Centerfold (song)

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Single by The J. Geils Band
from the album Freeze Frame
B-side "Rage In the Cage"
Released September 13, 1981
Format Vinyl record (7")
Recorded 1980
Genre Electronic rock, new wave
Length 3:36
Label EMI America
Writer(s) Seth Justman
Producer(s) Seth Justman
The J. Geils Band singles chronology
"Night Time"

"Centerfold" is a single released by The J. Geils Band from their album Freeze Frame. The song is about a man who is shocked to discover that his high school crush appeared in a centerfold spread for a men's magazine.[1] The singer cannot decide between his anger and his lust.[1]

It was released in autumn 1981, and eventually went to Number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in February 1982, and stayed there for six weeks. It was the first single released from the album Freeze Frame and was an early staple on MTV.

In February 1982, after the song hit #1 in the US, "Centerfold" peaked at number three in the UK Top 40, earning The J. Geils Band their only major hit single in the UK, although follow-up "Freeze-Frame" was a minor hit.

The song lists at #52 on Billboard's All Time Top Songs.[2]

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by organist Seth Justman's brother, starts out with lead singer Peter Wolf going to the classroom and looking through a magazine which he mentions his high school crush is in. Then, he walks through a class of school girls, catching them slipping notes. Afterwards, The girls appear in negligees dancing, smiling, and playing patty cake. Wolf then hands a couple of uniforms to two of the girls. Later on, the girls appear in cheerleading sweaters and saddle shoes resembling a 1950s style. After Wolf is knocked out by the girls with books, a party begins with the cheerleaders. The video ends with Wolf running out of the school in the company of four girls doing cartwheels.

The school where the video was shot had a girls' dance school on the floor above; the girls from the school were the ones appearing in the video.

Cover versions[edit]

Against All Authority covered the song on their first album Destroy What Destroys You. It was also covered by Eurodance band Captain Jack, Thrash Metal band Tankard on their 1992 release, Stone Cold Sober and Ska band [spunge] on their Greatest Hit album.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1981–1983) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[3] 1
Canadian Singles Chart 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
UK Singles Chart 3

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1982) Position
US Billboard Hot 100 5

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Dean, M. (2003). Rock N Roll Gold Rush: A Singles Un-Cyclopedia. Algora. p. 330. ISBN 9780875862071. 
  2. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 Chart 50th Anniversary". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  3. ^ "Australia No. 1 hits -- 1980's". World Charts. Retrieved 15 June 2015.