Everyone was 'getting the Knack' in the Summer of 1979 when the darlings of the Los Angeles club scene released their stirring debut which featured 'My Sharona' and 'Good Girls Don't,' splendid airwave cures for those tiring of disco. The foursome's tightly woven musical craftsmanship had earned them rave reviews in the local press, and the album Get The Knack went on to sell over five million copies, one of the bestselling first recordings ever.
Formed in Los Angeles in 1978, the band's lead singer/guitarist Doug Fieger, bassist Prescott Niles, guitarist Berton Averre and drummer Bruce Gary--took their name from a cult British movie of the 60s. Attempting to revive the spirit of the beat-boom with matching suits, and short songs boasting solid, easily memorable riffs, the band played constantly throughout California through early 1979. By November 1978, thirteen record companies engaged in a fierce bidding war, which was eventually won by Capitol Records. Renowned pop producer Mike Chapman was brought in to help with their auspicious debut.
While artists such as The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac were spending more than a year and a million dollars to produce an album, Get The Knack was recorded in just eleven days for $18,000. 'My Sharona' became a U.S. charttopper for six weeks and a million seller, as the album inspired a global phenomenon. 'My Sharona' still ranks as one of the biggest selling singles of the rock era.
At the height of a quick and subsequent critical backlash, the Knack issued the apologetically titled But The Little Girls Understand, a sentiment that proved over-optimistic. Yet even as a "Knuke The Knack" campaign sprang up, care of an enterprising profiteer from San Francisco, industry peers nominated the band for two Grammy awards. By the time of their third album, Round Trip, their power-pop style was practically out of style. By the end of 1981, they voluntarily disbanded with Fieger attempting unsuccessfully to rekindle recent fame with Taking Chances, while the others fared little better with the ill-fated Gama.
Fieger went on to act, produce and contributed songs for the Manhattan Transfer's Grammy award winning effort Brazil. Averre played with Bette Midler. Bruce Gary drummed behind Bob Dylan, Jack Bruce and Bette Midler. Niles worked with Josie Cotton and continued with session and performance work. In 1991, a revised lineup released the Don Was-produced album Serious Fun. The first single "Rocket Of Love" was Top 10 AOR and the band received significant media attention. In 1994, the popularity of "My Sharona" was reaffirmed when the song re-entered the Hot 100 after appearing on the soundtrack for the hit movie Reality Bites.
In 1997, the band surfaced on two tribute albums. Come And Get It: A Tribute To Badfinger, brought the original four members back into the studio to record "No Matter What". This Badfinger classic had been a staple of The Knack's live show for years and was a natural for inclusion. In 1998, a revamped Knack with drummer Terry Bozzio--signed with Rhino Records and released Zoom. Demonstrating its commitment to the band, Rhino has also issued Proof: The Very Best Of The Knack. This CD contains remastered versions of Knack classics and four new tracks not available on any other release.