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Sonic Gems: J. Geils Band – Monkey Island

John Maxwell February 26, 2015 Music Reviews No Comments

Three years before the pop success of “Love Stinks” and four years before their MTV “Freeze-Frame” and “Centerfold” blitz, the J. Geils Band was an established live act that churned out R&B with a rough and tough East Coast edge. In fact, the group’s live reputation resulted in no fewer than two live albums (one a double LP) between 1972 and 1977’s “Monkey Island.” Yet, “Monkey Island” is a methodically produced textural collage of styles from the funky opener “Surrender” to the rocking “Somebody” to the sweet pop of the minor hit “I Do.” Additionally, the epic title track and a couple of elegant ballads gave notice that the J. Geils Band was far more than their live reputation implied. Critics didn’t hail the album as anything special, nor is it typically considered to be the band’s best, but there is much to like in the varied nature of “Monkey Island.”

John Maxwell

John Maxwell

John Maxwell is a marketing analyst with Music Audience Exchange and has over 20 years of marketing and media buying experience across a range of industries. John writes about overlooked, yet exceptional albums in his SONIC GEMS column for Music Marketing Money. John has a BA in Public Relations from SMU.
John Maxwell

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