What It Sounds Like: Eddie and the Cruisers was a movie about a fictitious rock band that was set in the 1960s – though the rock and roll style that they played certainly had some major sounds of the 50s as well. It’s all right down that glorious alley.
What we have here is a pure nostalgic review, through and through.
Smashed in between more current reviews from bands such as the indie Copeland, the noise rock of Lightning Bolt, and the singer/songerwriter Ryan Adams….we get a review of one of my favorite soundtracks from 1983.
Eddie And The Cruisers. My oh my.
Those opening piano notes from On The Dark Side get me every time – there’s something pure about that song that nothing current could ever touch. That’s not me trying to be a hipster – that’s me simply telling you some facts. First the guitar comes in with a steady, ultra-hip four chord “get on the dancefloor” groove, and life seems pretty perfect. But then the sax solo flies in while you have your girl in the perfect swing-around in her poodle skirt, time stands still, and in that moment, life really is perfect. No cares. No worries. Pure gold. It couldn’t be topped.
That is unless you want to press your luck and hold her close when Tender Years comes on. I’m telling you gentleman, it really is this good: If there’s a woman you love in this world, you could hold her and dance to this song in the middle of your living room for an hour and it would seem like five minutes. I don’t care what’s going on between you at the moment. Happy? Fighting? Stale? Cloud Nine? Put this song on and do as I tell you. Watch the rest of the world melt away, because when you’re in love – that’s all that really matters. Forget all the rest and get your priorities in order.
Thank you counselor. Would you care to come back to the present-tense, please? Bieber’s calling.
No, I think not. It’s much more fun where I’m at at.
Runaround Sue is a dancehall number that warns you with some wonderful gang BGVs to stay away from a girl named Sue. She’ll run around on ya. She’s only out to break your heart, boys. She’ll love ya and leave ya – simple and plain. Down On My Knees, Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes, and Wild Summer Nights should give you a pretty good idea of what you’re getting simply by the song titles. Wild Summer Nights? Let me help you out with some lyrical pictures if you need it:
Strangers cruisin’ down the South Strip
Cool cats searchin’ for some hot lips
Night-shift neon ribbons flash forever
Rebels lace midnight in black leather
Shipwrecked pirates claim their treasures in the sand
Sidewalk surfers ride the streets in super vans
Beach fires light the faces of the gypsy caravans
Open up your door
Let those lake pipes roar
Wild Summer Nights
Oh babe those
Wild Summer Nights.
I’m not sure about you, but I wanna go there. Meet a Boardwalk Angel. Ride the carousel down by the water and take life easy. It shouldn’t be that complicated.
We round out the record with three other classics: Betty Lou’s Got A New Pair Of Shoes, Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me Of You), and Season In Hell (Fire Suite). I’m not going to dive into them further, but simply to say – if you’ve enjoyed any of the previous material, you’re only going to be satisfied even further. We might as well have Marty McFly up there on stage rocking out the Enchantment Under The Sea dance at Hill Valley High.
Chuck! Chuck! It’s Marvin.
Your cousin…Marvin Berry?!
You know that new sound you’re looking for?
Man, the toughest part of ending this review is the I realization that I have to return back from this wondrous time period. Everything in its time and place, and this type of music was certainly before my time, but man…what an allure it has to it.
Sign me up for a throwback dance to this time period. Me and my girl. I’m there.
I’m absolutely renting a DeSoto.
If you had to listen to two tracks: On The Dark Side / Tender Years