Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Way before their mainstream commercial success with songs like Centrefold, the J Geils Band were a highly successful blues-rock outfit with the harmonica of Magic Dick front'n'centre.
In the early to mid Seventies they peeled off great and likable slices of boogie rock, and would cover material by the likes of John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, and Otis Rush. They also wrote material in that spirit (Hard Drivin' Man) on their self-titled debut album of 1970, and for the rest of that decade packed a real punch.
They were a Boston band with the rough edges of Detroit in their soul (and where they mostly recorded) and in J Geils had a great, stinging guitarist. Singer Peter Wolf also brought something of the stadium r'n'b end of Mick Jagger (but with more crowd-pleasing humour) to their own material, although they also had enough of pop economy to be user-friendly at AM radio.
It tells you something about their popularity that they recorded two live albums in the Seventies (Full House in 72 and the double-vinyl Blow Your face Out just four years later).
Although they progressively moved towards mainstream acceptance, their early years caught them at their most exciting . . . and, in retropsect, sounding "very Seventies". Anything by them would slip in seamlessly onto the soundtrack of Dazed and Confused for instance.
But they were raw and fun -- and that's why this five CD collection of their first albums (that self-titled debut, The Morning After, Full House, Bloodshot and Ladies Invited) is here. At just $20 for all five from JB Hi-Fi here, that is indeed another Bargain Buy.