I was a little confused when I started hearing this song frequently again around the beginning of my junior year in college. It’d been on the radio a decent amount the previous fall and I was aware that it hadn’t made the Top 40 then. I’d known it as being performed by the fictional band in the movie from which it came. This time around though, the label gave credit to the real-life band that’d done the soundtrack; there was a new video as well, replacing a clip from the film. Persistence paid off, and deservedly so–it rose to #7 (it’s #12 in this countdown); it’d gotten only to #64 before.
So, what gave? How come the song got a second chance? Wikipedia says that Eddie and the Cruisers found an audience on HBO that it hadn’t gained in theaters, and that gave new life to demand for the song on the radio. I don’t doubt this was an important factor, but something else happened between its releases: Born in the USA. John Cafferty’s voice sounds at least a little like The Boss’s, and “On the Dark Side” has groovy sax work that reminds one of something that Clarence could have cooked up. I just wonder if Springsteen’s success earlier in the summer gave the Beaver Brown Band a bit of a boost.
Kinda funny that the folks who put this video on YouTube couldn’t get the credit right, though.