Tuesday, February 16, 2010

...But The Little Girls Understand

Back on Jan 28 I wrote a post about the Knack's classic debut album. Get the Knack. Judging from the comments it was a well received post and I got the feeling that most agreed with what I'd said. Little did I know that in a little over two weeks, lead singer and guitarist Doug Fieger would pass away from a six year battle with cancer. Doug finally succumbed to his cancer at his home on Feb 14. I knew he was ill but always hoped for the best outcome for him. I had always hoped that someday The Knack would get the recognition they deserved and I still feel that day will come, but unfortunately Doug won't be with us to see that day. So I am here to spread more Knack goodness in Doug's memory. RIP Doug, I for one thank you for the music.

By the time The Knack released their second album, ...But The Little Girls Understand, the backlash had already started. The album takes it's title from a line from Willie Dixon's Back Door Man. Doug Fieger stated that "But The Little Girls Understand" was made up of songs originally slated to be on "Get The Knack" as part of a double album, but Capital Records said "No!". So The Knack had enough songs for a 2 record debut but what band tries that trick? Especially as a debut album. Back then the studios were notoriously against double albums. The Clash got away with it twice as a result of trickery on their part as I found out when I was reading Joe Strummer's biography. As a result this album was rush released 8 months after "Get The Knack" in 1980. Now if this album was a debut album it would have came off fine, but since it was all material slated for the original, critics nailed it saying it sounded like their first album. Well duh. Also releasing the catchy(yet eerily familiar)Baby Talks Dirty as the first single only increased the backlash. They were also under fire again for the lyrics to their songs. The album did sell well, but not nearly as well as the first and it seemed to be the final nail in the casket for the Knack. Perhaps if they had released their debut as a double, it would be hailed as a masterpiece today. Who Knows? It's still a great album to me.So in memory of Doug Fieger I urge my readers to revisit this album and perhaps discover that it's not as bad as some may want you to think.

Hold on Tight And Don't Let Go
It's You
Tell Me You're Mine
Buy It

Funny Toon


SteveA said...

Although you are posting about their second album, My Shorona is often cited as a prototype for an amazing bass line - anyone learning bass guitar has got to use this song.
Dave Ghrol from the Foos also said that this is is favourite song - full stop!
Also don't forget that album cover on the 1st album - classic!