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Get The Knack
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The Knack fait son apparition en juin 1979 avec un doublé single/album qui restera inégalé cette année là. Placé en milieu de disque, le hit majeur « My Sharona » est une tuerie power pop qui dévaste les charts et s'installe au sommet six semaines d'affilée.
L'album Get the Knack, paru simultanément, bénéficie de cet engouement. Certifié disque d'or en treize jours, il se vend à cinq millions d'exemplaires et constitue l'un des débuts les plus fulgurants de l'histoire du rock. Hormis la ballade « Maybe Tonight », il est gavé de titres rapides traités à la moulinette : « Let Me Out », « Your Number Or Your Name » et « Good Girls Don't » sont les pépites d'un album bien ficelé.
Le groupe, souffrant d'un déficit d'image, aura du mal à survivre à son hit. Il se résout donc aux come-backs (en 1991, 1998 et 2001) et tournées nostalgiques, jusqu'à la disparition tragique de son leader Doug Fieger en 2010.
- Copyright 2016 Music Story
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Ah quelle chance vous avez, de pouvoir découvrir aujourd'hui ce cd à coté duquel tout le monde est passé et qui n'a pas vieilli !
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The first thing to understand about this album, is that it is for all intents and purposes, a recording of the band live. It was recorded in just eleven days at the staggering cost of just $17,000, which made it one of the most successful albums in history. With substantial airplay and heat around Good girls Don't and My Sharona, the album went gold in just 13 days. The Knack embarked on a sold out national tour where they rippped through the album night after night in a way that's only possible for bands who have honed their material through years of live performance. Less than 8 months later, they recorded their second album in two weeks, and it promptly went multi platinum.
With that kind of success comes an inevitable amount of envy and naysaying. For its critics, The Knack were second class musicians, aping other better bands, and marketing themselves as a latter day Fab four. What the critics never really understood, is that success of The Knack was base on their synthesis of LA's punk scene DIY ethos, 1960's Brit Rock, and American rockabilly. After years of Disco dominating the charts, the stripped down uptempo punch of this album cut through the airwaves like a knife. The Knack blazed a trail that the new wave rock bands of the 1980's followed to fame and fortune.
Lyricist Doug Fieger focused most of his songs on teen angst from the male point of view, and in doing so, he spoke directly to a huge under served teen audience, while at the same time, sewing the seeds of The Knacks demise. No self obsessed ink merchant would ever be able to preserve his or her dignity as long as The Knack was around, with their songs about unrequited teenage lust, embarrasment, sexual frustration, and heavy petting, as if the Knack had invented the topic.
The Knack were tirelessly hounded by the press, with a venom unrivaled until the Milli Vanilli fiasco. This war culminated with the inclusion of this album on Rolling Stone's infamous "Worst #1 Albums of all time List." Would it surprise anyone to find that "Get the Knack" came in on that list at #1?
The proof as they say, is in the Vinyl. Get the Knack is one of those albums that you can put on, and play all the way through. There's not a clunker in the bunch, and many of my favorite songs on the album were never singles, including "Your Number or your name", "Oh Tara", "Maybe tonight", "That's what the little girls do", and the riproaring closer "Frustrated". The Knack was in its day, one of those rare bands where what you got on record was exactly what you got live. Its long past due time this album regained the respect that it deserves.
The knack scored THREE top 40 hits plus another top ten AOR hit, so the term "one hit wonder" DOESN'T apply. But when you have a hit the size of "My Sharona", it's easy to understand why some people think ONLY of that song. Sharona is still one of the biggest selling singles in the HISTORY of rock and is also one of only TWELVE songs in the HISTORY of the charts to re-enter the hot 100 - more than a decade later!
Songs like "your number or your name", "oh Tara" and "maybe tonight" are pure power pop perfection. If you don't understand what the Knack ACCOMPLISHED with this album, you'll probably want to avoid buying anything by the Beatles or Kinks as well. The huge success of this album was well deserved and reviewers from the past or present can never take that away.
On the follow up release ("...but the little girls understand"), you'll find MANY more truly great songs by the Knack, including a great cover of the Kinks "the hard way" (arguably, even better than the original)!
"Round Trip" (the third album) suffers from a few duds, but I give the Knack credit for trying to move in a new direction and NOT simply deliver another "Sharona". Worth checking out!
I also highly recommend the DVD documentary "Getting the Knack", for those interested in gaining a bit more knowledge of this group.
If you like Rock'N Roll and don't own this CD.... you've got problems!
* Special Note *
Bruce Gary, The Knack's original drummer (on the first three albums) died of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on August 22, 2006. He was a well respected drummer in the industry, playing with artists such as George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Stephen Stills, Jack Bruce, Albert Collins, John Lee Hooker, Randy Meisner, Robby Kreiger and many others. Fans of the Knack will never forget him! Our sincere condolences to his family!
Doug Fieger, the Knack's lead vocalist and primary song writer, lost his long battle with cancer on Valentine's Day (2-14-2010). Doug was a brilliant pop song writer, coming up with some of the finest PowerPop tunes of all time. You will be missed Doug!
That's a shame, 'cause this is timeless catchy pop rock that will outlive any "knuke the Knack" memories.
By the way, "My Sharona" is STILL one of the greatest mindless pop singles ever. Admit it. You know it. You love it. Get over it.
Yes, Capitol Records shamelessly cashed in on the Beatlesque qualities of this energetic L.A. quartet and yes, it was all so brutally calculated. But, who really cares? And more more importantly, who really cared in 1979 when the only two pop records that mattered were "Get the Knack" and Cheap Trick's "Live at Budokan" ? We ate this stuff up. And for good reason. It rocked. It tugged at our hearts and stroked our raging teenage hormones. And most of all, it shredded everything else in that homogenus gutter known as Top 40. It was part punk, part Liverpool and for that one glorious Summer it was all ours. "Sharona" and "Good Girls Don't" were mega-hits, but every tune on the LP (as we called them back then) is pure killer power pop. The guitars slammed, the drums were punchier than a drunk brawler in a Sunset Strip bar and the hooks were unforgetable. "Oh, Tara", "That's What the Little Girls Do" and "Lucinda" were all catchy enough to have charted. Heck, they even pulled off a dynamite Buddy Holly cover with the infectious "Heartbeat".
Twenty years later, they're are plenty of gutsy, rockin' bands just like the Knack. Problem is, no one knows about them. Record companies won't touch 'em. No, they want serious stuff. You know, stuff like rap/metal, sappy singer songwriters and teenage creampuffs. Oh well, you can't beat 'em, so go ahead and get the Knack and rejoice in the pleasure that is/was rock-n-roll. They don't make them like this anymore!