J. Geils Band

Love Stinks

Composed by Peter Wolf / Seth Justman

Song Review by

Three minutes and forty-four seconds of heavy, heavy blues/pop make up EMI/America 45 RPM #8039, a definite ode to romance gone wrong. Imagine Lou Reed's "Vicious" as performed by his Rock & Roll Animal band on Lou Reed Live at half-speed and you've got the riff, "Louie, Louie" gone hard rock with drums another Bostonian, Billy Squier, would use exactly a year later on his Top 20 hit "The Stroke". You can actually sing "Vicious, you hit me with a flower" over the music. The Peter Wolf here isn't the lustful schoolboy of the Freeze-Frame album from 1981, it's the Mad Magazine episode where they dubbed his ex-wife Faye Runaway. And speaking of Runaways, it's a song that fits Joan Jett well and her Blackhearts went and performed it on the soundtrack to the film Mr. Wrong. The oddity for The J. Geils Band is that it's such a simple riff rocker far removed from the novel integrity of "Give It To Me" or the unbridled exuberance of "Looking For A Love". The refinement of this band from an earthy bunch of blues fanatics to polished rock and roll act made for some fun, but did it lead to their going their separate ways for so many years? Seth Justman's production technique is solid as a rock, and recorded out at the legendary Longview Farm in Western Massachusetts there's a controlled intensity and in the pocket performance. Only edging the lower rungs of the Top 40 in May of 1980 this song and others on the album pointed the group in its new direction which would turn them into a platinum act. Years later it is totally different from what Peter Wolf, Danny Klein and Jay Geils/Magic Dick would put on their solo projects, solid blues and, in Jay's case, some jazz. "Love Stinks" is The Jay Geils Band as rock stars, and during the reunion tour in 1999 they played all this material with finesse and a vengeance. Isolated from their catalog, though, "Love Stinks" is a definite anomaly.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Love Stinks 1980 Capitol 3:45
No Image 1982 Sony Music Distribution
Flashback: The Best of the J. Geils Band 1988 EMI Music Distribution 3:35
Houseparty: Anthology 1992 Rhino 3:48
Sounds of the Eighties: The Early '80s, Take Two 1996
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:38
I Like to Rock 1998
Various Artists
Legacy 3:37
Love Songs of the 60's, 70's and 80's 1998
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 3:36
Wedding Singer, Vol. 2 [Original Soundtrack] 1998
Original Soundtrack
Maverick / Warner Bros. 3:36
Backtrax USA with Kid Kelly 1998
Various Artists
Straight Ahead Recordings / Sar 3:34
Love Songs [Columbia River] 1999
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 3:36
Centrefold 1999 VSOP 3:45
Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1980 2000
Various Artists
Buddha Records 3:35
Heartbreak of Rock 2000
Various Artists
Virgin 3:43
At This Moment and Other Eighties Love Songs 2001
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 3:36
Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1980-1984 2001
Various Artists
Buddha Records 3:35
No Image 2001 3:11
Rock This 2002
Various Artists
Razor & Tie 3:47
Hot Guitar Licks: Guitar Rock 2002
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:47
Radio Caroline Calling 2003
Various Artists
Disky
Oldies But Goodies: 80's Rock, Vol. 1 2003
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:35
The Very Best J. Geils Band Album Ever 2004 EMI
Mr. & Mrs. Smith 2005
Original Soundtrack
Lakeshore Records 3:36
Rock Breakout Years: 1982 2005 Madacy 3:28
Mr. and Mrs. Smith [Original Soundtrack] 2005
Original Soundtrack
Edel Records 3:36
Love Sucks 2006
Various Artists
Rhino / Rhino/Warner Bros. 3:46
Best of the J. Geils Band [Capitol] 2006 Capitol USA 3:49
Party Starter: 80s Mix 2006
Various Artists
Compass Productions
Mullets Rock! Too! 2007
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:46
20TH Century Masters: Best of Love, Vol. 2 2007
Various Artists
UMVD 3:45
The Ultimate Rock Ballads Collection [Time Life] 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:38
The Ultimate Rock Ballads Collection: These Dreams 2007
Various Artists
Rhino 3:38
Icon 2014 Capitol 3:46
100% Rock Guitar Anthems [Mood Media]
Various Artists
Mood Media Entertainment 3:41
Party Playlist: 80's
Various Artists
EMI / Somerset 3:37
Rock the Dock [Mood Media]
Various Artists
3:41
No Image
Various Artists
blue highlight denotes editor's pick