Knack Frontman Doug Fieger Gets Retrospective Release

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An ad for Get The Knack appeared in the June 16, 1979 issue of Record World

The Knack’s 1979 debut album, Get The Knack, was an out-of-the-box hit, driven by the song “My Sharona,” co-written by Doug Fieger and bandmate Barton Averre. The single was released in June and shot to #1 on Aug. 11, holding the top slot for six weeks, eventually becoming the biggest single of the year and selling over a million copies.

The song has survived for decades becoming a staple of radio, parties, television and movie soundtracks. Beyond a debut album that sold over 10 million copies since release, Fieger’s colorful and storied career surpassed that hit recording and included production and session work with such legends as Ringo Starr, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne.

Fieger is now the subject of the most comprehensive retrospective of his post ‘70s career. Forever Together, via Sunset Blvd. Records, is a 3-disc compilation that includes previously unreleased studio and concert recordings from the Knack, and previously unreleased material from Fieger’s solo career.

The first disc includes 17 Fieger solo tracks, including a four-song tribute to Hank Williams.

Listen to Fieger’s take of the Williams classic, “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)”

And here’s Fieger and his band covering Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl”

Disc two features 17 previously unreleased recordings with the Knack, plus several tracks with the Cars’ Elliot Easton.

Listen to “Fun Fun Fun Fun,” a previously unreleased song from the Knack

The third disc includes live Knack recordings. “We were a loud Buddy Holly and the Crickets, except it was a band more than a front guy and his side guys,” Fieger told Robert Wilonsky in 1998, that the journalist shares in his liner notes. “I always thought of us as that. I got on a Stratocaster because of Buddy Holly. But people have picked up on the fact it was an album about teenage love. If we had announced that back then, people would have said, ‘That’s such a pretentious statement, who the hell do these guys think they are?’ But it really was.”

Listen to a live version of the Knack’s terrific song, “Frustrated”

Did you really think we weren’t going to include the Knack’s live performance of “My Sharona”?

At a 2006 gig in Las Vegas, Fieger had trouble performing and was subsequently diagnosed with two brain tumors. He died on February 14, 2010, at age 57, following a long battle with brain and lung cancer.

Related: Radio hits of 1979





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