Friday, August 09, 2013

J. Geils Band - Hotline

Don't let the terrible cover artwork deter you (though the vinyl album pulled out so that the "receiver" was pulled up from the "phone"), this is another fabulous bit of 70's whammer-jammer magic from J. and the Bad Boys from Boston!

Mr. J. blasts out of the gate with a rockin' guitar riff for the hard'n'heavy "Love-itis" - this is the guys doing pure rock'n'roll. Sure, you can hear the blues roots, but they ain't as obvious as at other times. Everyone shines here, as usual, and the "it's got me man, it's got me, it's really, really got me" was another fun crowd chant-a-long. Stephen Jo Bladd sets a rollickin' pace with a wacky drum lick in "Easy Way Out", another uptempo rocker, with more heavy guitar-work from Geils and more cool call-and-response vocals. Seth Justman's keys lead the quieter semi-ballad "Think It Over" and his Hammond B3 solo is fabulous!

Being ever-so-democratic, Magic Dick takes front-and-center for the jumpin' r'n'b of "Be Careful" - the band at their best - high-energy blues'n'roll! Of course, everyone else gets some licks as well, from Justman's piano-poundin' to Geils wild guitar - all superb - this is true party music! "Jealous Love" is a bit of rockin' pop with J. providing a neat slide solo and Wolf givin' it his all. Dramatic, sorrowful organ opens "Mean Love" but it quickly bursts into another groovy dance number with very cool intertwined riffs from everyone - man, these cats could play and truly worked together as a band! Intricate without being pompous, and they experimented with their sound a bit more on this record, like the wild, noise-ridden (in a terrific way) harp solo and Geils sounding like he's playing a Strat (certainly unusual for him - he's normally a Gibson man) through some crazy effects.

They return to their soulful-bluesy roots in "Orange Driver", showing that they never lost sight of where they came from. J. lets loose like he's been waiting to do this for the entire record - terrific all around! "Believe in Me" is almost Motown-ish in its soulfulness (but is still uniquely J.Geils Band) and is another relentless dance number. Wolf introduces "Fancy Footwork" with "hey everybody, it's dance time!" and it sure is. I get a Jackson 5 vibe from this one, but maybe that's just me. Regardless, another fun one!

I've said it a million times - any and all 60's and 70's J. Geils Band is fantastic and this is no exception - get it for a good time - there's no way you can be in a bad mood while listening to this!