Great? Rock Albums of 1980: The Knack- But The Little Girls Understand

Little_Girls_Understand

So far, when I have been throwing around the term “sophomore jinx,” I have referred it to acts who managed to escape it. Great rock acts like Boston, Pat Benatar and The Cars who put out equally good or better second albums after having impacted with a great debut album. Unfortunately for The Knack, they didn’t escape the sophomore jinx with their second album “But the Little Girls Understand.” My first experience of it was when I saw the album’s first single, “Baby Talks Dirty” on the juke box in my Enlisted Men’s club. Expecting great things, I played the song but even before the song had finished, I concluded that I had wasted my quarter. For that reason and all of the negative things I began hearing about the album, I never bought it. I remember that it was universally slammed as being a long way down from their debut “Get the Knack” album. One rock magazine later on in 1980 ran an article “Will The Knack End Up On the 99cent Rack?” And when they put out their third album in 1981, a friend remarked, “They dare put out another album.”

The other night, I finally got around listening to a few tracks on youtube and I have discovered that the second album from the album may not have been as bad as I have been led to think. True, “Baby Talks Dirty” is still the dirge I thought it was 33 years ago but some of the other tracks are ok, not great but ok. None of them really stick out for me however and what I find disappointing from the tracks I did listen to is there wasn’t one guitar solo from Berton Averre.

Track Listing:

1.Baby Talks Dirty

                                                                                                       2.  I Want Ya

3. Tell Me You’re Mine

4. Mr. Handleman

7. The Hard Way

8. It’s You

The Knack

The Knack

Berton Averre- lead guitar

Doug Fieger- rhythm guitar, vocals

Bruce Gary drums

Prescott Niles- bass

One great thing about having a fabulous debut album is that it greatly affects the sales of the second album. In spite of all the negativity directed at “But the Little Girls Understand,” it still went platinum and peaked at number 15 in the charts. While I have to agree that it was a long way down from “Get the Knack” it’s not as bad as I first thought. Maybe I will listen to it one more time and see if anything sticks out.

Next post: I am going to be away a lot for the next two weeks as I’m going on holiday. The first week, I’ll be in Torquay and no I won’t be staying at the Fawlty Towers and the second, I’ll be in Grimsby visiting the in laws. However, in between the trips, I will be going to Bloodstock and I can’t wait. If I can get on here before Bloodstock, the album I will cover will be “The River” by Bruce Springsteen.” If not, then in two weeks, you will get my account from Bloodstock.

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

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4 Responses to “Great? Rock Albums of 1980: The Knack- But The Little Girls Understand”

  1. I’ve always desperately wanted this one and the third Knack album to be great given how much I loved (and still love: http://victimofthefury.com/2012/08/25/a-wiggle-and-a-wink-getting-the-knack/) the first record, but I’ve never give either one a shot for fear of suffering a big let down. Your post makes me think I should at least give them a try now these roughly 30 years later. Nice post!

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  2. Love this album even though it does suffer from the “it needs to sound like the blockbuster debut” syndrome. The same can’t be said for their third album, “Round Trip,” which works to its advantage. I think they knew it wouldn’t be a hit so they just did what made them happy…and I consider it an undervalued gem. Their later albums after they reunited, as well as Doug Fieger’s solo material, are worth exploring too. Great post. Enjoy your holiday (or vacation, as we call it here in the US).

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    • Thanks Kramer, I’m back from my holiday, actually it’s a temporary reprise as I’m going to visit the in laws next week. I think you have something about the “it needs to sound like the debut” syndrome.

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