If You Like Power Pop, Get The Knack

More from The Knack

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  • The Knack’s debut finally returns to the site and with excellent Double Plus (A++) sound throughout
  • With plenty of bass punch, the music comes to life like you’ve never heard before
  • Wall to Wall Live-in-the-Studio Rock Sound to rival Back in Black and Nevermind
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Get the Knack is at once sleazy, sexist, hook-filled, and endlessly catchy — above all, it’s a guilty pleasure and an exercise in simple fun.”

This Monster Power Pop Debut by the Knack is an AMAZINGLY well-recorded album, with the kind of Wall to Wall Big Beat Live Rock Sound that rivals Back in Black and Nevermind — if you’re lucky enough to have a copy that sounds like this! (If you’re not then it doesn’t.)

This is a Rock Demo Disc that is very likely to lay waste to whatever rock demo disc you currently treasure. My Sharona is simply STUNNING here. You just can’t record drums and bass any better! 

And let’s not forget the song Lucinda. It’s got exactly the same incredibly meaty, grungy, ballsy sound that Back in Black does, but it managed to do it in 1979, a year earlier!

Mike Chapman produced this album and clearly he is an audiophile production genius. With a pair of Number One charting, amazing sounding Pop albums back to back — Blondie’s Parallel Lines in 1978 and this album early the next year — how much better could he get? The answer is: None more better.

The Knack Rocks

What the best sides of this Classic Album from 1979 have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl domestic pressings like this one offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1979
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the horns, guitars, drums and percussion having the correct sound for this kind of record
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now

Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

Come to Life, Would You!

So many copies we played of The Knack just didn’t come to life the way the good ones do. Especially noticeable on many of the pressings we played was a lack of bass foundation and punch. When the bass comes in at the opening of My Sharona it should make your neighbors come knocking. On most copies the effect is, to be charitable, less than startling, especially if you’ve heard it sound the way it can on our Hot Stampers. Let me tell you, THEY ROCK.

Bass, Man

Dropping the needle on the average copy we kept asking ourselves where the bass was! Only the best copies let you hear the bass with all its power and glory intact. (Of course, you have to have the kind of dynamic full-range system that can reproduce that kind of power down low; we never tire of making the case for big dynamic speakers because we know what a THRILL it is to hear a record like this played good and loud on them.)

Real Studio Space

One of the qualities we heard on the more transparent copies is huge studio space around the drum kit, especially the kick. We love that “unbaffled” sound; it lets the long-delayed reflections off the back wall be heard clearly. Until we got our EAR 324 in 2007 we couldn’t get a good picture of just what was happening in the studio, but now those reflections are as clear as a bell on record after record, from The Planets to Physical Graffiti.

The advent of top quality stand alone phono stages is, in our opinion, one of the most important revolutions in audio in recent times. Room treatments that allow that three dimensional studio space to be recreated in your very own living room are another.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Let Me Out 
Your Number or Your Name
Oh Tara 
(She’s So) Selfish 
Maybe Tonight 
Good Girls Don’t

Side Two

My Sharona 
Heartbeat 
Siamese Twins (The Monkey and Me)
Lucinda 
That’s What the Little Girls Do 
Frustrated

AMG 4 1/2 Star Rave Review

The Knack attempted to update the Beatles sound for the new wave era on their debut. A good idea that was well executed, but critics cried “foul” when millions sold after Capitol’s pre-release hype (it went gold in 13 days and eventually sold five million copies, making it one of the most successful debuts in history).

Get the Knack is at once sleazy, sexist, hook-filled, and endlessly catchy — above all, it’s a guilty pleasure and an exercise in simple fun. When is power pop legitimate anyway? Includes the unforgettable hits “My Sharona” and “Good Girls Don’t.”

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