Deep Cuts: The Knack – "Frustrated" (1979)

by Pico

It’s hard to think of a more striking example of the perils of overexposure than L.A. power pop rockers The Knack. For about six months in 1979 this band that looked like the Ed Sullivan Beatles were just about as prevalent (although their crunchy, direct brand of rock mimicked the Kinks more than their more famous British contemporaries). “My Sharona,” that song that everyone loved and now everyone hates followed by the lesser hit “Good Girls Don’t”…those songs had irresistible hooks, but resistance stiffed up after the songs got more worn than brake shoes with a hundred and fifty thousand miles on ‘em.

Perhaps that’s why you have to go to one of the deep cuts of The Knack’s blockbuster debut album Get The Knack to figure out if they were really a good band or not. Like, say, “Frustrated.” It’s got a huge backbeat, a lively bass line and a thick slab of guitar riffs. Top it off with lead singer’s Doug Fieger’s impishly sung lyrics of lead-on and turn-off, and “Frustrated” makes a perfect danceable tough rocker for any party, even today.

“Frustrated” didn’t get spun off as a single as I think it should have, but got some decent airplay on the album rock stations. Maybe the backlash that was in full swing by the time the second single “Good Girls Don’t” started sliding down the charts had the public crying “enough” and so there were no more hits forthcoming for The Knack. Ah well. At least that means the “woulda-coulda-shoulda-been” hits from Get The Knack like “Frustrated” can be enjoyed today without that jaded feeling you get from an overplayed song like “My Sharona.”


S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is a CPA and mid-level data analyst for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.