Wednesday, September 12, 2018

"Small Town Girl" by John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band

Song#:  2525
Date:  11/09/1985
Debut:  82
Peak:  64
Weeks:  10
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Cafferty and his crew made their first attempt to be on their own minus the attachments of the fictional movie band Eddie and the Cruisers with an actual debut album titled Tough All Over. At this point, the LP spawned a couple of Top 20-ish hits including the #18 "C-I-T-Y." This third single got issued out in hopes of another good chart showing, but it just couldn't quite make it. The tune stalled a third of the way up the Pop chart while missing the Rock chart completely. While it wasn't a good result, the previous two singles helped the album make a decent showing at #40.

ReduxReview:  This ol' school rock 'n' roll sound wasn't much different from what Huey Lewis & the News were doing with "If This Is It," "Stuck with You," and "Doing It All for My Baby." Yet the songs worked as hits for Lewis while this one could barely get out of the starting blocks. Certainly it helped that Lewis and his band had already established themselves in a big way, so they were quite the hot act, while Cafferty was trying to get out from under the shadow of Eddie and the Cruisers. However, what might have made the difference is the production and the way the song was performed. The song itself is just fine, but Cafferty and crew just seem to be along for the ride and the tune comes off a little lethargic; whereas Lewis' tracks were full of energy and smartly produced. This song might have had a better chance if they would have given it a little extra style and zip.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  As fictional movie bands go, Eddie and the Cruisers were certainly memorable, especially since the film was about them. There have been plenty of other fictional bands in film and in 2016 Rolling Stone assembled a list of the 25 best. Although the music was written and performed by Cafferty and his band, Eddie and the Cruisers ranked #18 on the list. Others that made the list were oddball ones like Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes (#6) from Star Wars (more widely known as The Cantina Band) and ones like The Blues Brothers (#2), where the actors created and actually performed as the band. The #1 spot was reserved for a band that, like The Blues Brothers, originated from a comedy sketch show. Spinal Tap was a fictional band made up of real actors/comedians (Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer) who played their own instruments and wrote their own songs. They would become the subject of the hit 1984 mockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap.


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