I sorely regret never seeing them play live when I could have near the end of their heyday, 1981-83. They started out as pretty traditional blues purists, but pumped it up as the crowds got larger, eventually playing out on the mid-American hard rock circuit alongside Foghat, Ted Nugent and countless others.
They had a jauntiness that most other blues-based hard rock outfits lacked. Lead singer Peter Wolf never had a much to say of note in his lyrics, though his in-between song banter was spot on, thanks to his time as a DJ.
When I was in the Army, I used to play their cassettes whenever I could commandeer the boombox at the motor pool where I worked. Two black mechanics who worked there used to crack up over this music, amazed at how simplistic it sounded. The super-slow cover of "Serves You Right to Suffer" got particularly roasted: "Wait! Here it comes,... Here comes the beat. Here it isssss.... Boom! Hahahah." I've come to think though, a certain amount of cornball was part of J. Geils' appeal, that, and a percolating rhythm that was all their own., which they carried well into the disco era.
The Old Man Dean of Rock Critics, Robert Christgau once wrote, perhaps dismissively, that this arena rock party band's music could “change your life for a month." I'm wondering if Christgau might have underestimated was how good of a month it could be. New for me: “Chimes,” "Shoot Your Shot," and pretty much all of the “The Morning After" album.
Anyway, this is what else I listened to last week:
# Artist Tracks Played #1 The J. Geils Band 48 #2 George Jones 43 #3 Ike & Tina Turner 42 #4 Gillian Welch 41 #5 Aerosmith 32 #6 The Lemonheads 28 #7 Wire 26 #8 Dinosaur Jr. 23 #9 Roy Ayers 21 #10 Pink Floyd 19
# Name Artist #1 The Harrow And The Harvest Gillian Welch #2 Coffy Roy Ayers #3 Pink Flag Wire #4 III Sebadoh #5 Singularity Jon Hopkins #6 Hell Among The Yearlings Gillian Welch #7 Rain Temple 2814 #8 On Returning (1977-1979) Wire #9 Leave The Light On Beth Hart #10 Knnillssonn Harry Nilsson
# Song Artist Times Played #1 Singularity Jon Hopkins 6 #2 Before The Rain 2814 4 #3 Eyes Of The Temple 2814 4 #4 Scarlet Town Gillian Welch 4 #5 All Good Things (Come to an End) Nelly Furtado 4
“American Bars & Stars” is Neil Young’s best album. Fight me — my 2-margarita self pic.twitter.com/CXcAgYxy4f— Joab Jackson (@Joab_Jackson) March 24, 2019
Saddle up the Palomino, the sun is going down...— Joab Jackson (@Joab_Jackson) March 24, 2019
This is one of those things I think about a lot... https://t.co/azjwufFo6k— Joab Jackson (@Joab_Jackson) March 23, 2019