Music Video of the Day: Angel In Blue by J. Geils Band (1982, dir. Paul Justman)

Seeing as we lost J. Geils himself a couple of days ago, I thought it was appropriate to do one of their music videos. If you want a history of the band, and about the recent passing of J. Geils, then I point you to Gary’s article.

The music video is a far cry visually from Centerfold and Freeze Frame. It’s a simple stage performance that uses overlays of famous women, such as Marilyn Monroe and Louise Brooks. Monroe was already gone by the time this was released and Brooks would pass away three years after the release of this music video. Brooks had moved into isolation long before this video, and her last film was in the low-budget pre-Stagecoach John Wayne film, Overland Stage Raiders in 1938.

It’s a nice companion piece to Centerfold. That one was fun and nostalgic about a woman you knew in childhood that had grown up to be a centerfold, and you felt your fantasy about her had been “sold”. This one is a sad follow-up to that song that takes off the nostalgia goggles. I don’t see her in the video, but I have to imagine that they picked out the title based on the Marlene Dietrich movie, The Blue Angel (1930).

Director Paul Justman did only a handful of music videos. He appears to have directed all but two of them that the J. Geils Band made.


Music Video of the Day: Centerfold by J. Geils Band (1981, dir. Paul Justman)

With this music video of the day, I have now done 62 of these posts. It has taken that long to hit a music video that came out in 1981.

When I was growing up before I discovered Nirvana, I was listening to my parents’ music. Luckily, they had pretty good taste. I received the standard stuff that anyone of my generation should expect from their parents, but there were a few odd ones. I used to be a little ashamed when my dad would have Neil Sedaka’s greatest hits album playing when he would take me to and from soccer. I’m not ashamed to say I like Sedaka to this day. Especially not when Sedaka apparently made this music video type thing himself back in early 1960s, which reminds me of Centerfold.

My parents were very focused on raising me, so they largely missed out on 80s music, but there were a few exceptions. Two of the most notable examples were Centerfold and The Logical Song by Supertramp.

The song is a given. Freeze Frame is enjoyable, but Centerfold is a classic feel-good song that I would be willing to believe a lot of people have heard without knowing the name of the group.

I love the music video because I don’t see music videos often where the band or a member of the band has fun with some other people in it. I have to wonder how many times the lead singer either fell off the desks, or at least came close. The music video looks as fun as the song sounds. I don’t know what else you can ask for when making one of these for a song like Centerfold.

We have the same crew from Freeze Frame here. Director Paul Justman worked on a handful of music videos. He also did some other films including Gimme an ‘F’ (1984), which I have since found out is about cheerleaders (go figure). I have also since procured a copy of it too.

According to IMVDb, this was cinematographer Andrew Dintenfass’ first music video. He seems to have worked primarily with Russell Mulcahy and Paul Justman, but there is one he did with Kenny Ortega who would later direct the very popular horror musicals for Disney in the 2000s. We’ll get to one of his music videos later.

Justman did a great job capturing the fun of the song. I can’t say that enough. Just enjoy it!

Then maybe come back and listen to Neil Sedaka perform Solitaire.

Music Video of the Day: Freeze Frame by J. Geils Band (1982, dir. Paul Justman)

The J. Geils Band is one of those groups that I only know a couple of songs from because when they would come on the radio when I was a kid, my mom would say it was one of her favorite songs. We’ll get to the one most people know by the group, but I decided to start with Freeze Frame. This song is pure fun. There’s nothing to be said about that.

There really isn’t much to say about the music video either. The band performs in what looks like an area prepared for painting as it cuts between them and Old Hollywood period stock footage. The only one I recognize by name is Nosferatu (1922). There are some other ones that look familiar, but I can’t come up with the names. That’s really all there is to this. There’s more to talk about with Centerfold.

The only particularly interesting part is at the end when they animate the cover of the album the song is on. I liked that it calls me back to Don’t Answer Me by The Alan Parsons Project, which was one of the first music videos I did as a music video of the day. I also like that one of the band members is dressed like a painter in overalls. I don’t know how I have passed 50 music videos without doing that homage to painters and women named Eileen, but I have. I’ll get to it eventually.

Director Paul Justman has directed a few other music videos, but not many. He has also done some feature films. That includes some B-Movies like Gimme an ‘F’ (1984) as well as some documentaries about music like Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002).

Andrew Dintenfass shot this music video. He shot a few other music videos along with some other work.

I’ll get to Centerfold soon. In the meantime, enjoy this song that still gets airplay today with an okay music video to go along with it.