Ella and I do not
often review greatest hits albums, but
for this amazing collection from the career
of the J. Geils Band we are going to make
an exception. 5 stars are hard enough
to get, but a greatest hits collection
with 5 stars only happens once in a blue
moon. Ten Years After got a 5 star review
for their collection Essential, but that
So what’s the fuss about 'Houseparty’?
Well, let's just say that if you don't
find yourself jumping up and down to every
track that’s on this 38 song, 2
disc set then you have just got no rock
'n' roll in your soul. This was the sort
of music that is played constantly at
the famous Tahitian Queen Rock 'n' Roll
Happy Hour, and why do people go to Tahitian
Queen Happy Hour? It's to have a good
time, and this is music to have a good
History tells us that the year 1967 was
all incense, peppermints, kaftans, beads,
lots of vegetables, paisley shirts, people
finishing sentences with the word man,
and being so laid back they fell over
themselves. But those lazy, hazy, crazy,
daze of way off also produced one of the
world's wildest, finest, all-time great,
hard-driven rhythm and blues show bands
that were ever put on this planet to entertain.
For the next 15 years and 14 albums and
what must of been a million gigs, the
J. Geils Band, in the words of their front
man Peter Wolf, "felt obligated to
give 100% of ourselves to our audience.
We were a bunch of guys who had the passion
and wanted to share it". Where else
do you get that commitment from a band?
They were together for those 15 years
without one change in line-up - unheard
of in the unstable world of rock 'n' roll.
When it came time to go they just left
at the top.
This collection, with it's informative
52-page booklet, has songs from all 14
albums, but is not in chronological order,
allowing the compiler to put all the great
studio cuts from the debut album in 1970
on the first disc. That includes the hit
‘Must Of Got Love’ (no12,
1974) and all the great covers such as
Willie Dixon's 'Dead Presidents’
through to 'Surrender' from the album
‘Monkey Island’ in 1977.
Then disc two kicks off with10 tracks
from the three live albums that the J.
Geils Band released in their career, Live
- Full House (1972), Live - Blow Your
Face Out (1976), and Showtime (1982).
These songs really give you a feel of
what it must of been like at a full blown
J. Geils Band concert. It's all there.
'Whammer Jammer’ gives Magic Dick
a chance to live up to his name on his
harmonica solo number and lets J. Geils’
run his furious guitar solos. All with
the rock solid supported from the rhythm
section of Danny Klein and Stephen Jo
Bladd, and the wall of sound that was
put out by the keyboards of Seth Justman
(he was also producer and arranger for
the band in the second half of their career).
Peter Wolf's in-between song raps are
left in place, and his vocal performance
on 'First I Look At The Purse' would leave
If this was not enough, late in their
lifespan the band had a resurgence in
popularity, which brought their music
to a whole new generation of fans with
the release of the album 'Freeze Frame'.
It reached the top of the album charts
over Christmas 1981, spending four weeks
at number one and a total of 70 weeks
in the charts.
The single from the album 'Centrefold'
also hit the number one spot, and the
title track, when released as a single,
went top 5.
Don't you just love a happy ending? When
it was time to go the boys packed their
bags and exited stage left. I leave you
with the words of Peter Kay, always the
J. Geils Band’s spokesperson, a
band named after the guitarist, not the
vocalist with the shades.
"The J. Geils Band was a real American
band - six guys with a love of music.
Really feeling blessed that we were able
to prevail and keep going. We were no
frills, no tricks, just hard, sweaty Rock
'n' Roll. And when we hit the stage it
Whammered by Mott The Dog
Jammered by Ella Crew