Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Revisiting The Knack's final albums

photo by Gary Fishman
While The Knack's debut album, and its hit “My Sharona” were two of 1979’s biggest records, the band continued to record and perform into the 21st century.

Omnivore Recordings is proud to bookend the story begun with Havin’ a Rave Up! Live in Los Angeles, 1979 and Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Good for You: The Fieger/Averre Demos by reissuing the Knack’s last three official releases, beginning May 19.

1998’s Zoom was the band’s first album in five years, spurred on by “My Sharona” charting for the second time, 15 years after its initial release, due to its inclusion in the film Reality Bites. Original members Doug Fieger, Berton Averre, and Prescott Niles were joined by drummer Terry Bozzio (Missing Persons, Frank Zappa).

The album was a return to form, and was often called his favorite Knack album by Fieger. This reissue features five bonus tracks, four of which are previously unissued. Of particular note is an unheard version of “My Sharona” with Bozzio behind the kit. Zoom will be available on CD and digitally on May 19.

According to bassist Niles in the liner notes: “The only way for the band to get the energy and passion back was to play some live shows. We had a new manager, the late Danny Sugerman, to help guide us. The key to our comeback was two shows at the Viper Room in Los Angeles. We knew we had it after we gave a prime Knack performance that got continued encore shouts. We needed a drummer to record with, and Terry Bozzio’s name came to our attention . . . We were inspired by Terry’s brilliant playing and joyfully started recording the full album.”

Normal as the Next Guy was released in 2001, as the band took off on its Rock ’n’ Roll Fun House tour, and featured 11 new tracks, as well as a cover of Serious Fun’s “One Day at a Time,” which was climbing the charts as their post-Capitol label, Charisma, began to fold. The CD and digital version will be released on June 9, and features three previously unissued songwriting demos from Fieger.

From Niles’ liner notes: “'Normal as the Next Guy,' in hindsight, was the bridge that helped return us Knack exiles to our homeland. After the rightful and bitter disappointment of the experience with our comeback album, 'Zoom,' all Berton, Doug, and I could do was splinter off and consume ourselves with our own musical projects. We did our best collective work on 'Zoom' and believed our fans, and maybe even the music aficionados, would hear it and possibly get it, and us, once again. No such luck! . . . However, playing brought us together again as a group, and we did many shows and tours after that strange night. Doug was feeling inspired and said that we would soon make our best album and leave our legacy of greatness. But sadly, Doug’s diminishing health did not provide us the opportunity. So Normal as the Next Guy should be remembered as a good album and the start of The Knack’s last page.”

Live From the Rock ’n’ Roll Fun House was the soundtrack to the DVD of the same name, featuring the Knack performing in an imaginary 1960s television show. Essentially a live greatest hits package, the band plays material from their previous five albums, and this reissue adds two from Normal as the Next Guy, recorded for the program, but never used. It hits stores on CD and Digital on July 14.

Live From The Rock ‘n’ Roll Fun House offers fans everything they love about The Knack – stellar songs and a rocking performance. While this would be the last album released by the group before the passing of Doug Fieger, it represents why they maintained a rabid fan base. They were an incredible live band.

All three reissues contain updated artwork, new liner notes, and commentary and remembrances from the band’s Berton Averre and Prescott Niles. Together they form the definitive statement on the final chapter of the Knack’s story.

Zoom Track Listing:

1. Pop Is Dead
2. Can I Borrow A Kiss
3. Smilin’
4. Ambition
5. Mister Magazine
6. Everything I Do
7. Love Is All There Is
8. Terry & Julie Step Out
9. Harder On You
10. You Gotta Be There
11. Good Enough
12. In Blue Tonight
13. Tomorrow
14. (All In The) All In All
Bonus Tracks:
15. She Says
16. Mister Magazine (Demo)
17. Harder On You (Demo)
18. (All In The) All In All (Demo)
19. My Sharona (Terry Bozzio Version)

Normal As The Next Guy Track Listing:

1. Les Girls
2. Disillusion Town
3. Girl I Never Lied To You
4. Normal As The Next Guy
5. Spiritual Pursuit
6. It’s Not Me
7. One Day At A Time
8. Seven Days Of Heaven
9. Dance Of Romance
10. Reason To Live
11. A World Of My Own
12. The Man On The Beach
Bonus Tracks:
13. Seven Days Of Heaven (demo)*
14. Spiritual Pursuit (demo)*
15. Reason To Live (demo)*

Live From The Rock ’n’ Roll Fun House Track Listing:

1. Pop Is Dead
2. Baby Talks Dirty
3. Oh Tara
4. Can I Borrow A Kiss
5. Another Lousy Day In Paradise
6. Good Girls Don’t
7. One Day At A Time
8. It’s Not Me*
9. Siamese Twins (The Monkey And Me)
10. Harder On You
11. Sweet Dreams
12. Seven Days Of Heaven*
13. That’s What The Little Girls Do
14. (She’s So) Selfish
15. My Sharona
16. (Havin A) Rave Up
17. Tequila/Break On Through (To The Other Side)

Watch the trailer:

No comments: