Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The song that sounded death knell of disco

The Disco era reached a fever pitch in the mid-1970; the graphics were crowded with hits by KC and the Sunshine Band, Gloria Gaynor, Donna Summer and Village People, Chic. The 1977 film Saturday Night Fever features five hits by the Bee Gees; its success encouraged rockers such as Rod Stewart and the Rolling Stones to release the tracks on the disk.

But in the summer of 1979 was released a rocker straight out reminiscent of British invasion that would introduce "new wave" to America. their sound was so addictive that became the most popular of the year ... and would break the stranglehold of disco in the charts. This song was "My Sharona" by the Knack.

The band was assembled in Los Angeles in 1977-1978 by singer Doug Fieger: guitarist Berton Averre, Bruce Gary on drums and bassist Prescott Niles. The Group's name came from a movie by Director Richard Lester night called The Knack ... A Hard Day and How To Get It.

The way recorded a series of demonstrations, but I have zero interest from record labels. But the band played everywhere, often for free, and established a local reputation, LA clubs like the Troubadour of the packaging. The turning point came when the elite of rock began to appear in his performances.

First to come was keyboardist Manzarek of the doors, who asked him to sit for a few shows, followed by Eddie Money, Tom Petty and Stephen Stills, but was a Bruce Springsteen which changed the fortunes of the band.

"Bruce stood up with us on a Friday night at the Troubadour and on Monday, suddenly, we had fourteen offers!" said Fieger. "I don't know, but I think it was the fact that Bruce Springsteen stood with us that suddenly made all these record companies think we were cool."

One of the rejected statements by many record labels was "My Sharona". Inspiration of the song was a beautiful 17-year-old high school senior, Sharona J. L. Alperin. Fieger then 26, first saw Sharona in clothing store, where he worked. It was love at first sight, but only to Fieger.

Initially refused by Sharona, Fieger wrote his most successful song for her in fifteen minutes; the letters were created around a riff that Averre guitarist had written years before. Fieger and Sharona became a couple; Sharona is that on the single cover image.

Capitol Records won a bidding war for the hang and put the group together with producer Mike Chapman, who had had hits with Blondie and Nick Gilder. The Knack's debut album, Get The Knack, was recorded at MCA Whitney in Glendale, a suburb of Los Angeles. The production of "My Sharona" and the rest of the album were quick; seven days to record and four days to mix.

"My Sharona" would go Platinum in seven weeks and became the number one record on Billboard's 1979. the Group was the model of power pop bands as Cheap Trick and romantic in the Decade of 1980. The way had any chart action with a follow-up single, "Good Girls Don't" and a second album, but the Group was never able to repeat the success of "My Sharona".

Lee Jensen, author of Rockaeology, discover the secrets behind the writing, recording and production of the great successes of rock, soul, Doo-Wop, the British invasion and Rhythm & Blues. Get the stories behind the songs on


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