J. Geils Band – Centerfold

Centerfold – J. Geils Band | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1 for 6 weeks); 1982

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Viewers of the six-month-old all video channel, MTV, were witness to a strange sight in early 1982. There, amongst the new wave hair styles and British pop faces, was a 36 year old West Side Story-looking rocker, Peter Wolf, frontman for the J. Geils Band. Surrounding him was a bevy of young negligee-clad beauties, bumping and dancing their way around a 1950’s era classroom set. For the JGB, Centerfold represented the commercial peak of a 25 year long odyssey that began in the clubs of Boston. Through singer/songwriters, disco, and punk, the JGB doggedly held on to its belief in good old American rock ‘n’ roll laced with blues, racking up 11 chart albums and singles along the way. With 1981’s Freeze-Frame LP came The Big Breakthrough: a chart-topping album that included both Centerfold and the #4 follow-up title track.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Seth Justman

Lyrics Written by:

  • Seth Justman


  • Nominated for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at 25th Annual Grammy Awards (1983)