impossible.

Also on this day in 1985: John Parr started a two week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘St Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion)’, taken from the film of the same name, a #6 hit in the U.K.

David Foster and John Parr were contracted to write a song for the film, but Parr struggled with inspiration for the lyrics. Foster showed Parr a news clip about the Canadian athlete Rick Hansen, who at the time was going around the world in his wheelchair to raise awareness for spinal cord injuries. His journey was called the “Man in Motion Tour.” Parr decided to help the campaign by writing words that would fit vaguely with the film, but which directly referenced Hansen’s efforts.

The song did not initially feature on Parr’s studio albums, only appearing on the London records re-release of his self-titled debut album in the United Kingdom. It also appeared on a very rare 1985 West German CD re-release of the album, which has been out of circulation and unavailable.

Members of the bands Toto, REO Speedwagon, and Mr. Mister appear on the recording.

Here’s the complete Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1985:

1 2 ST. ELMO’S FIRE (Man In Motion) John Parr (Atlantic)-12(1 Week at #1)
2 1 POWER OF LOVE –•– Huey Lewis & The News (Chrysalis)-11 (1)
3 4 WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER HERO –•– Tina Turner (Capitol)-10 (3)
4 3 FREEWAY OF LOVE –•– Aretha Franklin (Arista)-12 (3)
5 5 SUMMER OF ’69 –•– Bryan Adams (A&M)-11 (5)
6 10 MONEY FOR NOTHING –•– Dire Straits (Warner Brothers)-9 (6)
7 8 CHERISH –•– Kool & The Gang (De-Lite)-10 (7)
8 11 DON’T LOSE MY NUMBER –•– Phil Collins (Atlantic)-8 (8)
9 9 YOU’RE ONLY HUMAN (Second Wind) –•– Billy Joel (Columbia)-9 (9)
10 13 POP LIFE –•– Prince & The Revolution (Paisley Park)-7 (10)

11 12 INVINCIBLE (Theme From “The Legend Of Billie Jean”) –•– Pat Benatar (Chrysalis)-10 (11)
12 14 FREEDOM –•– Wham! (Columbia)-7 (12)
13 6 SHOUT –•– Tears For Fears (Mercury)-13 (1)
14 7 NEVER SURRENDER –•– Corey Hart (EMI-America)-14 (3)
15 16 DARE ME –•– The Pointer Sisters (RCA)-9 (15)
16 17 SMOKIN’ IN THE BOYS ROOM –•– Motley Crue (Elektra)-9 (16)
17 23 DRESS YOU UP –•– Madonna (Sire)-4 (17)
18 26 OH SHEILA –•– Ready For The World (MCA)-6 (18)
19 20 LIFE IN ONE DAY –•– Howard Jones (Elektra)-10 (19)
20 15 WHAT ABOUT LOVE? –•– Heart (Capitol)-15 (10)

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