You know The Knack. Now, you might be saying ” I don’t know The Knack! This fellow is a fibber! He thinks he knows what I have and haven’t heard!” Well, let me just say two words: My. Sharona. Yes, that’s right. This is the band that did the big hit of 1979, My Sharona. I’m also going to be the guy who will tell you that their debut album is one of the best albums of all-time. No, I am not kidding. Get The Knack is a fantastic power pop album that puts adolescent frustration into pitch perfect words. Things start out with a count of 1,2,3,4! You know who else’s debut album started out like this? The Beatles. To say that The Knack were influenced by The Beatles would be like saying that the human body is influenced by water. Essentially, The Knack have taken the formula for an early Beatles hit, added some sexual frustration, and stretched it out of the course of a album. The first track, Let Me Out, is a fast and furious song. It’s obviously not Megadeth or anything, but it’s the hardest rocking track on an album filled with melodic pop-influenced songs.
Things get really good with the next few tracks. Your Number or Your Name is a catchy but melancholic number with a super-duper chorus that will get stuck in your head for days afterwards. Oh, Tara is the best song on display. The lyrics are about a guy pinning for his gal’s attention and affection. She’s just playing games with his heart. One of the best things this album does is make you feel Doug Fieger’s frustration and anguish as if it were your own. Because simple relationship problems are something most people, certainly the album’s intended demographic, can relate to. Maybe Tonight is a softer song with some very emotional singing. You know, Doug Fiefer was quite the underrated singer. Because a song like this in the hands of someone like Barry Manilow or Billy Joel would be a bit of a cheese fest. Doug makes you feel every word. Here’s hoping that in the years to come, The Knack get a critical reevaluation. Good Girl’s Don’t actually has a kind of funny chorus. Actually, this album is full of little quirky lyrical choices. It really gives it a good style.
My Sharona time. I didn’t grow up when this was popular, so maybe I don’t have the experience of over saturation, but I find this to be a pure pop gem. Especially in a year where other hits include: Do Ya Think I’m Sexy, YMCA, In The Navy(Yes, The Village People had two charting songs this year), and Rock N’ Roll Fantasy by Bad Company. That’s a lot of crap on the radio. My Sharona was probably a breath of fresh air from all the disco.
The highlight’s of the rest of the album include a cover of Buddy Holly’s Heartbeat, and another catchy song called That’s What The Little Girls Do. Get The Knack is a beauty of a pop album. It was also pretty popular for a time. the things began to change. A campaign was started entitled “Knuke The Knack”. The Knack where commercially ruined. It’s pretty sad because they had real talent and I’m sure that most only know them from My Sharona. It’s one of my hopes that this changes someday. Rest In Peace, Doug Fiegler 1952-2010.