Friday, February 22, 2013

J. Geils Band: Whammer Jammer

It is highly unusual for a band/record company to issue two different versions of the same song as a “B” side for a single; however, it does happen. Today’s Friday Flipsides selections are from the J. Geils Band and include two live versions of the instrumental “Whammer Jammer.” Both versions of this Geils’ classic feature the band’s harmonica player, Richard Salwitz, who is better known by the moniker of Magic Dick.

The two renditions showcase Dick’s magic on the harmonica and has long been a show piece for the band. The song is credited to one “Juke Joint Jimmy” which is a songwriting alias for the entire band when contributing to the writing of a particular song. Such is the case with “Whammer Jammer.” The first release of a “B” side for “Whammer Jammer” came from their second album “The Morning After.” It was the flip of “Looking for a Love,” which peaked at #39 in late 1971.

Within a year, another version of “Whammer Jammer” hit the stores as a flipside. Coming from the band’s third album, “‘Live’ Full House.”

 This second recording of “Whammer Jammer” is the one that most people remember, as it got considerable AOR airplay. It was the flip of the single “Hard Drivin’ Man,” which failed to chart. “

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