Serious Fun (The Knack album)

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Serious Fun
Studio album by The Knack
Released January 16, 1991
Genre Power pop, new wave, hard rock
Label Charisma Records
Producer Don Was
The Knack chronology
Round Trip
(1981)
Serious Fun
(1991)
My Sharona
(1992)

Serious Fun is an album by power pop/new wave band The Knack released by Charisma Records on January 16, 1991.[1] It was their fourth record- a comeback after a decade long separation- and was accompanied by a public reunion and tour.[2] Although the album did not achieve either commercial or critical success, it resulted in the hit single "Rocket O' Love," which reached #9 in Billboard's Mainstream Rock Chart.[1]

Overview[edit]

The album was released by Charisma Records on January 16, 1991. Musician Don Was,[1] better known as a member of the group Was (Not Was),[3] produced the album. He was a friend of Knack frontman Doug Fieger since high school.[1]

The Knack split up in 1981 just a few weeks after the release of Round Trip, which failed to achieve critical success although it reached #93 in the Billboard 200.[4] Serious Fun represented a reunion after around a decade of separation. The album represented a more hard rock sound for the band, reminiscent of the Raspberries. Serious Fun also failed to achieve either commercial or critical success.[5] However, it resulted in the popular single "Rocket O' Love," which reached #9 in Billboard's Mainstream Rock Chart.[1] The band created a rarely seen music video for the song.[6] "One Day at a Time" was intended to be the second single from the album, but the label decided to stop promoting the album at the time of the intended release.[7] According to Knack guitarist Berton Averre, an A&R man at the label thought "One Day at a Time" would be a hit but felt it would be preferable for the lead single to be a harder rock song, and so "Rocket O' Love" was released as the lead single.[8] And apparently when the time came to release a second single, the label had lost interest in the band, and so buried the intended release of "One Day at a Time."[8]

The bomb-riding and lasso-waving scene from the 'Rocket O' Love' music video

A deluxe CD reissue complete with 24-bit digital remastering, bonus tracks, and detailed liner notes was released in 2002 by parent company Virgin Records. It includes a cover of the Martha & the Vandellas song 'Nowhere to Run' done in the Knack's power pop style.[5] The official website for the band states that: "The Knack's fourth studio album is serious fun! Some of the best music the band ever made."[9]

The songs "I Want Love," "Rocket O' Love" and "One Day at a Time" were incorporated into the greatest hits album The Retrospective: The Best of the Knack, which was released by Capitol Records on November 16, 1992.[10] "Rocket O' Love" was also included in the greatest hits album Very Best of the Knack, released by Rhino Records on May 19, 1998.[11]

Reviews[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[12]
Musician (Unfavorable)[13]

Musician panned the album, stating that "Anyone who believes the musical legacy of the '70s is nothing to be ashamed of might want to reconsider after hearing this one."[14] Critic Stewart Mason of Allmusic gave a mixed review. He remarked that even though "the songs are neat little packages of appropriately crunchy guitar hooks and harmonies", still "Serious Fun doesn't manage to be quite as much fun as it could be."[1] Critic William Ruhlmann, also with Allmusic, commented that "it's hard to imagine anyone other than die-hard Knack fans expressing any interest in it."[5] Walter Allread panned the album as uninspired, stating that it consisted of "12 new tunes that succeed only at making you want to hear 'My Sharona' again," but also conceded that "One Day at a Time" might have some radio success.[15]

Track listing[edit]

Original release[edit]

All songs are by Berton Averre and Doug Fieger unless noted[1]

  1. "Rocket O' Love" [3:10]
  2. "I Want Love" [4:02] (Berton Averre, Doug Fieger, Prescott Niles, Pat Torpey)
  3. "Serious Fun" [4:32]
  4. "One Day at a Time" [4:25]
  5. "River of Sighs" [5:30]
  6. "Let's Get Lost" [4:10]
  7. "Can Tickle" [0:40]
  8. "Shine" [3:52]
  9. "Won't Let Go/Aces & Eights" [4:55]
  10. "Body Talk" [4:24] (Berton Averre, Doug Fieger, Prescott Niles, Pat Torpey)
  11. "(I'll Be Your) Mau Mau" [3:52]
  12. "Doin' the Dog" [3:45]

New release[edit]

All songs are by Berton Averre/Doug Fieger unless noted[5]

  1. Rocket O' Love [3:10]
  2. I Want Love [4:02] (Written by Berton Averre/Doug Fieger/Prescott Niles/Pat Torpey)
  3. Serious Fun [4:32]
  4. One Day at a Time [4:25]
  5. River of Sighs [5:30]
  6. Let's Get Lost [4:10]
  7. Can Tickle [0:40]
  8. Shine [3:52]
  9. Won't Let Go/Aces & Eights [4:55]
  10. Body Talk [4:24] (Written by Berton Averre/Doug Fieger/Prescott Niles/Pat Torpey)
  11. (I'll Be Your) Mau Mau [3:52]
  12. Doin' the Dog [3:45]
  13. Down w/the Blond (Pts. I & II) [7:14]
  14. The Spinning Song [3:43]
  15. Nowhere to Run [3:56] (Written by Holland–Dozier–Holland)
  16. A Prayer [4:15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Mason, Stewart. "Serious Fun - Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved April 9, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Don't Knock the Knack". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 9, 2010. 
  3. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Don Was". Allmusic. Retrieved April 9, 2010. 
  4. ^ Schnee, Steve "Spaz". "Round Trip - Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved April 9, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d Ruhlmann, William. "Serious Fun (Bonus Tracks) - Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved April 9, 2010. 
  6. ^ See image
  7. ^ "Getting the Knack". The Knack. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  8. ^ a b "Gonzo Goes On the Record With The Knack’s "Criminally Underrated" Lead Guitarist, Berton Averre". Ringside Report. November 15, 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  9. ^ "Knack Merchandise". knack.com. 2006. Retrieved April 9, 2010. 
  10. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Retrospective: The Best of the Knack - Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved April 9, 2010. 
  11. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Very Best of the Knack - Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved April 9, 2010. 
  12. ^ Allmusic review
  13. ^ Musician review
  14. ^ "Knack Serious Fun CD". cduniverse.com. Retrieved April 9, 2010. 
  15. ^ Allread, W. (March 3, 1991). "Group Loses the Knack for Making Good Music". The News and Courier. Retrieved 2012-04-18. 

External links[edit]