Serious Fun by The Knack on Apple Music

12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Knack attempted a comeback as a power pop band for the '90s, with drummer Billy Ward filling in for Bruce Gary (who was busy as an in-demand session drummer) and producer Don Was adding a modern kick to the rhythm section and a crisp, sharp tone to the drums. While several of the songs are overproduced and a bit cloying (the moderately successful single "Rocket O' Love," "I Want You," "Shine"), others recall the crackling Knack of old. "Serious Fun" throws together the group's familiar harmonies. "One Day at a Time" adds a mature rhythmic pulse that's halfway to Don Henley's "The Last Worthless Evening." "River of Sighs" kicks up a dirty, hard rock funk with guitarist Berton Averre guiding the attack, while singer Doug Fieger tries to muster enough dirt to be convincing. Was' production transforms The Knack into a hard rock band in spots ("I'll Be Your Mau Mau," "Doin' the Dog") where it should've jangled. Knack fans, however, should still find much to love in the flawless playing and execution. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Knack attempted a comeback as a power pop band for the '90s, with drummer Billy Ward filling in for Bruce Gary (who was busy as an in-demand session drummer) and producer Don Was adding a modern kick to the rhythm section and a crisp, sharp tone to the drums. While several of the songs are overproduced and a bit cloying (the moderately successful single "Rocket O' Love," "I Want You," "Shine"), others recall the crackling Knack of old. "Serious Fun" throws together the group's familiar harmonies. "One Day at a Time" adds a mature rhythmic pulse that's halfway to Don Henley's "The Last Worthless Evening." "River of Sighs" kicks up a dirty, hard rock funk with guitarist Berton Averre guiding the attack, while singer Doug Fieger tries to muster enough dirt to be convincing. Was' production transforms The Knack into a hard rock band in spots ("I'll Be Your Mau Mau," "Doin' the Dog") where it should've jangled. Knack fans, however, should still find much to love in the flawless playing and execution. 

TITLE TIME
3:11
4:03
4:33
4:25
5:30
4:09
0:40
3:53
4:55
4:24
3:52
3:55

About The Knack

Forming in Los Angeles in the late '70s, the Knack (Doug Fieger, vocals/guitar; Berton Averre, lead guitar; Prescott Niles, bass; and Bruce Gary, drums) were neither punk nor rock, but pure simple pop, standing out among the musical dross that littered the Sunset Strip. Signing with Capitol after a feeding frenzy of label offers, the Knack released their debut, Get the Knack, in 1979. With its leadoff single, "My Sharona," the Knack climbed both the album and singles charts (eventually selling millions of copies around the globe), gained wide commercial acceptance, and regenerated the power pop scene that had laid dormant for half a decade.

The Knack's image, or lack thereof, was often unfavorably compared to the Beatles, but their music relied on the rough punchiness of the Kinks and the Who rather than the Fab Four. Their refusal to do interviews turned critics against them, and by the time they released their second album, ...But the Little Girls Understand, less than a year after the debut, the backlash had already begun ("Knuke the Knack").

The Knack then began a quick spiral downward that they were never to recover from. Their third album, Round Trip, was adventurous and daring and received favorable reviews, but the band decided to split up soon after the album was released. Due to their continuing underground popularity, the Knack resurfaced almost a decade later (minus Bruce Gary) and recorded the abysmal Serious Fun before hiding out once again to lick their wounds. The appearance of "My Sharona" on soundtracks and compilations caused the Knack to be thrown in the midst of a revival of sorts, reuniting and playing the occasional show in L.A. Bruce Gary temporarily returned to the fold, but by the time the Knack released their second "reunion" album, Zoom, during the summer of 1998, the drum stool had been filled by Terry Bozzio (formerly of Missing Persons and Frank Zappa's band). Still, the bandmembers hoped that a whole new generation of music fans would get the Knack with the release of 2001's Normal as the Next Guy, an album that found the group at its best when discarding old formulas. Fieger, however, died in 2010 after battling lung and heart cancer. ~ Steve "Spaz" Schnee

  • ORIGIN
    Los Angeles, CA
  • FORMED
    May 1978

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