America’s Optimal Party Band (Tributesville Founding Father)
The J. Geils Band is an American rock band formed in 1967 in Worcester, Massachusetts, under the leadership of guitarist J. Geils. The band played R&B-influenced blues rock in the 1970s before moving towards a more new wave sound in the 1980s. Since its initial break-up in 1985, the band has reunited several times. Their biggest hit was their 1981 single, “Centerfold“, which charted No. 1 in the United States in early 1982.
Although living in Boston, the band had always considered Detroit its second home because of its enormous popularity there. Two of its three live albums were recorded in Detroit at the Cinderella Ballroom and Pine Knob Music Theater (now DTE Energy Music Theater). Their second live album, 1976’s Blow Your Face Out, was recorded in Boston (at Boston Garden) and Detroit (at Cobo Arena).
The J. Geils Band first received FM radio airplay with the live single cover version of The Contours‘ “First I Look at the Purse“. They then began to get AM radio airplay as well with a series of several hit singles in the 1970s, the most successful of which were a cover version of The Valentinos‘ “Lookin’ for a Love” (1971), a cover version of The Showstoppers‘ “Ain’t Nothin’ But a Houseparty” (1973), “Give it to Me” (1973), and “Must Of Got Lost” (1974). Later in the 1970s, the band signed with EMI America Records.
On August 17, 1971, at a show in the Boston Common, The Allman Brothers Band named the J. Geils Band as its favorite local band. Both bands later played the last show at the Fillmore East. After their initial commercial successes the group seemed destined to be nothing more than a party band, until the release of Monkey Island (1977), followed by Sanctuary (1978), which charted at No. 49 on the Billboard 200 and spun off a sizable hit single in “One Last Kiss” (No. 35 on the Billboard Hot 100).
The group’s commercial fortunes improved even more in the early 1980s, first with the humorous Love Stinks, then with their success with theFreeze Frame album which included “Centerfold” (No. 1 for six weeks on the Billboard Hot 100) and then the title cut (No. 4). “Centerfold” also became their only major hit single in the United Kingdom, where it reached No. 3 in February 1982. Another live album, Showtime (1982), contained their hit cover of “I Do” (No. 24), a 1965 hit by The Marvelows. But Wolf left the group in 1983 over artistic disagreements. The band went on to record one more album of new material, You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd, after Wolf left. He was not replaced, and Seth Justman took over most of the vocal duties. The album produced only one single, “Concealed Weapons”, and not considered a commercial success. Most recently J. Geils toured with Bob Seger and has done a handful of sellout shows in select markets LIKE OURS!