Saturday, April 5, 2014

J. Geils Band - "Live" Full House: Greatest Live Album of All Time or First Sign of The Detroit Breakdown?

"Serves you right to suffer baby. 
Serves you right. 
You gonna live alone."

Is J. Geils Band LiVE Full House the greatest live rock album of all time? For me that'd be a two-way tie...maybe three-way. The tie is with the live side of ZZ Top's Fandango. So, tie and a half maybe. Third? Rush- All The Worlds a Stage. Bite me. I'm no big Rush fan (anymore ;0) but I do respect the hell out of them. More about that later*.
Why J.Geils Full House? About all I can say is you have to hear it. It's made loud to be played loud. The band is as tight as if they were all breathing from the same lung. Their set is filled with hard soul boogie and seriousass deep blues. Peter Wolf is one of the best post-Jagger leadmen in the history of rock. Magic Dick is a harmonica player who is tasteful and plays with the band and augments the band and knows when to wail and when to shut the hell up. Rare in a harp player. The whole album is only about forty minutes long and that's all J. Geils needs to kill and bury you. Trust me. This is one album that no collection is complete without. I bought my first copy on vinyl in 1972 when I was twelve after my brother told me he'd just blown his tweeters after repeated listens to Whammer Jammer. I got it and stretched my woofers from endlessly playing J. Geils cover of Hooker's Serves You Right to Suffer. That song helped make me the man I am today.

*Here's the deal with Rush- All The Worlds a Stage: As a kid I had a hand me down stereo I got from my older brother. It was one of those old jobs where the speakers are attached to the side and you could fold them back and flip the turntable up and it had a handle on the top which made the thing portable. One day I was listening to something as loud as that ol' stereo would go when all of a sudden it started smoking and one of the channels went out. I was crushed. I kept using the thing as a mono rig and didn't bother to buy any more records because I knew they'd sound like crap. But then All The Worlds a Stage came out and I had to get it. When down to the record store and picked it up. Put it on and it sounded like crap. At first. But but then that old stereo started smokin' again and the speaker started working again. The power of Rush repaired my stereo.

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