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The J. Geils Band

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Album Review

The J. Geils Band's self-titled debut serves notice that rock & roll wasn't dead in 1970 despite the best efforts of the singer/songwriter brigade. Though it sounds a bit reserved in the light of the albums that followed, compared to the majority of bands on the scene, it was a nonstop blast of energy, fun, and sweat. Featuring the hipster jive of singer Peter Wolf, the amazing afro and harp chops of Magic Dick, the fret-burning work of J. Geils, and the jack of many trades Seth Justman (keys, compositions, backing vocals), the Geils Band rips through some classic blues by the likes of Otis Rush ("Homework"), Walter Price ("Pack Fair and Square"), and John Lee Hooker (a slow-burning "Serves You Right to Suffer"), old Motown gems ("First I Look at the Purse"), and originals that stand up well next to the covers ("Wait," "What's Your Hurry," and future live favorite "Hard Drivin' Man"). A nice mix of nostalgia, intensity, and bar band excitement, the album serves as fair warning that the Geils Band was on the scene and was ready to bring back the good-time spirit of the juke joint, the abandon of the early rock & roll scene, and the high energy of the late-'60s concert halls.


Formed: 1967 in Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The J. Geils Band was one of the most popular touring rock & roll bands in America during the '70s. Where their contemporaries were influenced by the heavy boogie of British blues-rock and the ear-splitting sonic adventures of psychedelia, the J. Geils Band was a bar band pure and simple, churning out greasy covers of obscure R&B, doo wop, and soul tunes, cutting them with a healthy dose of Stonesy swagger. While their muscular sound and the hyper jive of frontman Peter Wolf packed arenas across...
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The J. Geils Band, The J. Geils Band
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