Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Flashback - The Knack - Get The Knack

I was very unsure about who this weeks flashback should be about and was drawing a blank until I listened to the Rock N Roll Geeks podcast that featured a classic albums revisited with guitarist Berton Averre of The Knack. Get The Knack was their first album and was released in 1979 and quickly reached # 1 on the Billboard 200 list . The band had a lot of buzz about them but had not been able to get a recording deal. That all changed after Bruce Springsteen got onstage and played with them. The very next day the offers started flowing in. The album was recorded in 2 weeks and only cost $18,000 which was virtually nothing in those days. My Sharona went to # 1 on the singles chart and it features one of the greatest extended guitar solos ever. The song returned to the Billboard Top 100 hits list in 1994 when it was featured in the movie Reality Bites and was released as a single from the movie soundtrack.

EDIT: After waxing poetic about the extended guitar solo in this song I realized that the video is the edited version that does not contain the full solo so I have decided to include the original album version.

There was a backlash from critics mainly due to the bands management giving them bad advice on not doing interviews. Some critics were particularly savage in their reviews especially of the next 2 albums which was not really warranted. All you have to do is listen to the music and the expert musicianship is clearly there. Every member of the band has excellent chops and they're all molded together perfectly. The 2nd single released was Good Girls Don't and it reached # 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Unfortunately many times critics take a personal bias against a band and let it carry over into their work and can't be objective when reviewing albums, concerts and so forth. Their memory is notably long.

The Band:
Doug Fieger - vocals, rhythm guitar
Berton Averre - lead guitar
Bruce Gary - drums
Prescott Niles - bass

The band ended up breaking up after their 3rd album but reformed to release another album in 1991 and then several more later. They continued to record and perform occasionally until Doug Fieger lost his battle with cancer in February 2010. Bruce Gary had left the group and did not take part in the later reunions and passed away in August 2006 from lymphoma cancer. One thing to note is that when you see live footage of the band playing you'll notice that they're always smiling because they were having fun playing their music. Nothing was forced or fake about it and the music stills holds up today.

No comments: