Centerfold – The J. Geils Band

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………….on December 30th of 1981 The J. Geils Band album “Freeze-Frame” is awarded a Gold record. The LP would reach number one on the Billboard Hot 200 chart in February 1982 and remain at the top for four weeks on the strength of the hit singles “Centerfold” and “Freeze Frame”. The song “Centerfold”was written by the band’s keyboard player Seth Justman, who wrote or co-wrote all the tracks on the Freeze Framealbum. He insists that the reason you didn’t hear much synthesizer on earlier J. Geils albums is because they couldn’t afford them: The band was trapped in the record company debt cycle, constantly owing money despite their success. The J. Geils Band signed with Atlantic Records in 1970 and made a name for themselves as a great live act with a blues-based sound. “Centerfold” was a musical departure for the band – a new wave sound similar to what The Cars and The Police were doing. It was also their biggest hit, earning them a slot touring with The Rolling Stones, the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, and heavy rotation on the new cable network MTV with a video showing the band playing in a classroom surrounded by girls in Catholic school uniforms. Freeze Frame was the band’s third album with EMI; they signed with the label leaving Atlantic. In earlier years, the band chose their singles, but EMI picked “Centerfold” as the lead single and were handsomely rewarded when it went to US #1 for a startling six weeks and also helped send the album to the top spot. “Centrefold” was also9 a Top 10 hit in the UK where it reached #3.