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 guitarist/vocalist Doug Fieger, guitarist Berton Averre, 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.