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"Love Stinks" is a song written by Peter Wolf and Seth Justman that was the title track of J. Geils Band's 1980 album Love Stinks. The song was released as a single and peaked in the US at #38, spending three weeks in the Top 40.[1][2][3] Joan Jett covered the song for the soundtrack of the 1996 movie Mr. Wrong.[4] The song was also featured in the film Opie Gets Laid.[5] It was also covered by Adam Sandler in the movie The Wedding Singer and by Himalayaz with Ms. Toi for the movie Love Stinks.[6][7][8]

The lyrics describe a relationship that has gone sour, possibly a reference to J. Geils Band lead singer Peter Wolf's marriage to actress Faye Dunaway.[2] Author Maury Dean describes the opening of the song as "ponderous Power Metal."[2] Dean describes the bands playing in the refrain as generating "wild waves of flame," the guitars as "fire-breathing" and Wolf's vocals in the "yeah yeah" portion of the chorus as snarling with "heavy metal glee."[2] Justman provides extensive keyboards, which Associated Press critic James Simon feels gives the song "a little extra zing."[9] Viglione describes the riff as "Lou Reed's 'Vicious' as performed by his Rock & Roll Animal band on Lou Reed Live at half-speed," also noting that it is a hard rock version of the riff from "Louie, Louie."[4] Rolling Stone critic Rob Sheffield notes that the riff was later used by Nirvana in the song "Smells Like Teen Spirit."[10]

Viglione finds such a "simple riff rocker" a departure for the J. Geils Band, but admits the results are fun to listen to and acknowledges that this and some other songs from the Love Stinks album pointed the way towards their 1981 platinum hit album Freeze Frame.[4] Allmusic critic John Franck describes the song as "infectious," noting that it was "one of the band's most recognizable FM songs ever."[11] Music critic Robert Christgau describes the song "broad" and "uproarious."[12] Rolling Stone Magazine critic Dave Marsh considers it one of the J. Geils Band's greatest songs, considering its lyrics to be "a hilarious spoof on new-wave nihilism as well assoul cliche."[13] Rolling Stone critic Rob Sheffield calls it "one of the great trash-rock singles of the '80's."[10]

Till the Walls Come Tumblin' Down[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The B-side of the "Love Stinks" single was "Till the Walls Come Tumblin' Down," also a track from the Love Stinks album. Rolling Stone critic Rob Sheffield praised the song, describing it as "rollicking."

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