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John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band

Following the release of Bruce Springsteen's classic "Born To Run" album ('75) there was a palatable feeling something huge was about to happen. Three albums into his career Springsteen achieved his commercial breakthrough even landing simultaneously on the covers of Time and Newsweek. His next album was going to be a monster. He would fulfill the dream - that elusive blend of Elvis Presley's sex appeal and Bob Dylan's intellectual demeanor - with a touch of John Lennon thrown in for an edge. He'd be the promised one - at least for the '70s.

Springsteen mania would be unstoppable. No doubt there'd be an announcement that Columbia Records had dedicated a plant just to press Springsteen records. Agents, managers, label reps and hucksters would descend upon the Philly - Beantown corridor signing every streetwise punk with a guitar to a recording contract.

Too bad it didn't happen (disco did). Springsteen got sidelined (blindsided) in a dispute with his manager and it wasn't until '78 that he released "Darkness On The Edge Of Town." The momentum had dissipated and though the album was a Top 5 success it was not the 'defining moment' everyone expected.

"The River," with the hit "Hungry Heart," re-established Springsteen's mainstream credentials - not that it was of much concern to The Boss, especially since his next effort was the acoustic "Nebraska." Damn creative types - always wanting to do their own thing! Somebody must have thought, "if I could find a guy who could sing like Springsteen and get him to do mainstream Rock songs I could make a fortune." And that's where John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band entered the picture.

While Springsteen was busy recording "Born In The U.S.A." Hollywood produced Eddie And The Cruisers. The '83 film was about a reporter (Ellen Barkin) interviewing a has-been band after their music is re-discovered - along with 'new' material. John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown, a Rhode Island based group that had been hustling gigs throughout the northeast, was selected to record the soundtrack. Cafferty's claim to fame was an unbelievable knack for nailing Springsteen's vocal style. Not a bad trick. The band consisted of Gary Gramolini (guitar), Bobby Cotoia (piano), Michael "Tunes" Antunes (saxophone), Patrick Lupo (bass), Kenny Jo Silva (drums) - but no one named Beaver Brown.

"The Eddie And The Cruiser's" soundtrack had the hit "On The Dark Side." The rest of the album was filled with bar band covers and other forgettable tracks.

Next, Cafferty and Co. issued "Tough All Over" (aka "Voice Of Eddie And The Cruisers") which featured the hit "C.I.T.Y." On his own Cafferty recorded "Hearts On Fire" for Sylvester Stallone's Rocky IV (about two Rockys more than anybody needed) soundtrack. Stallone must have like Caffery and the band because he used "Voice Of America's Sons" from "Tough All Over" as the theme for his interminable movie Cobra. Neither of these films did much for Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band.

In the meantime, Springsteen did have that mega-album. "Born In The U.S.A." ('84) negated any need for a Springsteen impersonator. The Boss was back - with a vengeance. That and the lack of solid material sealed Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band's fate.

John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band Discography

Studio Albums:

1983 Eddie And The Cruisers Soundtrack
1985 Tough All Over
1988 Roadhouse
1989 Eddie And The Cruisers II: Eddie Lives! Soundtrack

Talk about a singles band. Download "On The Dark Side" and "C.I.T.Y." (both are pretty good) and move on.

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