The world is crammed with one-hit wonders that justifiably deserve that title; The Knack are not one of those bands. While technically “My Sharona” is their only real “hit,” they continued to churn out one great album after another years after that 1979 radio staple, but frustratingly were never able to make it back up the sales charts again.
Thankfully, the Power Pop archeologists at Omnivore Recordings are re-releasing the band’s final three records and tacking on a handful of bonus tracks, as a reminder of just how great this under-the-radar band was.
Zoom initially came out in 1998 to coincide with the band’s second comeback attempt. The production is a little cleaner than their earlier efforts and the playing less sloppy, but the harmonies are still just as strong as their early efforts. Zoom, which came out after a five-year break for the band, is solidly impressive, especially on songs like the sly “Love is All There Is” and the album opener “Pop is Dead”. There are one or two tracks that fail to live up to the others, notably, the somber “You Gotta Be There”, but the bulk of the record irresistible jangle pop music.
This re-release tack on the bonus track, “She Says,” two demo songs and another version of “My Sharona.” Sadly, singer Doug Fieger died in 2010, so thankfully labels like Omnivore are doing their part to keep the band’s music out there.
The Knack – Zoom/19 tracks/Omnivore Recordings/2015