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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Knack, The - 1979 Get The Knack
Knack, The - 1979 Get The Knack

ARTIST: Knack, The
ALBUM: Get The Knack
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: SO-11948
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 1989, Capitol, CDP 7 91848 2 (remastered) * 2002, Capitol, 72435-38118-2-2 (bonus tracks, remastered)


LINEUP: Doug Fieger - vocals, guitars * Berton Averre - guitars, keyboards, vocals * Prescott Niles - bass * Billy Ward - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Let Me Out * 02 Your Number Or Your Name * 03 Oh Tara * 04 She's So Selfish * 05 Maybe Tonight * 06 Good Girls Don't * 07 My Sharona * 08 Heartbeat * 09 Siamese Twins (The Monkey & Me * 10 Lucinda * 11 That's What The Little Girls Do * 12 Frustrated


They have been described as the greatest one-hit wonder in all of rock. Is that a fair call? Probably not. More a reflection of the turbulent and creative times of rock music during the late 70's and early 80's. A very fertile breeding ground as we know, and an environment where you ultimately swam or sunk. Los Angeles based The Knack were the poster-children of 1979. Interesting to note that their early attempts at securing a record label amounted to disinterest. When the band started making live inroads on the L.A circuit, record labels sat up and started taking notice. A resulting bidding war ensued; Capitol Records winning out. Doug Fieger was previously a member of the Michigan based band The Sky (which Eric has reviewed here), before he gave up on his home-town of Detroit, moving to L.A in search of success. Drummer Bruce Gary was previously a member of the band Giants (also reviewed here) and was well known in the L.A scene at the time. Signed in January 1979, the album was recorded on a relative shoe-string budget of $18,000 during April 1979, and then released in June with a bucket-load of promo from Capitol Records behind them. The rest as they say is history, with the band taking over the airwaves during the summer months.

The Songs
Produced by Mike Chapman (who was also involved with another major 1979 breakthrough album: Pat Benatar's 'In The Heat Of The Night' LP), the obvious mention of 'Get The Knack' is the huge selling single 'My Sharona' which went ballistic all around the globe. If you were a teenager in 1979 then this song was on everyone's radio. If you weren't aware of The Knack at this time, you were probably living in a cave. The band had obviously modelled their brand on The Beatles, which led to some division among the critics of the band. However, if bands like The Raspberries and Cheap Trick inspired your inner power-pop chakra, then The Knack were a natural fit. 'Get The Knack' offered up twelve tracks, many around the 2 to 3 minute mark. Apart from the world-beating 'My Sharona', you can taste some of their other offerings such as the other single 'Good Girls Don't', the jangly 'What The Little Girls Do', the Buddy Holly cover 'Heartbeat' which was given a late 70's youthful injection, or the punchy 'Oh Tara' which is one of my favourite tracks here. 'Frustrated' is pretty punchy too, while 'Maybe Tonight' sees the band change tack slightly with a ballad.

In Summary
'Get The Knack' became the best selling album of 1979, while 'My Sharona' was the best selling single. And while the record critics were unconvinced, Capitol Records made a bucket-load from this album, and no doubt continue to generate coin even into the current day. The post-career of The Knack beyond this album makes for a soap-opera in terms of reading. They released two albums in the early 80's ('But The Little Girls Understand' and 'Round Trip') before calling it quits. One can't help but wonder if all the media backlash during this timeframe was responsible for heaping unwanted pressure on the quartet. They did reunite for 1991's 'Serious Fun' (reviewed here, link below), and went through a series of on-off reunions over the years. I think all of their albums are worthy of investigation actually, which is what I'm doing here. But certainly 1979 was the year of The Knack and 'My Sharona'.

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#1 | jefflynnefan on September 28 2015 00:02:14
I'm one of those that bought and loved this album when it came out. My future brother n law at the time turned me on to this one. He also is responsible for Angel.
#2 | Explorer on September 29 2015 16:35:48
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The Knack are featured in Ken Sharp`s latest Power Pop Heroes book, coming out in November.
#3 | swazi on October 01 2015 20:38:09
Played at every party in my South African days back then. Great memories! Thumbs Up
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