Tag Archives: The J. Geils Band

Return to the 80s Music: Love Stinks by The J. Geils Band

Hey Everybody, welcome back to Return to the 80s Music! As I mentioned previously, I will go through chronologically and cover as many 80s albums as I can. We’ll hear some classics, some hidden gems that not everybody may be familiar with, and maybe some nobody has heard of, which can be a great discovery, or something that will make you say What the HELL was that?!?!

I hope this is good and you all enjoy it. I hope we make some rad discoveries, and I know there will be songs that will bring us back to some great times! In either case, it is always awesome to Return to the 80s!

You can click on the song title to check out the YouTube video of the song. I’ll also include the Spotify playlist at the bottom of each article, if the album is on Spotify.

Today’s album is Love Stinks by The J. Geils Band. This was the band’s ninth studio album. Throughout the 70s, they were leaning towards an R&B/Bluesy sound with songs such as “Lookin’ For a New Love,” “Give it to Me,” and the hit “Must Have Got Lost“. By the late 70s/early 80s, they were hitting their peak success.

While the best was yet to come, Love Stinks hit some mainstream success.

The album was released on January 28, 1980 from EMI Records, and was produced by Seth Justman.

The band members on this album are:

Peter Wolf – lead vocals
J. Geils – guitar
Magic Dick – harmonica
Seth Justman – keyboards, backing vocals
Danny Klein – bass
Stephen Bladd – drums

Now let’s take a listen to the album.

Side one

1. “Just Can’t Wait

We kick things off with a fun rocker. This joins the long list of songs where Daddy doesn’t approve of the rebel boy who wants to “date” his daughter. 

2. “Come Back

Another great rocker! This was the first single released from the album, and peaked at #32 on the U.S. charts and peaked at #19 for two weeks in Canada. Rolling Stone critic Dave Marsh praised “Come Back” as a “full-scale showcase” for the band, claiming that it came “very close to the topnotch hard rock Geils has always threatened to make and too rarely delivered.” It really is a great showcase. Each instrument does get featured. I don’t ever remember this song. That’s unfortunate as it’s about as good as any of the major hits they had. Perhaps it was too hard for pop radio, but not hard enough for rock radio.

3. “Takin’ You Down

This is a serviceable rock song. It has a good beat to it and the guitar is great. But it does get a bit repetitive, especially towards the end.  

4. “Night Time

Oooooh, I like this one! I love the way it starts with the piano and drums. And this is a lot of fun. It has that “Land of a Thousand Dances” vibe. I could dance to this. This must have been a big hit live.

This is a cover of The Strangeloves 1965 hit that reached #30. The J. Geils Band made a great choice in covering this one. It is a perfect fit.

5. “No Anchovies, Please

This is the strangest “song” of the year so far. I had only heard of this before because somebody had mentioned it to me on Twitter years ago. It is Peter Wolfe talking, telling a strange story. It feels like a noir movie if you are on acid.

Side two

6. “Love Stinks

This is the one most of us know. As popular as this title track is, it only peaked at #38 in the U.S. The song was also memorably featured in the Adam Sandler movie, The Wedding Singer

The lyrics may have been inspired by J. Geils Band lead singer Peter Wolf’s marriage to actress Faye Dunaway, which ended in a 1979 divorce.

7. “Tryin’ Not to Think About It

Oh man, this song started out so promising. The first minute was flat-out rock ‘n’ roll. Then it levelled out and they lost me as it just turned into a safe mediocre song. 

8. “Desire (Please Don’t Turn Away)

We slow things down a bit here. I can’t put my finger on it, but it feels like this song should be better than it is. This would probably sound better by a late ’80s hair band.

9. “Till the Walls Come Tumblin’ Down

We close out the album with a bluesy diddy. This feels like it is more in their wheelhouse at the time. I could see this bringing the house down in The House of Blues. Great way to end the album!

Hidden Gems: There were a few on here for me. I’m not sure if “Come Back” would be considered a hidden gem since it charted higher than the title track. But, I didn’t remember it, so I’ll include that one, “Night Time,” and “Till the Walls Come Tumblin’ Down”.

Here is my ratings scale

5 Classic – a must buy

4 Solid album – worth buying

3 Some good or great stuff, but also skippable songs

2 Meh – may have 2 or 3 good songs. Just buy the singles you like, if any

1 Sucks. Time I can’t get back

While I wasn’t blown away by this album, it didn’t stink either. I’ll give it a solid 3. There are some great songs here, but there were some mediocre ones that preventing it from bringing it up a level. You can tell that they are leading up to something great though.

What are your thoughts on the album. Any J. Geils fans here? Has anybody seen the band live. I bet they were great.

I’d love to hear from you!

Feel free to comment below, or connect with me on TwitterInstagram, and/or Facebook. Or you can even email me directly at returntothe80s@gmail.com.

Remember That Song: 4/13/17

Can you name the artist and song:

And I still can remember
How your touch was so tender
It told me you cared

Last Song: “Freeze-Frame” by The J. Geils Band from the album Freeze Frame (1981)

R.I.P. J. Geils (February 20, 1946 – April 11, 2017)

Thursday morning was a hot-flash factor
Her face still focused in my mind

Top 40 Songs This Week – May 24, 1980: Songs 40-31

Welcome back to a new week of the Top 40! In preparation for the upcoming new Star Wars movie, last week we covered the Top 40 from the weekend that Return of the Jedi was released – May 1983. Now, we’re working our way back through more Star Wars movies. This week, we will check out the Top 40 from the weekend that The Empire Strikes Back opened. The Empire Strikes Back was released on May 21, 1980. So, we will see what was topping the charts the week ending May 24, 1980. As is the case with most people, The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite of the series. I normally march to the beat of my own drum, and don’t go along with the masses. But, that is not the case here. I was 9 years old when this was released (I would turn 10 in September), so I was still collecting Star Wars figures and playsets. At this time, I was also really into collecting baseball cards. When The Empire Strikes Back came out, I also collected all the trading cards for the movie. I read all the Star Wars books I could get my hands on. The movie was also showing at a local movie theater, which only cost $1. So, I saw this movie many, many times in the theater. I had written about my Star Wars story in previous articles and will be reposting them during Star Wars week. So, let’s get to the music. I did not get my hopes up with the quality of songs at this time in the ’80s. But man, there was no need for concern! There are several songs that I never heard of until today. But, there is going to be some really great stuff too! So, let’s Return to the week ending May 21, 1980, and begin the countdown!

40. “Love Stinks” by The J. Geils Band

Not a bad way to start a countdown! This is the anthem for anybody that has had their heart broken. Instead of a slow song that makes you cry, this is a great rocker that makes you stand up and pump your fist in the air. A year from now, The J. Geils Band would be releasing their classic Freeze Frame album. This song has the same style as the songs from that album.

39. “Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time For Love) (Parts 1 and 2)” by The Isley Brothers

downloadThis is a song I had never heard before. This is the total opposite from the previous song. This is a quiet storm ballad perfect for some sexy time. If you play this song in the bedroom, then you won’t need to worry about what the J. Geils Band says about love.

38. “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” by Billy Joel

Oh yeah! There’s nothing like some classic Billy Joel! This is one of those songs that you think, “Do I really need to listen to this again for the bazillionth time?” Then the song starts, and the answer is “Yes”. And as I get older, I can relate to this song more and more.

37. “We Live For Love” by Pat Benatar

Here is an awesome and underplayed rock song. This came off of Benatar’s In the Heat of the Night album, which also featured her breakthrough hit, “Heartbreaker“.

36. “I Don’t Want to Walk Without You” by Barry Manilow

My parents were Barry Manilow fans, so I grew up listening to his music. They had an 8-track of a concert of his. I would get bored, but there was a part of the show, that I enjoyed, where he sings all the commercial jingles that he had written. I had never heard of this song before. After listening to this, I’m thinking that maybe I had heard it, but just zoned out. What am I writing about, now? Oh yeah, “I Don’t Want to Walk Without You”. This song was published in 1941, and became a #1 hit for Harry James and his orchestra in 1942. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Sorry, whenever I hear there is a song by somebody “and his orchestra”, I fall asleep instantly, only to wake up from nightmares of seeing Lawrence Welk on my grandparents’ TV. The only good thing about this song is that after it was over, the much better “Could it Be Magic” autoplayed.

35. “Headed for a Fall” by Firefall

Here is another song I had never heard before. It’s not bad, but not great either. I haven’t been missing anything all these years. This band does have that classic late ’70s/early ’80s rock band sound. It’s a little bit of a slow rocker, but the guitar work in this song is really good.

34. “Lady” by The Whispers

downloadThis is a good R&B ballad from the group who would bring us the 1987 hit,”Rock Steady“.

33. “Let Me Love You Tonight” by The Pure Prairie League

MI0001778792It’s been a while since I’ve said this, but this is one of those songs that did not look familiar to me. But, as soon as it hit the chorus, I remembered it. This may have been on a previous countdown I covered. That is Vince Gill on lead vocals. Not a bad song at all by this country rock group.

32. “Gee Whiz” by Bernadette Peters

Bernadette Peters can do it all! In a career that has spanned 5 decades so far, she has starred in musical theater, films and television, as well as performing in solo concerts and recordings. I think I may have first seen her on the original Muppet Show. I believe she is mainly known for being a Broadway star. This song sounds like it could be a ballad from a Broadway Show. She has a really good voice. I kind of like this one.

31. “Let Me Be the Clock” by Smokey Robinson

And we go back to an R&B ballad. This song could have just as easily been released in the ’60s or ’70s. It appeared on Smoky Robinson’s 1980 album Warm Thoughts. This is another song on this countdown that’s not great, but not too bad either.

Well, that wraps up today’s list of songs. Let me know what you think. And let me know if you have any fond memories of The Empire Strikes Back. I think the countdown may continue on Wednesday. Tomorrow is going to be a crazy day. So, it will be posted either tomorrow night or sometime Wednesday.