Iconoclassic Records is headed to the "Dark Side" with the first-ever anthology from the real-life band behind Hollywood's Eddie and The Cruisers: John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band. On September 30, the label will release Greatest Hits, a freshly remastered 16-track collection from the rock-and-roll revivalists whose "On the Dark Side" reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984 and spent five weeks atop the Mainstream Rock chart and the MTV video charts.
Singer-guitarist Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band (including Gary Gramolini on lead guitar, Pat Lupo on bass, Kenny Jo Silva on drums, Bobby Cotoia on keyboards, and Michael Antunes on saxophone) had been playing up a storm in their native Rhode Island as well as up and down the Northeast Corridor - Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey - throughout the 1970s and early 1980s when producer Kenny Vance offered them an enticing proposition. Music biz veteran Vance was a founding member of Jay and the Americans and an instrumental figure in the discovery of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, a.k.a. Steely Dan. He was looking for a band to craft the music for the eponymous fictional band in the movie Eddie and The Cruisers, and Cafferty's high-energy bar band fit the bill perfectly.
Though the film was met with mixed reviews, praise for the soundtrack was abundant. Roger Ebert called the music "terrific," and The New York Times' Janet Maslin noted that "Eddie's music sounds good" before adding "it also sounds a lot like Bruce Springsteen's." It's no surprise; Cafferty's rootsy, muscular, and R&B-tinged rock anthems were filled with the classic spirit that had long earned him comparisons on the Jersey Shore to Springsteen and their mutual friend Southside Johnny Lyon (who served as a technical adviser on the Eddie soundtrack). The soundtrack LP on Scotti Bros. made the top ten of the Billboard 200 and was eventually certified triple platinum.
The band followed up their Cruisers success with 1985's Tough All Over, the title track of which was another top 20 success on the Hot 100 and a Mainstream Rock chart-topper. Three more singles also charted on the Hot 100 ("C-I-T-Y," "Small Town Girl," and "Voice of America's Sons," the latter of which was featured in the film Cobra). Cafferty's solo track "Heart's on Fire" was another soundtrack favorite thanks to its inclusion in 1985's Rocky IV, earning him a double platinum certification. He was in good company; the album also featured music from Survivor, Kenny Loggins and Gladys Knight, and James Brown.
The 1988 studio album Roadhouse yielded one more Mainstream Rock chart entry ("Song and Dance") before Cafferty and co. were enlisted for Eddie and the Cruisers' sequel Eddie Lives! Though the soundtrack and film didn't have the same impact as the original, Cafferty more than delivered with another strong set of songs including the single "Pride and Passion."
Iconoclassic's compilation draws on every one of these releases, with all nine of the band's chart hits featured among its 16 all-killer, no-filler tracks. While the line-up has undergone changes since the 1990s, John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band are still on the road today. They're celebrating 50 years onstage - the original band formed in 1972 - and though they've concentrated on live performances rather than recording in recent years, this collection is the ultimate tribute to their electrifying decade of major-label activity. More than a dozen dates are currently scheduled through the end of 2022 at which fans can expect to hear these enduring melodies.
Greatest Hits has been remastered by Vic Anesini at Sony's Battery Studios and features a booklet designed by John Sellards with liner notes penned by Ultimate Classic Rock's Matt Wardlaw drawing on new interviews with John Cafferty and band members Michael Antunes and Gary Gramolini. It's due on September 30 from Iconoclassic Records. You'll find the track listing and pre-order links below.
John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band, Greatest Hits (Iconoclassic ICON 1059, 2022) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
- On the Dark Side
- Voice of America's Sons
- Runnin' Thru the Fire
- Wild Summer Nights
- Open Road
- Just a Matter of Time
- Tough All Over
- Tender Years
- Small Town Girl
- Heart's on Fire
- Victory Dance
- Boardwalk Angel (featuring Ben E. King)
- Some Like It Hot
- Song & Dance
- Pride & Passion
Tracks 1, 4, 8, & 13 from Eddie and the Cruisers: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Scotti Bros. FZ 38929, 1983
Tracks 2, 7, 9, & 10 from Tough All Over, Scotti Bros. FZ 39405, 1985
Track 3, 5, 6, 14, & 16 from Eddie and the Cruisers II - Eddie Lives: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Scotti Bros. SZ 45297, 1989
Track 11 from Rocky IV: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Scotti Bros. SZ 40203, 1985
Tracks 12, 15 from Roadhouse, Scotti Bros. FZ 40980, 1988
Steve Harris says
I was always a fan of the band's music. It would be great if the Greatest Hits package could get some sort of vinyl treatment too.
Paul Fitzgerald says
100% agree, this needs to be a vinyl release as well!!
I LOVE John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band! Eddie and the Cruisers I & II at my favorite movies! I have the dvds and watch them often. I can't even tell you how many times I've seen the movies. I know them by heart. Lol I wish they would come to Phoenix!!! They are the BEST!!!!!!!
I was working in a record store when Eddie & The Cruisers was in theaters. It was a box office flop and we did not sell many of the soundtrack albums. But as soon as it went to cable, the soundtrack sales went through the roof. The soundtrack was good on its own, but the exposure on cable TV really sold it. I will be picking up this release.
i watched that band 40 times,been taking care of mom now for 10 years i can now go see them to be happy hopefully again as my angel has gone!they love there audience and always have.they deserve so much more recognition as the best!
As much as I loved the early 60's style and sound of the first "Eddie & The Cruisers", the 2nd "Eddie..." had some truly great songs on it which I've gown to love even more than the 1st one! I'm happy to see this great band's music finally getting the proper remastering treatment it sorely needed. I hope, in time, the full albums get the same treatment (possibly as some sort of box set) so I can enjoy the rest of their songs with the same remastered fidelity. A great addition to my music library, for sure!
Jerry Burst says
They are the greatest band “Live” but I still think Garden of Eden was One of their Best songs and I can’t believe it is not on the new Greatest Hits .
Claire D’Elia says
I’ve followed the band since at least 1976 maybe earlier ! I went to see them play every weekend every gig! When I remember my personal rock and roll 🎸 history… Beaver Brown is in the forefront! I was in LA when Eddie and the Cruisers was released following my own distant star! I’m loyal to people I know ! I always supported them before they were well known and I support them still!
Shawn L. says
Man, this seems like it should've come out 30 years ago. I think the closest thing I had to a John Cafferty 'hits" album was an "Eddie and the Cruisers Live" cassette I found in a bargain bin back in the early 90's, which I really enjoyed. Nice to see Vic Anesini doing the remastering, I'll definitely pick this up...