J. Geils Band

Angel in Blue

Composed by Seth Justman

Song Review by

The majority of the hits by The J.Geils Band lingered in the '30's section of the Top 40, with "Angel In Blue" the only one to actually hit and stop at 40. EMI America single #8100 has a lower catalog # than "Freeze-Frame and "Centerfold", though it was popular in the summer of 1982 while the two aforementioned songs came earlier, reigning in the Top 5 during the winter prior. Arguably the smartest lyric in the J. Geils Band catalogue, this could be the subject matter from "Centerfold" all grown up. It's a song about a stripper, but you wouldn't know it if you didn't listen closely - the melody so strong the words went right over many fans' heads. Those other Boston bad boys, Aerosmith, went Top 3 just six years later with their own "Angel", hard rockers also going ultra-pop a la Alice Cooper in the 1970's. But the Geils band trumps all comers by bringing back Whitney's mom, Cissy Houston, along with Luther Vandross from the Monkey Island album and three other additional vocalists making for a touch of class over a drumbeat much like The Tubes "Don't Touch Me There". "We met in a bar/Out on Chesapeake Bay" is hardly the scenario one thinks of when finding themselves in an episode of Touched By An Angel, and the story is quite sad, that of a person who never had dreams come true because she never had any dreams! Writer Stephen Thomas Erlewine calls this tune

"terrific neo-doo wop." It is that and more, a folk/pop polished ballad different from any of their other nine Top 40 hits, four minutes and fifty-one seconds (on the album) of Peter Wolf reading Seth Justman's post-"Centerfold" wet dream.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Freeze Frame 1981 Beat Goes On 4:51
No Image 1982 Sony Music Distribution
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Scotti Brothers
Centrefold 1999 VSOP 4:50
This Is Rock Ballad 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
The Very Best J. Geils Band Album Ever 2004 EMI
Best of the J. Geils Band [Capitol] 2006 Capitol USA 4:30
Icon 2014 Capitol 4:51
blue highlight denotes editor's pick