Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The J. Geils Band - Freeze-Frame (1981)

Note: this release was originally purchased as a cassette tape, later replaced by a CD.

A big hit album released when I was an easily influenced 15 year old nudnik. As a confused adolescent, I was definitely the target audience for the album's "screw school, let's get drunk and laid!" lyrics.  Plus the combination of rock and New Wave synths was almost novel at the time; but it's when the synths get out of the way that the band gets goin'.  This album was good enough for me in '82, but not so much these days except for nostalgia's sake.  Rolling Stone gave the album a rare 5 star review; I just don't hear it.  Fortunately, it introduced me to the band and I went on to find their better live albums.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #1 (4 weeks, Feb 6 - 27, 1982)
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #1 (5 consecutive weeks)

Tracks:  I still like the hits Centerfold and the title track.  The rest is pretty much filler, but better filler than most.  Since the hits and better filler were on side 1, side 2 was neglected most of the time.  Still, the only tracks I skip are River Blindness and the Top 40 hit Angel In Blue.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  In early 1982, I traveled with my church's youth group a few hours to the northeast of town for a weekend retreat at a church camp.  Being a preacher's kid, I was wrongly held to a different standard than the other knuckleheaded teenagers on the trip.  Those inappropriate expectations, coupled with my "you can't tell me what to do" attitude (which I still have, for better or worse), led to some camp hijinks that landed me in some mild trouble with the camp staff.  Upon return home, I knew I could expect a severe punishment from the folks.  However, I had somehow contracted the measles, started showing symptoms during the weekend, and by the time we got back to town, I was in bad shape.  I spent the next week at home, the sickest I have ever been in my life: high fever, disorientation, hallucinations, the whole nine yards.  So I suppose my illness served as my punishment, since my parents never mentioned my camp troubles.  I wish I could blame my camp capers on the measles, but I know it was just typical teenage foolishness.  So what's all this got to do with Freeze-Frame?  Before we left on the church trip, I picked up this cassette along with a copy of Ghost In The Machine.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Showtime! (1982)
"Live" Full House (1972)

1 comment:

  1. Love this album. Definitely a desert island album for me. (And Martin.) Guess I wasn't a 15 year old nudnik - looked the word up to be sure and I was defintely not a nudnik. Don't hear what you hear in the lyrics and the tracks you skip are among my favorites so I guess we are in complete disagreement on this one.

    As for David Fricke bestowing the rare 5 star rating on the album in issue #361 of Rolling Stone? The magazine has officially back-pedalled on that rating ever since:

    The New Roling Stone Record Guide [1983]: 4 stars
    The Rolling Stone Album Guide [1992]: 3 1/2 stars
    The New Rolling Stone Album Guide [2004]: 4 stars

    In issue #425 (July 1984), Parke Puterbaugh gave Wolf's solo debut Lights Out four and a half stars; the 2004 Album Guide took one of those stars away.

    In issue #433 (October 1984), Kurt Loder gave You're Gettin' Even While I'm Gettin' Odd, the non-live followup to Freeze-Frame, four freaking stars while the 2004 Album Guide called it "one of the most disasterous followups in music-biz history" and gave it a charitable lone star. (In 1984, it was still 2 1/2 stars and merely "lackluster".)

    As a sidenote, I didn't discover the band's videos until nearly a year after they first aired when MTV finally came to our cable system. Also saw videos for "Come Back" and "Love Stinks" so I went out and bought that album. Have all but three of their albums now.