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Despite of never achieving major national attention, BEAU COUP was one of the most popular Cleveland, Ohio area bands in the mid-80s.
The project started in 1983 by vocalist Tommy Amato & guitarist Mike McGill, and after various line-up changes (even guitar master Tim Pierce and drummer Eric Singer among others were part of the band) finally with the addition of keyboardist / songwriter Dennis Lewin (coming from another cult band called Jonah Koslen and the Heroes) Beau Coup was complete.
In fact, Lewin would become Beau Coup's main songwriter.
Beau Coup released their first, self-titled mini-LP in 1984 also known as White Album, and one track from there, 'Still In My Heart', was picked up by Scotti Brothers Records to test the band nationwide, releasing it as 45rpm single distributed by CBS Records.
It was very well received gaining extensive airplay, but as happened with many good bands from the era and Scotti Brothers, the recording contract vanished.
Beau Coup did not give up, continued playing at the East Coast area and recorded their second effort, 'Born and Raised on Rock and Roll', again released through a private label.
The group officially disbanded in the early '90s, but from time to time they reunite to perform for special events. As it happened in 2005 when Beau Coup decided to record some new songs and release them alongside some of their '80s tracks for the first time on CD.
The result was this "Then & Now" appeared in 2006 in very limited quantities.
The CD features 5 songs taken from their two Eighties albums, the 5 new tracks (which most were composed in the '80s) plus 4 'bonus from the early days', all of them being the remaining tracks from the first EP.
Beau Coup played classic mid-80s American AOR with that polished and clean sound we all love. And that's what you'll find here in spades.
Tracks like the atmospheric 'Sweet Rachel' (the best song Honeymoon Suite never wrote), the pumping 'Born & Raised [On Rock & Roll]', the anthemic 'Jane', or the aforementioned single 'Still In My Heart' (a super ballad), are to die for.
But my favorite of the bunch is 'Somewhere Out In The Night'. Simply put, this awesome midtempo is the true definition of '80s AOR, and a must have track in any collection.
The five new tracks were recorded by the guys trying to respect the classy sound of the band, and are nicely done with 'Try To Love Again' (some Loverboy on it) and the uptempo melodic rocker 'Someone' among the best.
The CD is completed by the rest of the '84 EP, all very enjoyable as well.
Long time American AOR fans already known Beau Coup - their second album was featured here at the very beginning of this blog, now deleted - as one of the finest this genre offered, especially speaking about indie acts.
But believe me, Beau Coup does not sound 'indie' at all; songwriting, musicianship and production are second to none. This group should have been huge alongside Loverboy, Honeymoon Suite, Survivor and bands of that ilk.
01 - Born & Raised (On Rock & Roll)
02 - Sweet Rachel
03 - Somewhere Out In The Night
04 - Still In My Heart
05 - Jane
06 - Forever
07 - So In Love With You
08 - I Need A Night
09 - Try To Love Again
10 - Someone
11 - You Made Me Believe (In Miracles)
12 - Someday We'll Be Together
13 - Don't You Believe It
14 - Desperation Blvd
Tommy Amato - Lead Vocals & Background Vocals
Frank Amato - Lead Vocals & Background Vocals
Mike McGill - Guitars
Dennis Lewin - Keyboards, Background Vocals
Bill March - Bass, Background Vocals
Donald Krueger, Jimmy Clark, John Frania - Drums
John Dean - Bass
Rodney Psycka - Percussion, Background Vocals
BEAU COUP - Then & Now