02 September 2008

J. Geils Band "Live" Full House: Greatest live rock album of all time?

"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. But why J.Geils Full House? What's the big deal? 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 as he is dangerous and plays with the band and augments the band and knows when to wail and (more importantly) when to shut the hell up. Rare in a harp player. It's one of those unusual situations where each band member is as important as the other. The whole album is only about forty minutes long but that's all the J. Geils Band needs to kill and bury you under eight hundred pounds of Boston Monkey/Detroit Demolition sized boogie.
Trust me. This is one album that no collection is complete with out. This ain't no Centerfold-era J. Geils. Not that there is much wrong with that but it just ain't equal to Full House. I bought my first copy of Full House on vinyl in 1972 when I was twelve after my eighteen year old brother told me he'd just blown his tweeters after repeated listens to whammer Jammer. I got it and stretched out 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.

J. Geils Band- "Live" Full House BUY iT!

"I'll get down to it."

Whammer Jammer MP3

"got my own milk...got own cream."

Serves You Right to Suffer MP3

ZZ TOP- Fandango! BUY iT!


The Golfing Librarian said...

I'm with you on this one! I have "full house" and some other live stuff of Peter and the boys. When I was working in Orlando we used to play the "if you could have any band you wanted play a private show for you and your friends who would it be" game all the time. I was the only one who lobby for J. Geils. I only with that I had SEEN them live. Maybe in heaven, yes?

The Golfing Librarian said...

I'm afraid my faulty memory has been jarred loose. The live album that got played so many times during my youthful, formative days was Rush's "All the World's a Stage"! Peter Wolfe and the gang came later on. BOTH are fantastic albums - 1 an 1A. I even had "By-Tor" put on the back of a shirt!

Stacy said...

I think I already told you I saw J.Geils live with Tom Petty when he still had all his hair, and wasn't trying to cover his receding hairline with bandanas, and was selling his first album. Yup this is THE album that sold me on the blues ...this is a good'n. Tho my little bro and I used to listen A LOT! to Cheap Trick Live at Budokan(we got it for mom for her "birthday" she only listened to it when we did.)

blasters said...

yo rick,

nice post. early j geils band will always have a special place in my record collection, and i definitely have fond memories of peter and the boys rocking san francisco. enjoyed many great shows. the best party band ever!! i too played the hell out of "full house" loved "hard driving man," i was ready to hear it after listening to whammer jammer." what about "first i look at the purse?" damn! great stuff. a memory i hold onto is the night i saw u2 open for the j geils band and u2 was booed off stage, couldn't even get thru their hit song "new years day" sand francisco was ready for a house party!! later, dave

Ken of Kenzoil said...

Full House is outstanding! A fine example of what a great live band is. Saw them a year ago in Detroit @ the filmore (State) Theater, a small 2,200 seat venue. First time they have played together in many years. They still got it. Go see them if you get the chance. Another great live album is Bob Segers 'Live Bullet'. This one is a gem from start to finish and another fine example of the magic that can happen on stage when a great band has a great night.


Thanks Ken. Kenzoil looks wicked good!

Anonymous said...

Full House is indeed an awesome live album, I have it on vinyl even.

However, my favorite live album of all times is Live and Dangerous from Thin Lizzy.