The title of EMI's Very Best J. Geils Band Album Ever is misleading at best, mostly just dead wrong. See, it only covers the four records the group released for EMI between 1978 and 1982 (1978's Sanctuary, 1980's Love Stinks, 1981's Freeze Frame and 1982's live album Showtime!) and has nothing from any of the excellent records they recorded for Atlantic starting in 1970. So you have to readjust your expectations a bit when you look at the record. Is it the best "J. Geils Album Ever" to be compiled from their EMI material? Yeah, probably. It rounds up all their hits ("Centerfold," "Freeze Frame," "One Last Kiss," "I Do" and "Come Back,") as well as a middling hit that should have been huge ("Just Can't Wait"), throws in a lot of AOR friendly tracks like "Just Can't Stop Me," "Love Stinks," "Sanctuary" and "Wild Man," adds some lesser known album tracks like "Till the Walls Come Tumbling Down," "Take It Back" and "Takin' It Down" and comes up with a pretty strong document of the group's most popular era. So if it is the pop side of Geils that appeals to you maybe this is the best J. Geils Band album ever. Anyone else should stick to the great career-spanning collection Houseparty: Anthology on Rhino.
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra