And so at the dawn of a new decade, the J Geils Band rocked up with a new album, the theme aimed squarely at the subject of unrequited love, and how it can be when it goes wrong, as per the album title.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: J Geils Band
ALBUM: Love Stinks
LABEL: EMI America
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Peter Wolf – lead vocals * J Geils – guitar * Daniel Klein – bass * Seth Justman – keyboards, backing vocals, production * Magic Dick – harmonica, saxophone * Stephen Bladd – drums, percussion, backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Just Can’t Wait * 02 Come Back * 03 Takin’ You Down * 04 Night Time * 05 No Anchovies, Please * 06 Love Stinks * 07 Tryin’ Not To Think About It * 08 Desire (Please Don’t Turn Away) * 09 Till The Walls Come Tumblin’ Down
WEBLINK: Site Link
Regarded as one of the hardest working bands in the USA during the 70’s, the New Englanders known as the J Geils Band were renowned for their overtly blues based signature sound, before changing tack toward a more commercial and quirky direction. One can blame the changing trend of musical styles of the late 70’s.
And so at the dawn of a new decade, the J Geils Band rocked up with a new album, the theme aimed squarely at the subject of unrequited love, and how it can be when it goes wrong, as per the album title. It was their eleventh album (second for EMI America after a long stint with Atlantic), and much of what you heard on their subsequent hit LP ‘Freeze Frame’ can be traced back to this effort.
Seth Justman’s keyboard lines on the opening track ‘Just Can’t Wait’ are pretty familiar to those of you who were bought up on the ‘Freeze Frame’ album. I like the stomping rocker ‘Come Back’, with its demanding lyric, bubbling synth work and searing guitar hooks, including a wickedly good solo.
The band’s signature blues sound rears up on ‘Takin’ You Down’, with stabbing piano and Magic Dick’s trademark harmonica solo kicking in midstream. ‘Night Time’ sounds like Billy Joel on steroids, with its double time back-beat and rampant R&B sound. Taking it one step further into the land of crazy, try listening to the wacky ‘No Anchovies Please’, a story rather than a song about an abducted housewife who is experimented on by mad scientists. Check it out if you know what’s good for you!
The title track ‘Love Stinks’ I a stomping anthem in the vein of ‘I Love Rock N Roll’ and all those other handclap and heavy drum beat anthems from our past. Video below. ‘Trying Not To Think About it’ kicks off with a very heavy and rocky intro, but it doesn’t last for long as it segues into a slinky R&B tune which comes off as kinda cool, similar to an 80’s era Rolling Stones tune. The lads dish up the ballad ‘Desire (Please Don’t Turn Away)’ before adding a sense of humour (and equal doeses of salt and pepper) with the offbeat closer ‘Til The Walls Come Tumblin’ Down’.
Released at the end of January 1980, the album made it to #18 on the Billboard charts, and set the scene for what was to come a year later. I have most of the band’s back catalogue stashed away, and was prompted recently to dig a bit deeper, especially from ‘Monkey Island’ (1977) through to their final studio album: 1984’s ‘You’re Getting Even While I’m Getting Odd’. We will be dipping our fingers further into their discography.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)