Monday, August 29, 2016

"Tender Years" by John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band

Song#:  1763
Date:  01/28/1984
Debut:  94
Peak:  78
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Rock, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  The film Eddie & the Cruisers featured a soundtrack that was performed by John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band with Cafferty supplying some of the original songs. However, the first single from the album, "On the Dark Side," was credited to Eddie & the Cruisers, the movie's fictional band. That initial release of the single didn't do great and it topped out at #64. Still, the record company decided to push a second single and this song was issued. This time around, Cafferty and his band got proper billing. Unfortunately, the tune couldn't make any headway and it disappeared after a few weeks. Both singles would get a second life later in the year.

ReduxReview:  Yeah, the comparison to Springsteen is even more apparent on this song, especially with the Clarence Clemons-ish sax on the intro. It's a pretty good knock-off, but it really can't compare to the real Springsteen and I think that's the problem and why the band couldn't get signed. It's great to be influenced by another artist and even incorporate some of their style or sound, but I'm not sure what possessed Cafferty to push so hard to sound like Springsteen and the E Street Band. In doing so, they never really had their own identity and that ultimately killed their career. That doesn't mean they weren't a solid band. They were and this single showed they could actually hang with the Boss.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia: Cafferty wrote and recorded this song a few years earlier in 1980. At the time the group was just known as Beaver Brown and they signed on to Coastline Records for a single. The a-side was titled "Wild Summer Nights" while this song served as the b-side. The single was a success on the upper east coast, but the band's Springsteen-esqe sound scared off major labels - after all, there was already a Springsteen. After the band was discovered and offered the work on the Eddie & the Cruisers, both songs were revived and used for the soundtrack. Oddly, when the 1990 CD reissue of the soundtrack was released, both of these songs were replaced with two remakes. One can only assume that legal/rights issues kept the songs off that specific reissue.


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