Tuesday, July 25, 2017

"Concealed Weapon" by J. Geils Band

Song#:  2111
Date:  11/03/1984
Debut:  85
Peak:  63
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Rock



Pop Bits:  Due to creative differences, lead singer and song contributor Peter Wolf left the J. Geils Band in 1983. He began a solo career that resulted in the #12 hit "Lights Out." With Wolf gone, the band's other main songwriter, Seth Justman, stepped up to the mic. He and the remaining members returned to the studio to record a follow-up to the band's multi-platinum #1 album Freeze-Frame. Seth Justman would co-write all the tracks with his brother Paul, although Paul was not a member of the band and had not contributed any previous co-writes. Once completed, the album was titled You're Gettin' Even While I'm Gettin' Odd and this first single announced its arrival. Unfortunately, it just did not click with listeners and the track stalled at #26 on the Rock chart while not even breaking out of the basement of the Pop chart. It would end up being the only single released from the album, which tanked at a lowly #80. It seemed that without the Wolf/Justman collaboration, the band was not the same and folks took notice. The LP would end up being the band's final one as they would split later in '85.

ReduxReview:  Yeesh. The band always had a bit of a humorous side, but it was never as goofy as this synth-packed ditty. I'm not sure what they were going for here. They are a blues/R&B-based band, yet this is more like something Oingo Boingo might have done (but better). This just wasn't going to cut it, especially after Freeze-Frame. Apparently, this was the direction Justman wanted to go with the band and Wolf didn't. Wolf went of to score hits that could have been done by the band, while Justman careened off the charts with this thing. It was definitely a crash-n-burn. So much so that the album has never been reissued in CD form and is weirdly ignored on the band's website. It's like it never happened. And it probably shouldn't have.

ReduxRating:  3/10

Trivia:  Paul Justman would later go on to direct an award-winning documentary titled Standing in the Shadows of Motown. The film was about the Funk Brothers, a set of musicians chosen by Berry Gordy to be the house band at Motown. The group of musicians would play on hundreds of Motown recordings from 1959 through to 1972. The film also featured some surviving members of the group backing current artists on some of the old hits. The soundtrack would win two Grammy awards. One for Best Traditional R&B Performance for the song "What's Going On" by Chaka Khan and The Funk Brothers, and one for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album. Although the documentary did not secure an Oscar nod, it did win other awards and performed very well at the box office.

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