Doug Fieger: 1952-2010

I read this morning that Doug Fieger, lead singer for the Knack, had died Sunday at his Woodland Hills, Calif., home after a battle with cancer. He was 57.

In 2006 Fieger had two tumors removed from his brain. He began undergoing chemotherapy in March of 2007 after a PET scan found a possible cancerous growth in his brain. He remained optimistic, saying, “You can't lie down. You can't stop your life.”

The Knack is often maligned as “one-hit wonders” for their phenomenal success with “My Sharona.” Although “My Sharona” was an insane hit, spending six weeks in 1979 as Billboard’s number one song, Get the Knack itself also became a huge success. The album went platinum in just two months and spent five weeks as number one, going on to worldwide sales of 6 million. It also spawned three other hit singles, although of course, none of them matched "Sharona's" success.

I think the Knack happened to come along at an opportune time in music history. They had the classic “two guitars, bass, and drum” line-up and made poppy, new wave music just as that style started to break. But they leaned enough on rock that they didn’t alienate fans who wouldn’t listen to the electronic new wave music that was waiting in the wings. Ultimately, the Knack would become so popular, they were hit with a backlash in the form of a “Knuke the Knack” campaign. Whether as a result of that backlash or because of weak material, none of the Knack’s five successive studio albums would come near the success of Get the Knack.

Good Girls Don’t.mp3
I Knew the Bride (Dave Edmunds cover).mp3
My Sharona (demo).mp3

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At 10:29 AM , Blogger 42N said...

The Knack was a staple on Iowa City's KRNA FM in the late 1970s. Get the Knack was played throughout the dorms and apartments. Today the University of Iowa Marching Band still plays My Sharona during the home football games. Great song, great band.

At 3:11 PM , Blogger Bill said...

I agree. That album was excellent. Sure it was Power Pop but it had something special about it.


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