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J Geils Band: Bloodshot

Bud Scoppa, Rolling Stone, 21 June 1973

During the last two years, Boston's J. Geils Band has built itself a national reputation as a tight, energetic, popular and extremely good-humored touring band. But, as so often happens with great live bands, the recording studio took the edge off the group's chief virtues: drive, momentum and self-assurance. While The J. Geils Band and The Morning After, the first two albums, stack up well next to other rock LPs of the last couple years, they are below the standard set by the band onstage. They weren't just losing the spirit of things in the studio, they were also trying to be an electric blues band, an old-school R&B group and a Stones-style rock & roll band all at the same time. As a result, their energies were being diffused by the differing demands of each idiom. They hit all three musical forms in live performance, too, but the constant dynamic level maintained by the group onstage tends to obscure idiomatic distinctions.

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