J. Geils C/D

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I've just begun revisiting the J. Geils Band, a high school favorite of mine that I've neglected for some time. Early albums classic, late ones dud?

JC-L (JC-L), Monday, 24 May 2004 14:02 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

... and for which song did the Sex Pistols have to pay for nicking bits of it for "did you no wrong"?

mark grout (mark grout), Monday, 24 May 2004 14:04 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I've got no idea.

JC-L (JC-L), Monday, 24 May 2004 14:17 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I'm goin' with classic if not only for "Come Back" and "Love Stinks".

Wasn't aware of the `Pistols bit. I have sort've a hard time imagining the `Pistols even knowing who the J.Geils Band (a then only-moderately established glorified bar band from Boston) were. Then again, they knew of the Modern Lovers, so go know.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 24 May 2004 14:33 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

classic. they have a band member named Magic Dick.

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Monday, 24 May 2004 14:34 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I have a 3" CD single of GSTQ, and the writers of "Did you no wrong" are credited as "Wolfe / Juste"...

mark grout (mark grout), Monday, 24 May 2004 14:37 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Did the J.Geils Band write "First I Look at the Purse" (later covered bawdily by Nashville Pussy) or was theirs a cover too?

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 24 May 2004 14:42 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

'freeze-frame' is the best
pop album of the 80's,
at least white blues/pop

Begs2Differ (Begs2Differ), Monday, 24 May 2004 14:44 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"First I Look at the Purse" was first recorded in 1962 by the Contours, the same guys who did "Do You Love Me."

Jazzbo (jmcgaw), Monday, 24 May 2004 14:46 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

There ya go. Thanks, Jazzbo.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 24 May 2004 15:03 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

You know,I've never once considered trying get into J. Geils. I can't figure out why this is so now. I really liked the b-side of "Freeze Frame" (think that was the single) called "Flamethrower".

Bimble (bimble), Monday, 24 May 2004 16:25 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The band's sound makes a huge shift at some point from rock/R&B into fairly bland pop (Freeze Frame-era). I had no interest in them either for a long time until someone gave me a copy of Full House Live. I still don't dig the later stuff, or the little solo Wolf that I've heard.

JC-L (JC-L), Monday, 24 May 2004 16:54 (fifteen years ago) Permalink


Stacey Pollen (Andy K), Monday, 24 May 2004 17:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I have never heard "No Anchovies Please" and am afraid to in case the song does not provoke me into fits of hysterical laughter as much as the title does even though I am a very easily amusible person.

dave q, Monday, 24 May 2004 17:13 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Musta Got Lost is classic too...

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Monday, 24 May 2004 17:15 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The album or the song? Even more classic is the intro to the live version on *Blow Your Face Out*. Someone posted it not too long ago.

JC-L (JC-L), Monday, 24 May 2004 17:29 (fifteen years ago) Permalink


Taking Sides: J. Geils "Love Stinks" vs Def Leppard "Love Bites"

JC-L (JC-L), Monday, 24 May 2004 17:36 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

OH MY GOD "Flamethrower" is such a classic song!!!!

VengaDan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 24 May 2004 17:40 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The album or the song?

I just know the song...I don't own an JGB albums...it was on a jukebox of a bar I used to go to alot..

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Monday, 24 May 2004 17:40 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Seems like an appropriate place for it. I've never heard the whole album.

JC-L (JC-L), Monday, 24 May 2004 17:53 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"Flamethrower" was a HUGE hit on Detroit black radio (= Electrifyin Mojo Midnight Funk Association on WGPR) circa 1981. As for the other stuff, basically every album through *Love Stinks* is worth owning, though it's been years since I heard that this is woovah groovah with the green teeth repaduh the byoodah whose that chick with the hair rapunzel lay down your long hair and let me climb up the ladder of your love cause love comes once and when it comes you betta catch it fast rap etc intro to "Musta Got Lost" on the live album (which Detroit rock stations useta play ALL THE TIME in the late '70s - apparently they were even bigger in Detroit than in Boston). Anyway. Great fucking band. My obsession over the past couple years has been *Sanctuary*, but I'm not gonna swear on a bible that's their best one.

chuck, Monday, 24 May 2004 18:23 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I had Sanctuary on 8-track in junior high and it's so good that I'm not even gonna post in haiku about it.

And as for Freeze-Frame: Bob T. and I cranked this album the fuck up while we washed the limousine that later we drove to the prom with our dates Velvet and Polly, so therefore it is one of the greatest albums ever, it was the prime Seth Justman-as-new-wave-songwriter-of-all-time era, "Centerfold" and "Piss on the Wall" and "Angel in Blue" (there's some great faux-country-doowop for ya), and the drum breakdown on "Flamethrower" and the horns on "Freeze-Frame" oh mama it's all coming back, Polly wore pale yellow and was very pretty, Velvet was slammin' in coral, actually our dads drove the limo and we just lounged in back, stylin'. Nineteen-eighty-goddamn-two.

Begs2Differ (Begs2Differ), Monday, 24 May 2004 18:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Wow, no haiku? High compliment (although I think you should hit us with some). I first discovered them through 8-tracks, then bought the cassettes some years back, and am feeling more and more like it's time for a CD upgrade (especially considering that my cassettes are in another state and my car only has a CD-player).

JC-L (JC-L), Monday, 24 May 2004 18:37 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

(Well, okay, is "EVERY album through *Love Stinks" an exagerration? Maybe. Off the top of my head, I forget what *The Morning After. *Ladies Invited, and *Hotline are, for instance. So yeah, it's possible that one or two of those stink. I kinda doubt it, though.)


chuck, Monday, 24 May 2004 18:39 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

1981, dude. But you got it: "Flamethrower" is the fucking balls, and Magic Dick Geils' secret weapon. In fact, I've liked Freeze Frame from the time I bought it at 8 years-old — it's generally their most consistent record. The inner sleeve of my vinyl copy has drum stick marks on it because my friend and I used to "jam along."

At any rate, several years later they became my first "favorite band" because my math teacher and basketball coach loved them in grade school, and I thought he was cool. So I bought every last recording of theirs. In retrospect, they have classic moments, but aren't exactly "classic." That said, if every city's gotta have one band that's "theirs" (this one being Boston's), I'll take one with Monkey Island, Sanctuary, Blow Your Face Out and Freeze Frame over Cleveland's Michael Stanley Band any day.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 24 May 2004 18:41 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

actually dude
our prom was spring '82
don't be a pedant!

and bloodshot is ace,
fakey reggae, stompy rock,
"throw it off the bridge!"

Begs2Differ (Begs2Differ), Monday, 24 May 2004 18:45 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

(which Detroit rock stations useta play ALL THE TIME in the late '70s - apparently they were even bigger in Detroit than in Boston).

i suppose that's possible, but growing up in boston, you were basically led to believe that j. geils was the most classic of all clasic rock bands. that woovah groovah ladder of your love intro to "musta got lost" was to boston radio what "stairway to heaven" and "free bird" were to radio on the rest of the planet.

the other song that got mad play was "give it to me."

fact checking cuz (fcc), Monday, 24 May 2004 18:46 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

They were definitely huge in Detroit though. I think both of their 70s live albums were recorded at Cobo, weren't they? Just like Kiss Alive! and Live Bullet. Oh, and like Kiss, they also wrote a song about the motor city ("Detroit Breakdown", from Nightmares, my fave lp of theirs). All of my old blues purist Ghost World type buddies really swear by the early stuff.

Broheems (diamond), Monday, 24 May 2004 18:53 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

actually dude
our prom was spring '82
don't be a pedant!

Ah, I see. Sorry about the pedantry then.

"Ain't Nuthin' But A Houseparty" — stone cold classic and WBCN call theme on TV for what seemed like decades.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 24 May 2004 18:58 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

now I'm nostalgic
for 'BCN, "Mishegoss,"
Jump Blues, the whole thing!

Begs2Differ (Begs2Differ), Monday, 24 May 2004 19:02 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

>"musta got lost" was to boston radio what "stairway to heaven" and "free bird" were to radio on the rest of the planet.<

except for detroit, where seger's "turn the page" was. (and again, where the live "musta got lost" was not far behind at all.)

chuck, Monday, 24 May 2004 19:07 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I love J. Geils, both the bar band boogie blues stuff and trhe Freeze Frame, Love Stnks Centerfold years.

H (Heruy), Saturday, 29 May 2004 01:54 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

H is back, is back!
We love H and H loves us,
he is a great man

Begs2Differ (Begs2Differ), Saturday, 29 May 2004 02:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


danke danke

H (Heruy), Saturday, 29 May 2004 03:03 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Classic for sure: the Bloodshot album on blood-red vinyl.

briania (briania), Saturday, 29 May 2004 03:57 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

What about Hotline? Or, better yet, Ladies Invited, which sounds so different from Bloodshot you almost wouldn't think it was the same band. Except, of course, for the Woofa Goofa, blowing our face out on "The Lady Makes Demands"...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 29 May 2004 04:11 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

BTW, prob. should be a special mention for "Concealed Weapons" from the ill-fated post-Wolf record, You're Gettin' Even While I'm Gettin' Odd..

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 29 May 2004 04:20 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Oh, and looking at the sleeve to Bloodshot, I notice this chestnut: "On Don't Try To Hide It the saxophone solo is by Mike Hunt."

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 29 May 2004 04:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"If it looks good out, leave it out!" -- Peter Wolf

There's a great story or two about Wolf's Boston DJ days in Fred Goodman's 'Mansion on the Hill.'

And "Flamethrower" was likewise big on WOWI, the superb black radio station where I grew up in Norfolk, Va.

Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Saturday, 29 May 2004 07:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Freeze Frame was the first album I ever heard on a Walkman. Not that it matters...

shookout (shookout), Saturday, 29 May 2004 17:37 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
Hold on
This song has a little introduction to it
It ain’t supposed to be sad though you might feel it that way
It's a song about desperation,
Every now and then we do get desperate

This is a song about L-O-V-E,
and if you abuse it yer goin to lose it
and if you lose it yer goin to abuse and
if you abuse it you aint going to be able to choose it
cuz you aint going to have it further on down the line
and things aint going to be so fine
and yer going to be sitting there on your little machine
tryin to look and keep it clean and
You’re going to be home playing bingo all night all alone
and that's why your sittin there by the telephone
and you know that she aint goin to call you!

So you put on the TV and you're watchin Johnny Carson
segueing right into the Tomorrow show
but that don't got the go so you turn it off ya turn on the radio,
the radio don’t' seem to get the click so you say
"Hey Man, I can't lickety split"
You start to open up a little book
and there's somethin there you got to overlook
and you say "BABY, you know there's somethin on my mind!
You say "Baby there's somethin on my mind -
I know that you're home and I know you aint all alone!"

So you start walking over to her house
and you get over to her house
and you walk over to her door and
you start poundin on her door and you say
"Open up the door bitch!”
This is the wooba gooba with the green teeth, let me in!!"

Well, she opens up the door
and then you just kinda walk up to her and say
"Baby", (say Baby!) you look up way up at her green mascara
and you say "Oh my darling,
you know her and me was at the party as friends -
do not believe what they say
that's only gossip that they tellin ya -
a wise crack of lies!
You say Darling!!!

Take your big curls and squeeze them down Rotumba -
What's the name of the chick with the long hair?
(Rapunzle!) Hey Rapunzle!
Hey Raputa! Raputa the Buta!
Hey Raputa the Buta flip me down your hair let me climb
up to the ladder of your love!!
Because this is the wooba gooba sayin to ya
"Love comes once and when it comes
you better grab it fast cuz sometimes the love
you grab aint going to last and
I believe I musta,
You know I think I musta,
You know baby I think I musta,
You know I think I musta,
I musta got lost!!!"

Emily B (Emily B), Monday, 7 August 2006 22:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

are you ready to throw down

Sir Dr. Rev. PappaWheelie Jr. II of The Third Kind (PappaWheelie 2), Monday, 7 August 2006 23:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Make no mistake. One of the best live bands to ever hit the stage. The remnants still get together and play in the Worcester area.

jim wentworth (wench), Tuesday, 8 August 2006 02:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I love those first two albums with the stark black & white covers (THE J. GEILS BAND and THE MORNING AFTER). After that, their good moments got more and more sporadic. I bought FREEZE-FRAME in high school; I probably played the self-titled debut more. Sold FREEZE-FRAME long, long ago...

I did see Peter Wolf live about three years ago and it was pure fire - he still had it, telling stories and continually alluding to his ex-wife, Faye Dunaway (yes, that one)...

Rev. Hoodoo (Rev. Hoodoo), Tuesday, 8 August 2006 03:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Excellent transcription Emily! Another thread it would make a nice addition to:

100 excellent spoken intros

By the way: CLASSIC, although I find their LPs a bit spotty. (I always tune out the too-slow straight blues.) My favourite: Freeze Frame, a surprising choice, given my usual '70s leanings.

Monty Von Byonga (Monty Von Byonga), Tuesday, 8 August 2006 04:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Another thread it would make a nice addition to:
100 excellent spoken intros

Uh, apparntly it already DID make a nice addition - two yrs ago.

Monty Von Byonga (Monty Von Byonga), Tuesday, 8 August 2006 04:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I bought Anthology: Houseparty as soon as it came out, and I've never regretted it. Freeze-Frame was the first album I purchased with my own money. J. Geils Band rules.

J (Jay), Tuesday, 8 August 2006 16:54 (twelve years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

"Come Back" on Love Stinks rocks entire solar systems.

― Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, April 17, 2003 6:35 AM (6 years ago)


Elvis Telecom, Friday, 8 January 2010 10:12 (nine years ago) Permalink


Elvis Telecom, Friday, 8 January 2010 10:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

Better version


Wish there were some vintage clips out there...

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 8 January 2010 10:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, opener "I Could Hurt You" (about how Wolf won't hurt her or seek revenge, even though he could, but he still wants out) is another great song; "One Last Kiss" (related theme) comes next.

xhuxk, Friday, 9 April 2010 14:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

Xgau calls them a "Jewish R&B band from Boston," fwiw; I assume that applies at least to Wolf. (Gives B+'s to the debut, Monkey Island, and Freeze-Frame; no A-'s. Sanctuary gets a B-):


xhuxk, Friday, 9 April 2010 14:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

With Monkey Island they were just calling themselves Geils. Seemed to be an attempt to break with the past as they were floundering. The hits a couple years later changed that. Had Monkey Island and don't recall enjoying it very much. Memory says it was brooding and 'mature,' but not in good ways.

The stuff I see in stores now mostly, besides greatest hits packs, is Blow Your Face Out, the second live album that served as a collection of the high points of their first four or five studio albums, except with more stage rap and not as tough a sound as Full House.

The only album I know have past Full House is Hot Line from '75, only for "Love-itis."

I even had Bloodshot on original red vinyl, that's how big a fan I was. However, once you got past "House Party[/i], the opener, it was a pretty duff record including their highest charting single to that point, "Give It To Me."

Gorge, Friday, 9 April 2010 16:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

Interesting that -- how many bands can you say this about? -- their most blatantly pop album, Freeze-Frame, is also probably their most blatantly experimental album. (Well, besides Monkey Island maybe, but I still haven't figured out what experiments they were conducting on that one.) Anyway, I'm mainly thinking of three non-hit tracks that nobody ever talks about -- "Rage In A Cage," "Insane, Insane Again," and "River Blindness" -- where it sounds like they were listening to, maybe, the Contortions or James "Blood" Ulmer or harmelodic-era Ornette Coleman or the Gang Of Four. Frequently frantic funk-via-free-jazz stuff, in other words, yet given a rock push that usually helps to keep it catchy. Also love the album-closer, "Piss On The Wall," which sounds like '60s frat rock (those post-doo-wop bah-buh-buh-bah parts) sung in an ironic snotty '70s punk voice. No doubt that the new wave move was intentional, either; that's clear from the LP cover alone. And of course there's also "Centerfold," "Freeze Frame" (kinda weirdly angled itself), "Angel In Blue" (one of their most moving ballads) and especially "Flamethrower" -- the last their best rhythmic experiment ever, which is why it got played so much on funk stations (well, at least WGPR in Detroit, Electrifyin' Mojo's show) when this came out. Can't think of many other early '80s rock tracks that had a better idea of where black pop was heading: "Voices Inside My Head" by the Police, maybe? Either way, "Flamethrower" is way up there. So actually, I might prefer this to Sanctuary after all, even if their hard-rock tendencies were mostly left behind in the '70s.

xhuxk, Thursday, 6 May 2010 13:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Rage In A Cage" would make a good metal song.

EZ Snappin, Thursday, 6 May 2010 13:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Rage in the Cage" was one of those tracks that really blew my mind - I was 12 when it came out and I was all pumped up about "Freeze Frame" and "Centerfold. Sandwiching "Rage" right between those two right at the front of the album was a really messed up--and AWESOME--move. In retrospect it's probably one of the things that shifted me away from wholeheartedly loving everything that appeared on Top 40 radio and towards looking for some of the things on the margins.

Sean Carruthers, Thursday, 6 May 2010 13:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

Classic, mostly. I feel a bit foolish here, but I'm sorta all about the early J. Geils records & didn't care too much for the like of Freeze Frame. Not BAD, mind you, just not as raw & swingin' as earlier discs. I feel that these folks put out two of the best live records in da rawk canon: Full House and the under-rated Blow Your Face Out! steamroller, which has a riveting version of "Chimes" among other gems.

ImprovSpirit, Thursday, 6 May 2010 16:21 (nine years ago) Permalink

Include me. Uninteresting stuff after deciding to pack away the iron-fisted R&B and hard charging boogie post 1976.

Gorge, Friday, 7 May 2010 16:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Gave Monkey Island ('77) another listen; still stumped why '70s critics considered it their high point, when really it was just their most pretentious record. Only actual "reggae" I noticed (with stabs at dub and instrumental ska, never really pulled off), was in the intro of the nine-minute title track, which from there turns into an even less realized answer to Springsteen's "Jungleland" or something. (Guessing the "island" is more likely Manhattan than, say, Martha's Vineyard, but it's not like Wolf says anything about it either way, except you get stuck there; also, too bad the title chorus begs the racism question.) "Wreckage," another long dark mood track with an almost-metal guitar climax ending the album, is better but still pretty vague; to me, these seem more like unfinished versions of Geils' just as dark but way meatier and less half-baked stuff on Sanctuary a year later. Same goes for "Somebody," a sort of paranoid one about being chased or followed. Opening cut "Surrender" starts out as the kind of post-Santana percussion-rock experiment that got Barrabas and Babe Ruth tracks into discos; backup vocal (either Luther Vandross or one of three women named in the liner notes) could even pass for Babe Ruth's Jenny Haan, but it's still not a real great song. "I Do" is the radio hit (#24 pop) and really, the most memorable thing on the album. "I'm Not Rough" is a pretty decent Louis Armstrong cover. And there's a couple ballads.

xhuxk, Tuesday, 7 September 2010 20:59 (eight years ago) Permalink

My favorite is 'The Morning After,' which seems to be the most roundly ignored on this thread. Besides being enormously enjoyable throughout, it has a great album cover.

Fruitless and Pansy Free (Dr. Joseph A. Ofalt), Tuesday, 7 September 2010 21:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

Freeze-Frame was the first album I purchased with my own money.

― J (Jay), Tuesday, August 8, 2006 9:54 AM (4 years ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

having taken an actual journalism class (contenderizer), Tuesday, 7 September 2010 22:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Hadn't realized how much of the rest of Love Stinks (outside the obvious instant classic title cut, which I only ever owned as a 45 until I picked up the LP for $1 a couple weeks ago) got rock radio airplay, but listening to it, I'm almost positive I remember hearing four other tracks (so, in total, 5 out of 9) on the radio in Detroit at the time: "Just Can't Wait" (#78 pop single, sorta Carsy new wave move); "Come Back" (#32 pop hit -- technically higher than the title track's #38 oddly enough -- with a great stretched-out rhythm break at least in the 5:09 LP version, not sure if the 45 was shorter or not); "Night Time" (bluesy bar band cover of 1966 hit by quasi garage band the Strangeloves of "I Want Candy" fame); "Till The Walls Come Down" (which I would've guessed had come off one of Geils' late '70s albums -- sounds less slick than most of the rest of what's here.) (Actually, I could be wrong about "Night Time"'s airplay -- never hit me before that George Thorogood covered it in 1980 too; maybe his version got played instead? Or maybe even both did, the same year??) Anyway, these are all catchy enough, and add up a pretty good LP -- sort of a transition between Sanctuary and Freeze-Frame, though not as good as either of those. Plus "Takin' You Down" and "Tryin' Not To Think About It" have moderately heavy guitar bits -- riff in the latter reminds me a little of "Buick MacKane" by T. Rex, though the song wanders otherwise. Which leaves "Desire" (a mess of a ballad which Christgau pretty accurately called "endless at 3:35"), and the spoken-word sorta old-time radio serial parody "No Anchovies Please," which I'd remembered as being really short, but actually lasts a pointless and punchline-free 2:39. Album made Dave Marsh's Top 10 that year (above Second Edition and London Calling) regardless.

xhuxk, Sunday, 26 September 2010 19:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

Had actually forgotten that The Morning After from '71 was on my shelf until Fruitless and Pansy Free mentioned above. Will say this -- it sounds really consistent. But maybe the reason nobody's mentioned it here much is because nothing much really seems great on it. Pretty sure "I Don't Need You No More", "Looking For A Love" (Bobby Womack/Valentinos soul cover and Geils' first top 40 single, though just barely), and "Wammer Jammer" (which must be the most popular harmonica instrumental in rock'n'roll history, unless there's something obvious I'm not thinking of) used to get played on the radio in Detroit; possibly one or both of the interchangeable ballads (one a Don Covay cover apparently), too. Am proud of myself for thinking "So Sharp" on Side One sounded a lot like "Funky Broadway" before noticing the cover says it's "in memory of 'Dyke' Arlester Christian," who wrote it. "Floyd's Hotel" is an okay Wolf jive rap, and the band stretches out somewhat in the side closers "Gotta Have Your Love" and "It Aint' What You Do (It's How You Do It)" -- okay, maybe that last one is great, I dunno, but you have to sit through the whole album to get there. And albumwide the guitars never seem to get beefed up like they did on the debut. Do agree that the LP cover totally kicks butt, though.

xhuxk, Tuesday, 5 October 2010 04:08 (eight years ago) Permalink

Chuck, love the reviews -- if I had time, I'd love to do a counterpoint, tho I think we're in agreement for the most part, esp. insofar as believing Sanctuary and Freeze Frame are the high points (tho I enjoy Monkey Island more, I think).

Re. Freeze Frame, recently, I was trying to figure out how they had changed direction so drastically, but upon further review it's pretty clear Seth Justman was behind it -- he became increasingly influential in the band around the time of Monkey Island and starts taking control with Love Stinks. And if you read interviews with them, the band always thought of him as some kind of whiz kid. By the time you get to Freeze Frame, Justman's writing almost everything by himself -- I never realized but Wolf isn't even credited on "Centerfold"!

But that record holds up mightily -- and yes, it's really strange and experimental. I said upthread that Magic Dick is a secret weapon for the band -- you'd imagine that most bands that evolve away from blues to new wave would have pretty much stuck the harmonica player in the back, but on Freeze Frame, he's the guy honking out virtually all of the riffs: Centerfold, Flamethrower, Rage in the Cage, River Blindness. Again, this has to be a credit to Justman, who somehow makes it all work.

The thing I can't figure out is how all the other guys went along with it -- Wolf definitely made the record work for his persona, though I imagine it wasn't easy reconciling the Woofa Goofa with lyrics like "Correlations Disintegrations/Cessation - of life expectancy." But the rest of the guys are, like, blues dudes -- if the influences are The Contortions and the like, I can't imagine anyone but Justman listening to them.

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 9 October 2010 18:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

I now own every single one of their releases on LP (even the Wolfless one), and I still swear by 'Monkey Island' (if not 'Full House', where the early band just smokes so hard, but I hate voting for live albums...)

I don't think Magic Dick's on "Centerfold" ?? "Flamethrower" for sure, tho..

Stormy Davis, Saturday, 9 October 2010 18:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

The opening riff is Magic Dick and something else -- guitar? Organ? I can't remember w/o hearing. But harmonica is definitely a big part of it...

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 9 October 2010 18:55 (eight years ago) Permalink

hmm .. ok, that might be MD echoing the riff on the intro (my tinnitus is sadly too bad to tell these days), but I don't hear him throughout the track ... BTW apparently, J. Geils is doing once-a-year reunion shows in Detroit and Boston (the two cities where they were most popular.) I totally slept on the announcement of the Detroit show this summmer -- at Pine Knob -- or I totally would driven back for it. Apparently in Boston, they were as openers for Aerosmith at Fenway Park (a Boston legends showcase), online reviews indicate that Aerosmith totally sucked, as to be expected

Stormy Davis, Saturday, 9 October 2010 19:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

Rob Sheffield wrote a somewhat amusing review of the Boston show from RS. He noted that he had to wait in the beer line behind four or five Magic Dick impersonators.

Your cousin, Marvin Cobain (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 9 October 2010 19:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

I'm listening to a radio rip of their set from the closing of Fillmore East in 1971 (chosen to be there by headliners The Allman Brothers), and it makes me long for a complete "Live" Full House release; it was about 6 months before the album was recorded, and all the songs from Full House except for "Looking For A Love" make an appearance. Lacking a bit of the power of the record but still an amazing show.

I remember rumors of a Rhino Handmade edition of "Live" Full House making the rounds last year. Supposedly it was going to be the complete shows from both dates that make up the album. I hope that it does happen because damn it, I want more live J. Geils Band from their peak.

EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 8 February 2012 15:12 (seven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

I have a sneaking suspicion that this band is far more awesome than they're given credit for. True/false?

Poliopolice, Monday, 7 October 2013 19:43 (five years ago) Permalink

Very true.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 7 October 2013 19:51 (five years ago) Permalink

Had this stuck in my head this weekend, not having heard it in decades.


... (Eazy), Monday, 7 October 2013 19:57 (five years ago) Permalink

that's a pretty cool song... but wow, it seems even less like the blues stuff they apparently were famous for before their breakout singles.

Poliopolice, Monday, 7 October 2013 21:42 (five years ago) Permalink

I've never heard that one, kinda Devo-esque. Seth Justman was really J. Geils Band's new-wave guy, wasn't he?

Low down bad refrigerator (Dan Peterson), Monday, 7 October 2013 21:56 (five years ago) Permalink

Is Magic Dick featured on any of their most famous songs?

Poliopolice, Wednesday, 9 October 2013 18:48 (five years ago) Permalink

(and by that, I mean "Centerfold", "Freeze Frame", "Love Stinks", etc)

Poliopolice, Wednesday, 9 October 2013 18:48 (five years ago) Permalink

"River Blindness" remains one of the strangest songs ever recorded by a top 40 band.

play on, El Chugadero, play on (Jon Lewis), Wednesday, 9 October 2013 18:55 (five years ago) Permalink

"River Blindness" remains one of the strangest songs ever recorded by a top 40 band.

What about "No Anchovies Please"? That's among the weirdest songs I've ever heard, and yet it was the B-side to "Love Stinks."


Poliopolice, Thursday, 10 October 2013 00:09 (five years ago) Permalink

Is Magic Dick featured on any of their most famous songs?

The riff on Centerfold is harmonica and guitar. I actually think Justman folded him into their pop material in a really clever way usually.

"River Blindness" remains one of the strangest songs ever recorded by a top 40 band.

Totally agree. As an 8 y/o, the lyrics to that song totally weirded me out.

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 10 October 2013 11:22 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah I bought that LP when I was 12 and that song did my head in.

play on, El Chugadero, play on (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 10 October 2013 15:08 (five years ago) Permalink

Wow! "Freeze Frame" is a fantastic album. Why isn't this a classic?

Poliopolice, Friday, 11 October 2013 02:30 (five years ago) Permalink

the only dud is "Rage in a Cage"

Poliopolice, Friday, 11 October 2013 02:31 (five years ago) Permalink

I was with you until you called "Rage in a Cage" a dud. It's the best song on the record.

EZ Snappin, Friday, 11 October 2013 02:38 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah wtf? harmonica riff is all-time

Sir Lord Baltimora (Myonga Vön Bontee), Friday, 11 October 2013 04:16 (five years ago) Permalink

I've wanted to hear a metal cover for nearly 30 years. That riff would translate beautifully.

EZ Snappin, Friday, 11 October 2013 04:23 (five years ago) Permalink

is it me, or is this album very Oingo Boingo (except good)?

Poliopolice, Friday, 11 October 2013 18:07 (five years ago) Permalink

Seth Justman bravely paving the way for "Put 'Em On The Glass."

My question is primarily riparian (Phil D.), Friday, 11 October 2013 18:15 (five years ago) Permalink

Rage is so awesome. That was my favorite track on the lp when I was a kid.

play on, El Chugadero, play on (Jon Lewis), Friday, 11 October 2013 18:32 (five years ago) Permalink


Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 11 October 2013 22:08 (five years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Peter Wolf demonstrates how to win friends and influence people


Ned Raggett, Monday, 13 June 2016 18:58 (two years ago) Permalink

Didn't he get one of those Jann penned 5-star reviews in the 90s?

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 13 June 2016 20:02 (two years ago) Permalink

Notwithstanding the crazy list of demands, I find that whole story kind of endearing.

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 14 June 2016 01:14 (two years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...


...so music and chicken have become intertwined (Turrican), Tuesday, 11 April 2017 23:13 (two years ago) Permalink

RIP. It was always weird to me how he was like the fourth best known member of the band named after him. But a fine R&B guitarist.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Tuesday, 11 April 2017 23:46 (two years ago) Permalink

RIP. It was always weird to me how he was like the fourth best known member of the band named after him. But a fine R&B guitarist.

― a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Tuesday, April 11, 2017 7:46 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink


Neanderthal, Tuesday, 11 April 2017 23:49 (two years ago) Permalink

got a real soft spot in my heart for the dragged-into-the-style "new wave" LP Love Stinks, gonna miss the dude

sleeve, Wednesday, 12 April 2017 00:02 (two years ago) Permalink

What Tipsy said. Wolf fronted the band, Justman co-wrote most of their songs, Magic Dick blew harp.... which left their namesake to play guitar, which he did really, really well.

In my youth I saw a double bill with Peter Frampton (basically doing the same show that would become Frampton Comes Alive) and then J. Geils. Frampton was a tough act to follow in those days, but Geils came out and kicked the party into overdrive. It occurs to me this was about the time Blow Your Face Out was recorded, so that was probably more or less the setlist that night. I'm listening to it tonight, for the first time in forever. RIP.

Dan Peterson, Wednesday, 12 April 2017 02:26 (two years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

The Creem movie page on FB shared this color pic of Lester Bangs sitting w/Geils on typewriter (chronicled in his famous story for the magazine)


a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 9 March 2019 18:00 (two months ago) Permalink

Isn't that Tony Clifton?

john. a resident of evanston. (john. a resident of chicago.), Saturday, 9 March 2019 20:55 (two months ago) Permalink

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