Nightmares...and Other Tales From the Vinyl Jungle spawned the biggest Atlantic hit for the J. Geils Band, the wonderfully obsessive, questioning dilemma titled "Must of Got Lost." Here the Geils Band are at the peak of their powers in the days prior to Freeze Frame and lustful songs like "Centerfold," "Must of Got Lost" being the only of their three Atlantic Top 40 hits to land in the Top 15. Seth Justman and Peter Wolf share all the songwriting credits here, save the intriguing camp/funk of the Andre Williams/Leo Hutton composition "Funky Judge." It's Peter Wolf's pantomime vocal entwined with the band's serious blues that creates something very special. The final track, "Gettin' Out," is five-minutes-plus of this intense, earthy rock, producer Bill Szymczyk capturing in the studio that energy the band generated in concert. Bassist Danny Klein told AMG he loved the Jean Lagarrigue drawing on the album jacket, noting, "Wolf found the hand painting...(it) got in a best rock album cover art book." This was a natural progression from 1973's Ladies Invited, the band's arrangements working perfectly with Szymczyk's production, with "Detroit Breakdown" being a tip of the hat to the group's second home outside of Boston. Magic Dick makes a great statement over Seth Justman's foundation piano sound, one that evolves from that instrument to organ, giving J. Geils a chance to throw some haunting guitar work over its conclusion. The song's six-minute length is topped only by the nearly seven minutes of "Stoop Down #39," perhaps a dig at the James Gang's "Funk #49" from four years prior. "Givin' It All Up" and "Look Me in the Eye" are the band showing precision in their craft, releasing quite a bit of music between 1973's popular "Give It to Me," the Ladies Invited album that same year, and this solid effort. The short, one-minute-14-second title track, "Nightmares," sounds like an ode to nitrous oxide (laughing gas), and probably was. The album produces one of the effects of that drug: exhilaration, and is a fine example of their creative musical journey.
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AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione