Song Of The Day: J. Geils Band 'Love Stinks'!

J. Geil's Band cruised to #38 on the singles charts with "Love Stinks" in 1980.

The recent passing of guitarist John "J." Geils has reacquainted many with their copies of Freeze Frame and Monkey Island (!). For this writer, everything great about the band; the respect for R&B tradition, the campiness that was never too campy, and the desire to always go for broke, was condensed to its most essential 3:45.

Like the Romantics' "What I Like About You", whose moderate chart success upon initial release is completely non-indicative of the song's eventual popularity and cultural importance, "Love Stinks" popularity seems to have only grown stronger since its release in 1980.

Sadly, Adam Sandler is at least partially responsible for this, as his use of the song in "The Wedding Singer" definitely gave it another shot in the arm in 1998.

What I always dug most about the band was that you could tell everything they did, or didn't do, was for the stage. That's where the band came alive. but also had the goods as a studio unit so that that who were discovering the band in concert wouldn't be underwhelmed by the sterile sound of the studio albums.

Truth be told, their live albums 'Live' Full House and Blow Your Face Out had the unenviable task of competing against already fiery studio versions.

A decade into their career, the band was still putting the pieces together one slab of R&B-infused rock at a time, but Love Stinks (the album) was the album that saw band members and co-producers Peter Wolf and Seth Justman finally tweak the formula to perfection.

The album's first single, "Come Back", received sizable AOR airplay, which, amazingly enough, led to Top 40 rotation as the single itself inched its way to #32, setting everything up properly for the slam dunk. When "Love Stinks" (the single) came out three months after the album's release, those who'd been on the fence before were suddenly reaching for their wallets.

Admittedly, "Love Stinks" is the sort of intensely hooky, playfully hokey, and undeniably immediate single that, for a lesser band, would become "THE song" for which they'd always be most remembered, but it wasn't even been the best-selling single on its respective album, stalling at #38.

It would enjoy quite the afterlife, however and, as luck would have it, the band still had a couple more tricks up their sleeve in 1981 when "Centerfold" and "Freeze Frame" both went Top 5 and their respective videos made the band a household name once and for all.

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