Monday, August 08, 2022

The Perils of Memory

I've been listening to The Knack today. I throw myself on the mercy of the court. 

I'm doing this because I had a conversation with Eli 20.1 about bands who became more interesting (or just interesting) after their commercial success faded. The Bangles are my favorite example, but The Knack is a close second, and it's because of their fourth album. 

Wait, The Knack had a fourth album? Wait, The Knack had a third album, too?

"Get the Knack," "...But the Little Girls Understand," and "Round Trip" were released in a flurry in 1979, 1980, 1981. The second album was quite successful, though not as huge as the first one (which could be reviewed in a single word as "frenetic"), and the third album, well, let's not speak of the third album. 

You certainly wouldn't mistake them for anyone else. Every song was almost instantly recognizable as coming from The Knack, even the unpopular ones. With the third album, though, it appeared that The Knack had simply run their course.

They dropped out of site for a decade. 

Then, in 1991, they released "Serious Fun" on a small record label, long after they were all out of fucks to give, and The Knack became something else entirely: a solid, interesting band. 

Nice intro, right? Which I wrote before I read the Wikipedia article on The Knack and listened to them for the first time in many years. 

For starters, I got the timeline all wrong. The album I was thinking about was the third album, "Round Trip," released in 1981, not the fourth album (the fourth album was a struggle to listen to, and I quit after the third track). 

So I cued up "Round Trip," ready to have my memory confirmed. 

It wasn't.

It's not a terrible album, but it's not really a good one, either. The Knack, seemingly, decided to mimic everyone. One track is definitely ripping off late Beatles. Another track sounds like a low-rent Kansas, while another sounds more than a bit like a Queen song. 

I will say, though, that the last song, "Art War," starts off with one of my favorite opening lines of all time:
No I don't give a shit about Warhol

Other than that, maybe it's not such a bad thing if my memory starts to fail. In this instance, at least.

Site Meter