J Geils Band – Centerfold

If high school would have been more like the video to this song…Max would not have skipped school or been late.

Personally, I like their 70s blues/rock music more but I can’t say I don’t like the Freeze-Frame album. When it came out it was all over the place and I loved it…and still do. One of my memories of that time is pep rallies in high school and the cheerleaders (the reason we went) did a routine around ‘Freeze Frame’at the time…hmmm… too bad it wasn’t this song.

This song is commercial but still retains the essence of the band. Peter Wolf blows through this song and he makes you believe it. He was/is one of the best frontmen in rock and roll. I like the story the song presents. After having a crush on a sweet, innocent girl in his homeroom in high school…he sees her in a “girly” magazine later on but instead of being excited he is disappointed because his memory has been sold.

This was the third album for EMI and the record company made a great choice of picking this song as the lead single. It was #1 for six weeks and carried the album with it. The title cut peaked at #4. The video was directed by Paul Justman, brother of the song’s writer Seth. Paul also directed the band’s videos for “Land of 1,000 Dances” and “Freeze-Frame.”

The video…there was a rumor going around at the time that Martha Quinn, VJ for MTV, was in the video. It was not her of course but she had a hairstyle like Quinn plus it was a slight resemblance. You can see her around:56 in the video… Martha Quinn: “That’s not me. When I had my other haircut, I looked just like her. Except she’s enormous.”

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, #3 in the UK, and #5 in New Zealand in 1981.  The album Freeze Frame peaked at #1 on the Billboard Album Charts, #1 in Canada, #12 in the UK, and #14 in New Zealand.

It was great to see this hard-working band finally get some massive success but it didn’t last long. Peter Wolf would leave the band in 1983 or the band left without him.

Peter Wolf:  “I did not leave the band, but the majority of the band wanted to move in another direction. They wanted to continue in a pop-techno way, [and] it wasn’t my thing.”

Centerfold

Does she walk? Does she talk?
Does she come complete?
My homeroom homeroom angel
Always pulled me from my seat

She was pure like snowflakes
No one could ever stain
The memory of my angel
Could never cause me pain

Years go by I’m lookin’ through a girly magazine
And there’s my homeroom angel on the pages in-between

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
My angel is the centerfold
Angel is the centerfold

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
Angel is the centerfold

Slipped me notes under the desk
While I was thinkin’ about her dress
I was shy I turned away
Before she caught my eye

I was shakin’ in my shoes
Whenever she flashed those baby-blues
Something had a hold on me
When angel passed close by

Those soft and fuzzy sweaters
Too magical to touch
To see her in that negligee
Is really just too much

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
My angel is the centerfold
Angel is the centerfold

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
Angel is the centerfold

It’s okay I understand
This ain’t no never-never land
I hope that when this issue’s gone
I’ll see you when your clothes are on

Take you car, yes we will
We’ll take your car and drive it
We’ll take it to a motel room
And take ’em off in private

A part of me has just been ripped
The pages from my mind are stripped
Oh no, I can’t deny it
Oh yeah, I guess I gotta buy it

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
My angel is the centerfold
Angel is the centerfold

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
My Angel in the centerfold

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
My angel is the centerfold
Angel is the centerfold

My blood runs cold
My memory has just been sold
Angel is the centerfold

J Geils Band – Give It To Me

I would put Peter Wolf up with the best live front men in rock.

The J Geils Band sounded a bit different in the seventies. They had their biggest hits in the ’80s with “Freeze-Frame” and “Centerfold,” but that was the culmination of a long career that included lots of blues-based boogie music like this track.

This song peaked at #30 in the Billboard 100 and #39 in Canada in 1973. The song was on the album Bloodshot and peaked at #10 in the Billboard Album Charts and #17 in Canada. 

Peter Wolf wrote the song with the group’s keyboard player Seth Justman.

While the band was experiencing the greatest commercial success of its career and preparing a follow-up to Freeze Frame…the two main songwriters Wolf and Justman were not getting along. The band refused to record material Wolf had written with other writing partners…so Wolf left in 1983.

The band wanted to go in a more pop direction while Wolf wanted to continue the more blues/rock path they were going . 

From Songfacts

One of the most popular J. Geils Band songs from the group’s early years, this one is unusually carnal, with Peter Wolf making it very clear in his vocal delivery what he’s asking for in “Give It To Me.”

“Give It To Me” was cut down to 3:07 for radio play, but the full version runs a healthy 6:32, with showcase spots for many of the band members. Seth Justman gets a long solo on organ, which is followed by a guitar spot by J. Geils (the group’s guitarist was the band’s namesake) and an extended harmonica solo by Magic Dick. The song became a concert favorite, and one that established the J. Geils Band as a great live act. The live version from their album Blow Your Face Out is the one many radio stations play, as it captures the energy of their shows.

Heineken beer used this in commercials in 2002.

Bill Szymczyk produced the Bloodshot album, which was recorded at the Hit Factory in New York City. Szymczyk would later produce the Eagles, including their albums On the Border and Hotel California.

Give It To Me

You’ve got to give it to me
You’ve got to give it to me
You’ve got to give it to me
You’ve got to give it to me

You’re so slick now, know every trick now
You know I want it, I want it so bad
You know I need it, I can’t believe it
So come on baby, Please relieve it

Now you’ve been bugging me, Every night now
You say you want it, You want it right now
I can’t get to it, I can’t get through it
So come on baby, Please

You’ve got to get it up (give it up)
You’ve got to get it up (give it up)
You’ve got to get it up (give it up)
You’ve got to get it up (give it up)

Why keep me cold
When it’s so warm inside
Come on baby
Your love is too good to hide