What are the chances of two bands sharing the same moniker, having the same number of members in the group, living in the same locale and recording for the same label? Slimmer than slim, that is for sure, but such is the case here.
Most rock fans are no doubt hip to the Knack that experienced monster success in 1979 and 1980 with hits like “My Sharona” and “Baby Talks Dirty.” But a decade prior to the birth of the power popping titans, another band called the Knack was also making the rounds on the Los Angeles circuit — and akin to their future namesake, were signed to Capitol Records.
Although the original Knack encountered a sizeable amount of regional recognition and even appeared in national publications, fame was not in the cards and they soon vanished into the woodwork.
For the first time ever, an anthology of the band’s wares have been put together. Time Waits For No One: The Complete Recordings (Now Sounds Records) not only entails each side of the quartet’s four fabulous singles, which were pressed in 1966 and 1967, but several previously unreleased cuts as well.
Prospering with polished, precise and punchy songs, the 14 track collection is as durable and delightful as any top-selling band of the era’s greatest hits package. Specializing in finely-chiseled pop productions, that in a just world, would have burned up the airwaves left and right, the Knack padded their material with sheets of lip-smacking harmonies, meticulous melodies and industrious structures.
Charted of spangly guitars, spinning and swooping with urgency, “Time Waits For No One” transmits visions of a smashing collaboration between the Byrds and the Monkees. Featuring Frank Zappa on piano, the moody “Softly Softly” and the bright and brassy “Pretty Daisy” sit high in the sky as further inviting ventures to be cherished.
Blending rock rhythms with snatches of jazz and hillbilly music, “Banana Man” is quite a treat, and then there’s the lilting flower pop of “Merry Go Round” and the day-glo dappled “The Spell,” which involves a display of cool and inventive tempo changes.
Drive and determination, amplified by the fact the Knack had all the proper tools required to make a stand, are visibly evident throughout Time Waits For No One: The Complete Recordings. A booklet, covering the entire history of the band, comes with the disc, so read and weep. You will learn why they never turned into the stars they should have been.
Fans of the “Fading Yellow” and “Soft Sounds For Gentle People” series are bound to click their heels with joy upon hearing the groovy Beatles-buttered pop rock of the Knack.