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1. The Knack was a Los Angeles-based new wave/power pop band from Detroit, Michigan. They rose to fame with their first single, "My Sharona", which was an international hit in 1979. The power pop of "My Sharona", coupled with the band's retro 60s look, earned the band comparisons to The Beatles (though the band members themselves viewed the 'New Beatles' label as tongue-in-cheek). Many music critics hated disco, which dominated the music industry at the time, and were, at best, coolly receptive to other developing trends like punk, electronica, and heavy metal.
The Knack's hard rock influences earned them some critical credibility and massive commercial success with their debut album, 1979's 'Get The Knack'. The band had formed in May 1978, known at first as '20/20', and, after shopping their demo tape to various record labels without success, they began playing the local club circuit. Quickly gaining a following as musicians such as Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen praised them, they finally signed with Capitol Records in January 1979. Reaching #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, 'Get The Knack' has earned praise for decades, with Kurt Cobain in particular claiming it as one of his top fifty albums of all time.
While fans praised their new wave and power pop fueled sound, many critics still found issues with the group's in-your-face image in their lyrics, with accusations of misogyny popping up. After subsequent releases, the social backlash against the Knack (similar to that of The Monkees a generation earlier) was strong. Dave Marsh of 'Rolling Stone' in particular wrote, "In Fieger's lyrics, women are literally commodities whose chief purpose is to be brutalized." A 'Knuke the Knack' campaign emerged based on that as well as the perceived corporate-based over-hype. With their second album, '...But the Little Girls Understand', getting less commercial success (doing well, but not up to expectations), the band broke up mid-tour on New Year’s Day 1982. Besides the turmoil around the group, they also faced near total burnout among themselves, particularly given Fieger's drugs-heavy lifestyle, and the band members reportedly hadn't the energy to do much of anything after their third album, 'Round Trip', came out.
They re-united sporadically several years later and released a new album on January 16, 1991, titled 'Serious Fun'. A comeback accompanied by a public reunion and tour, it failed to reach either commercial or critical success but resulted in the hit single "Rocket O' Love", which reached #9 in Billboard's Mainstream Rock Chart. They continued playing through the 90s and into the new millennium, with 2003's 'Re-Zoom' (or 'Zoom') being their last studio album. Commercial airplay mostly eluded the group over the 90s, but a generation of new fans who loved 80s-era new wave music provided a devoted cult following. Lead singer and main songwriter Doug Fieger was diagnosed with cancer in 2005. Fieger battled the disease until his death on Valentine's Day 2010.
Fieger, a native of Detroit, Michigan, had previously played in a country rock band called Sky. Of the three other original members of the Knack (Berton Averre - Guitar, Prescott Niles - Bass, and Bruce Gary - Drums), Averre and Niles remained with the group as it ended. Gary died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2006. Several drummers had played for the group over the years, including Billy Ward (Serious Fun album), Terry Bozzio (Zoom album), and David Henderson as 'Holmes Jones' (Normal as the Next Guy and Live at the Rock N Roll Funhouse albums). Pat Torpey (Mr. Big) played the drums for the group right before they ended.
Top SongsTotal plays on Last.fm over the last 6 months
- LyricsOoh, my little pretty one, my pretty one
When you gonna give me some time, Sharona
Ooh, you make my motor run, my motor run
Got it coming off o' the line, Sharona
Never gonna stop, give it up, such a dirty mind
- LyricsShe's your adolescent dream,
Schoolboy stuff, a sticky sweet romance.
And she makes you want to scream,
Wishing you could get inside her pants.
So, you fantasize away.
- LyricsSaw your face from a window
Now I can't let it go
But I don't know your number or your name
If I only could phone you
I could say what I want to
- Lyricsone two three four
let me out come and get me out 'cause i've been stuck in for too long
let me out out come get me out baby maybe be where i belong
the time is right for stepping out in the light
my cup is full and i'll be pulling the wool tonight
- LyricsThat's what the little girls do
To you, to you
Oh, that's what the little girls do
To you, to you
When you hold her tight
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