The J. Geils Band – Freeze Frame: #913 of best 1,000 albums ever!

J Geils Band - Freeze Frame

Why is The J. Geils Band’s Freeze Frame on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

A delicious hamburger of fun early ‘80s rock ‘n roll.

Some stats & info about The J. Geils Band – Freeze Frame

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock, Rock Music, Pub Rock, Arena Rock, Hard Rock, Blues Rock
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating4 out of 5 stars
  • When was Freeze Frame released? 1981
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #913 out of 1,000

The J. Geils Band’s Freeze Frame on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.

What does The J. Geils Band’s Freeze Frame mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

I don’t have the direct quote, but I believe it was the great George Thorogood who once talked about how some music is like a expertly prepared steak, and other music is like a great hamburger. Both are satisfying, see, but in different ways. Freeze Frame is surely leans into the hamburger stand part of that analogy, and serves up a delicious J. Geils Band-produced portion.

In short, Freeze Frame is fun early 1980s rock n’ roll, lead out by the mega smash hit, “Centerfold.” If you’re of a certain age and hail from the good old United States of America (and other far flung lands, too, no doubt) you’ve heard “Centerfold” somewhere between 1,200 and sideways eight times.

And, somehow, it holds up. It’s fun, has great energy, and is catchy in a way that falls just this short of maddening. Lyrically, it’s kind of a weird song, really, but holds an odd specificity that gives it some sort of narrative weight.

The title track, “Freeze Frame,” is equally fun, and features a very bouncy, very early 1980s keyboard riff. And much like “Centerfold,” the chorus is (dead) simple and catchy enough so that no matter how drunk you are at your local public house, bar, home, or venue of choice, you can surely scream it out with some confidence of hitting the mark.

Also, points to the video for perhaps being the most early 1980s music video of all time.

“Flamethrower” absolutely has the chops that it could have been a huge pop hit circa 1981 in its own right. It also sounds like it would make a perfect featured song for a wacky, R rated comedy of the era. Think Bustin’ Loose or The Cannonball Run.

Be warned that some songs on Freeze Frame (see: “Insane, Insane Again” for example) sound suspiciously like the Saved By the Bell theme song.