Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

September 1, 2010

John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band ~ Eddie & The Cruisers Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

(No official website.)
Style: soundtrack, hard rock
Label: Scotti Bros/CBS
Year: 1983
Home: Rhode Island

Members: John Cafferty ~ vocals/guitar
Gary Gramolini ~ Guitar
Patrick Lupo ~ Bass
Kenny Jo Silva ~ Drums
Bobby Cotoia ~ keyboards
Michael "Tunes" Antunes ~ saxophone

I was very disappointed when I was visiting my parents in Washington earlier this year to discover that days after leaving John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown band were going to be performing at the casino but a mile from their house. I've loved this band since I first saw the movie they did the soundtrack for over a decade ago, which in turn gave them a career outside of Rhode Island & East Coast bars. This might be a soundtrack to a quasi-mediocre, in all honesty, but cult favorite movie with an overly simple plot & often one-dimensional characters, but if the songs don't stay in your head I'd be surprised. These songs are a mix of soulful 1950's rock with lots of early Bruce Springsteen bar rock inflection, which is more reflective of what the producers of the movie wanted not necessarily of the Beaver Brown band itself. The second film better showcased the Cafferty sound, which is a bit more 80's than 50's, but they have a timeless Americana bar band sound irregardless of what era they're drawing inspiration from that has similiar strains to Bon Jovi, Little Steven & Springsteen. Cafferty isn't a perfect imitator of the 50's, but the feeling & lyrical content is close enough to know what he's aiming for & still give it his own personality. One of the things I've always enjoyed about Cafferty is his great lyric writing which are well-honed ballads of great emotional content. This is an album to watch a sunset to. The second movie features a soundtrack that's also more cohesive musically, as the first movie featured the fictitious band Eddie & The Cruisers developing their sound over the years while the second had a present day timeline of current events, but here Cafferty has pulled out all the stops lyrically & musically to follow suit with the movie & present an array of musical styles which makes up for the lack of cohesiveness. The weakest spot is "Season In Hell (Fire Suite)", in two parts, which is the climax of the film & works better on film where only snippets are heard. Otherwise it's an experimental odd afterthought on the album not reflective of either Eddie & The Cruisers or Cafferty. In a strange way Cafferty would come to be so tied with the band that he would forever be known as the real Eddie & The Cruisers. Future albums by Cafferty reflect this, with: Eddie & the Cruisers: The Unreleased Tapes, which plays upon the lost tapes theme featured in the films & Eddie & the Cruisers: Live & In Concert & The Voice Of Eddie & The Cruiser: Tough All Over. The other example I can think of with a band being so tied to a movie is Spinal Tap, ableit, albeit the movie was about them & the soundtrack was successful before the movie took off. Obviously, Cafferty is still out there playing its radio friendly East Coast bar rock. Though it may not be a metal album & not particularly hard rock, it's so rare when an artist has such success from a soundtrack album that I can't ignore it & the soundtrack without doubt rocks.

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