The KNACK – ” Don’t Look Back ” Bruce Springsteen Cover

Posted: March 30, 2017 in MUSIC

The Knack were the band that fulfilled the power pop dream and nearly killed it at the same time. Whilst inspiring a signing frenzy that saw anything with a skinny tie snapped up by the record companies, they smelt of hype and were loathed by many. Such was the backlash that virtually every band that was picked up in their wake – most of whom had actually been around before the Knack anyway – struggled with credibility. Only the Romantics – who Greg Shaw had previously released on his Bomp! Records label, he would have one final crack with the brilliant Plimsouls, who’d already been signed and dropped by a major in the wake of the Knack, before shifting his attention to a purer ‘60s revival, ushering another retroactively-named genre – ‘garage rock’ – with the release of his Pebbles series of compilations.)

Power pop was a dirty word from that point on. It went underground, only to rear its Beatle-wigged head every so often into the mainstream, or the alternative mainstream. The Go-Gos slipped through in the ‘80s, as did the Bangles, who covered Big Star’s “September Girls” on their massive second album.  Hoodoo Gurus were versed in it and could do it brilliantly when they felt like it (listen again to “I Want You Back”), and the Stems’ Dom Mariani excelled at it when he ditched the fuzz. The Smithereens were rooted in it, and Mitch Easter’s Let’s Active kept that quirkier Big Star side of things going in the South.

In the early ‘90s there was Scotland’s Teenage Fan Club, who were also massive Big Star fans; to the point that their Bandwagonesque album sounded almost like a homage. Illinois’ fantastic Velvet Crush were briefly TFC’s label mates on Creation and their pal Matthew Sweet had a couple of left field hits. But these were rare sightings.

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