January 17, 2017 My Blood Runs Warm


The J. Geils Band, Freeze Frame, EMI America SOO-17062, 1981

The early 80s were a time of weird transformation for the music business.  The Disco era died a quick and painful death, the cassette (and the Sony Walkman) began to make the radio irrelevant, and a little thing called MTV changed which records sold and which didn’t.  Artist had to adapt or see their records head right to the bargain bins.  It was no longer enough to just create a great record, bands now also had to add a different step and create visual images that went along with the audio ones.


The J. Geils Band really began as a folk duo, but by the late 60s they were playing electric blues.  Not really blessed with an ability to write hit songs, they turned to the Motown and Stax back catalogues and re-record obscure songs from them.  It worked pretty well, and for 10 years they managed a string of top 60 hits (!) that kept them on the charts pretty regularly.  They were the go-to opening act for major artists that came through the Boston area.  In 1980, they had their biggest hit yet with Love Stinks which started off as a inside joke, but when played with a Squeeze type new wave sound it made some real inroads for a new direction for the band.


This was their next album, and they went all in for the new wave sound.  Normally, a song about falling in love with a girl who poses nude in magazines wouldn’t catch on with radio, but Centerfold was also released with what was at the time, a really good video.  MTV played it around the clock, and everyone I knew was talking about it, especially the revolutionary drummer pounding milk shot (at 2:50 in the video).

Naturally, not everyone in the band, including the namesake, was totally thrilled at the new direction.  New Wave could easily have been the next Disco, and some of the band preferred the timeless R&B music they were famous for.  After the relative failure of a live album after Freeze Frame, the band split up.  But they did leave one hell of an 80s record for us to enjoy.

Today’s Summary:
Cost: $3, $478 Remaining

September 24, 2016 Her Hair Is Bottle Gold


Kim Carnes, Mistaken Identity, EMI American SO-17052, 1981

One great thing about cheap records is that you can find some pretty decent music for really not a lot of money.  Yes, sure, it doesn’t take a genius to find a download of Bette Davis Eyes, but you have to know where to look to find the album.  The good news is, records like this sold in the millions fairly recently as far as original vinyl goes, so it pops up all the time.


This record actually was certified platinum and spent four weeks at number one.  All based off the strength of Eyes.  It’s for sure one of those records that you can see people getting tired of and once it’s been played a few times, it sat on a shelf for years until it was sold at a garage sale or used record shop.


So be sure you hold out for a perfect copy like I did.  It may not be my most played album, but trust me, knowing I can hear Bette Davis Eyes anytime I want on it’s original issue record is a pretty great feeling.  And yes, I know the line is “Her hair is Harlow Gold” and not “Her hair is bottle gold”, but I like to sing it my way, ok?

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $2, $761 Remaining