The word on The Knack was they recorded their debut album "Get The Knack" in eleven days for eighteen-thousand dollars. It went platinum in '79. Not a bad return on investment for Capitol Records. Of course, the song that made it all possible was "My Sharona." Within weeks of its release, the herky-jerky Rocker with the hot guitar solo, sold five million copies. It was The Knack's only major claim to fame. But what a claim.
The Knack started in '79 as an L.A. power-pop band with Fieger, Berton, bassist Prescott Niles and drummer Bruce Gary. As disco was tanking, The Knack hit like a breath of fresh air and several labels bid for the group's services.
Once "My Sharona" did its damage, the road got a lot tougher for The Knack. The follow-up single "Good Girls Don't" barely grazed the Top 20. While The Knack may have been musically limited, where they really
stumbled was with PR. - and it wasn't all their fault. First, they were marketed as "the new Beatles" or "The Beatles of the '70s." Simply put, The Knack didn't measure up. The comparison soured Rock fans. At least Fieger didn't say "My Sharona" was bigger than The Beatles.
In an effort to keep from over-exposure, the group refused to give interviews. All that did was buy them a lot of negative music press. Everyone was piling on amid accusations the group was stuck up and self-important. The Knack's sophomore release, "... But The Little Girls Understand" failed to gain ground - it sold a measly 600,000 copies (a major accomplishment for most groups). A third album "Round Trip" rolled out in '81 but by then everyone had moved on. Soon The Knack was history - at least for the '80s.
The Knack resurfaced in the '90s with a pair of lackluster albums, "Serious Fun" and "Zoom." The group toured a bit with former Missing Persons drummer Terry Bozzio replacing Gary.
"My Sharona" has appeared in several films and on compilation CDs building new audiences for the song and The Knack. One of the interesting things about one hit wonders, and the tag certainly applies
to The Knack, is discovering some other gems. Going in you know there's nothing as powerful or magical as "the hit" but there's usually something. "Get The Knack" has enough going for it to understand why it was so popular. Fieger and Berton wrote most of the songs, either together or Fieger writing on his own.
The good news is they could write, the bad news is they only had one brilliant song between them. With that done, it was only a matter of time before they were too. "… But The Little Girls Understand" is an inferior follow up. "Round Trip" is a last gasp. Forget their '90s "comeback" records. It's doubtful even Fieger's family bought those dogs.
"Best of The Knack" and other compilations featuring "My Sharona" do a decent job of presenting The Knack's talents. "Get The Knack" is the best original album and the one to get.