Friday, May 26, 2017

The Knack: Get the Knack (1979)

Ah, songs about adolescence or songs for adolescent boys.

Despite this record's popularity when it was released -- it still ranks as one of the best-selling debut records of all time -- I still think it is a little under-appreciated. Yes, they seemed to model themselves on the Beatles and, according to Wikipedia, "[t]he album went Gold in just 13 days, becoming Capitol Records' fastest selling debut LP since Meet the Beatles in 1964" and "The lead single, "My Sharona", also met with immediate success, becoming Capitol's fastest selling debut single since the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks." [source] In awarding the record 4.5 stars, Allmusic referred to the debut record as "at once sleazy, sexist, hook-filled, and endlessly catchy -- above all, it's a guilty pleasure and an exercise in simple fun." [source]

I bought this record soon after it came out at my local small-town record store. I remember the clerk telling me that I got the last copy in the store. Yay me.

Everyone seems to know the track My Sharona. That is a really great song and it contains perhaps one of the best bridges I have ever heard. I think the record had more depth than that, however. Take Good Girls Don't, for example:

She's your adolescent dream,
Schoolboy stuff, a sticky sweet romance.
And she makes you want to scream,
Wishing you could get inside her pants.
And it's a teenage sadness
Everyone has got to taste.
An in-between age madness
That you know you can't erase
Til she's sitting on your face.

Those were very enlightening lyrics for adolescent boys everywhere, though I am sure that some of my friends did not fully understand the last sentence above.

Get the Knack is a fine record filled with great hooks and guitar solos, and some lyrics that are at least misogynistic and maybe worse. The band found their market immediately, and I'm guessing that it was generally young men or adolescent boys. I have to say that I loved the cover image on the original My Sharona 45.

Despite everything that I said, I have not played this record for decades. Maybe I should do just that.

I'm not gong to include the video for Good Girls Don't because the youtube version is the censored version.

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