Tuesday 20 February 2024

Namesakes #73: The Knack

Have you got The Knack? 

I can't say I've ever had it... but these guys had it in spades...


British beat group originally known as The Londoners (guess where they were from?) who kicked off their career in 1965 with the song below. Apparently they "spent most of their time in Germany". So much for that London. 

Guitarist Paul Gurvitz later formed The Gun with his brother, "Classic" Adrian.


Meanwhile, over on the other side of the pond, 1965 also saw a bunch of Hollywood High school students band together as The InMates, before changing their name to The Knack in time to release the song below (and a few others) in '67 and '68. 

Lead singer Michael Chain would also enjoy the thrills of a solo career, including a country song called Let's Go Chase Some Women.


Dutch funk-rockers from 1975 consisting of Sjaak Witjes, Piet van Tongeren, Jacky van Tongeren, Ronnie Meyjes, and Dennis Whitbread. One of those gentlemen doesn't sound particularly Dutch.

This, however, sounds like a top tune...


You'll all be familiar with these guys, the LA band who brought us the worldwide power-pop hit My Sharona... but you may be unfamiliar with the way they were treated by the Evil Cognoscenti that tries to dictate what it's cool to like and what we should all steer clear of. What's amusing (or frustrating) with hindsight is the list of crimes The Knack were castigated for in the early 80s, including...

1) Having an album cover that copied / referenced an early Beatles album cover. (I'd be surprised if you don't have a record which does similar in your collection.)

2) Having a "retro" sound that took cues from the British Invasion bands of the 60s. (How many bands have built successful careers on that since then?)

3) "The object of some of the Knack's songs were teenaged girls..." (Erm... hello? Pop music? Anyone?)

4) Best of all, critics claimed "the band was imposing inadequate memories of the 1960s on those who didn't know better."

Oh, well, in that case... 

No wonder the purists wanted to "Knuke The Knack". (See what they did there?)


Sometimes I just want to stop writing about music altogether when I come up against such narrow-minded, elitist bullshit...

Which ones make you want to knick knack paddy whack, give the dog a bone? And which ones are ready for the knacker's yard?


  1. 2 perfectly listenable but forgettable tunes, some total Dutch bobbins and that absolute belter to finish with. Yes, my choice is #4

    1. Good to see you don't always swim against the tide!

    2. I don't think that reputation is very fair

  2. Yeah number 4 for me also, still a top tune.

    1. Thanks, Jim. Hope Dubai is treating you well.

  3. Yeah all good Rol, been busy recently but good catching up with the blog again 👍


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