|Single by The Knack|
|from the album Get the Knack|
|B-side||"Let Me Out"|
|Genre||Power pop, new wave|
|Length||3:58 (single edit)
4:52 (album version)
|Writer(s)||Doug Fieger, Berton Averre|
|The Knack singles chronology|
"My Sharona" is the debut single by the Knack. The song was written by Berton Averre and Doug Fieger, and released in 1979 from their album Get the Knack. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart where it remained for 6 weeks, and was number one on Billboard's 1979 Top Pop Singles year-end chart.
It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, representing one million copies sold, and was Capitol Records' fastest gold status debut single since the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in 1964.
The characteristic riff of "My Sharona" was written by the band's guitarist, Berton Averre, years before he joined the Knack. He had played the riff as well as a drum groove for Doug Fieger, the group's lead singer and rhythm guitarist, who loved it and promised to make it a song, although he did not have any ideas for the lyrics.
When Fieger was 25, he met 17-year-old Sharona Alperin, who inspired a two-month-long run of songwriting, as well as becoming Fieger's girlfriend for the next four years. Fieger recounted that "It was like getting hit in the head with a baseball bat; I fell in love with her instantly. And when that happened, it sparked something and I started writing a lot of songs feverishly in a short amount of time." Fieger and Averre worked out the structure and melody of the song. Averre was originally averse to using Alperin's name in the song, but Fieger wanted it to be a direct expression of his feelings; Averre ultimately relented. Fieger claimed that "My Sharona" was written in 15 minutes.
Music and lyrics
The music of the song echoes many elements of songs from the 1960s. According to a Trouser Press reviewer, the song's main melodic hook is "an inversion of the signature riff" from "Gimme Some Lovin'," a 1967 song by the Spencer Davis Group. Fieger has acknowledged that the song's tom-tom drum rhythm is "just a rewrite" of "Going to a Go-Go," a song from Smokey Robinson and the Miracles from 1965. Drummer Bruce Gary has stated that although he didn't particularly like the song when Fieger introduced it to the band, he came up with the stuttering beat for the song similar to a surf stomp. He also decided to incorporate a flam, in which two drum strokes are staggered, creating a fuller sound, which Gary considered to be crucial to the song's success.
In addition to being the inspiration for the song, Sharona Alperin posed for the single's picture sleeve holding a copy of The Knack's debut album Get the Knack.
The song's clean production sound was also reminiscent of the sound of the 1960s British Invasion. Dick Nusser of Billboard Magazine remarked on the song's "catchy, deliberately awkward, stop-go drum and guitar breaks," its "quirky lyrics" and "suggestive tone," and that the song will "make you ready, willing and able to hum the refrain at the right moment." In the Pazz & Jop 1979 Critic's Poll "My Sharona" and Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk" were tied for sixth place in the list of top singles of the year. Chris Woodstra of Allmusic has subsequently referred to the song as an "unforgettable hit." The New Rolling Stone Album Guide claimed that the song "was a hit for a good reason. The beat is urgent, the chorus calls out for drunken shouting along and the guitar solo is a firecracker flash."
In 1994, "My Sharona" re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at number 91, when it was released as a single from the Reality Bites soundtrack album. In the film itself, the characters dance to the song at a convenience store. This version was remixed by Dave Jerden and features, among other changes, a much more prominent drum sound.
In video games, "My Sharona" is featured as a downloadable content single for the Rock Band series. On March 1, 2011, an updated version of the cover song was made available to download for use in Rock Band 3 in PRO mode which takes advantage of the use of a real guitar / bass guitar, along with standard MIDI-compatible electronic drum kits / keyboards in addition to up to three-part harmony vocals. The original version of the song, along with its music video, is featured on Lips: Party Classics on Xbox 360.
In films, the song was heard in the 1997 Disney film RocketMan, the trailer for Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, in J.J. Abrams' Super 8, and in Richard Linklater's Everybody Wants Some!!.
Sharona Alperin, who was the inspiration for the hit, had been a major booster for the band, and brought many girls to their early shows. She has since become a real estate agent in the Los Angeles area, and uses the domain name mysharona.com for her business.
Charts and certifications
Sales and certifications
Parodies, samples and homages
With both the notoriety gained from being an international hit, and its distinctive rock guitar riff, "My Sharona" has been the subject of many parodies and samples, which include:
- "My Bologna" by "Weird Al" Yankovic - The 1979 song kickstarted Yankovic's career in song parody. The Knack approved of the parody and even had Yankovic inked to a one-off deal with their label, Capitol Records. A re-recorded version appeared on his eponymous début album.
- "Ayatollah" by Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl - The song covered current events related to the Iranian Revolution of 1979.
- "Pull My Strings" by the Dead Kennedys - The 1980 song used the guitar riff and changed the phrase from "My Sharona" to "My Payola" to satirize the music industry.
- "My Scrotum" by Cheech Marin - The song was featured in the 1980 film Cheech & Chong's Next Movie.
- "9 Coronas" by John Mammoser. - Originally recorded in 1987 with release in 1995, and with two follow-up versions ("10 Coronas" in 1996, and "9 Coronas ('99 version')" in 1999) that were showcased on the Dr. Demento radio programs.
- "Vaiche boa" by the Galician band Heredeiros da Crus - Released in 1997, on their album Des minutos.
- "Babylona" by Christian parody band ApologetiX - In 2001, this song was on their Keep the Change album.
- "Comme des Connards" ("Like Jerks") by the French comedian Michaël Youn - A parody for the 2004 film Les 11 commandements.
- "My Menorah" by American Comedy Network - a Flash parody in 2004 with singing candles.
- "My Toyota" by radio personality Bob Rivers - This was a video spoof of the Toyota Recall events in 2010.
- "My Fevola" - This was a parody sung on The AFL Footy Show about footballer Brendan Fevola.
- Run–D.M.C. used an unauthorized audio sample from the song in their 1986 hit "It's Tricky". In 2006, Berton Averre and Doug Fieger filed suit against Apple, Run DMC and others for electronically redistributing the work. The case was settled in 2009.
- Rogue Traders used re-recorded elements of the riff in their 2006 hit "Watching You".
- Hip hop artists Everlast and DJ Lethal sampled the song for the track "I Got the Knack", which first appeared in the 1990 Everlast album Forever Everlasting.
- British girl group Girls Aloud incorporated parts of the song for the track "No Good Advice".
"Let Me Out"
The B-side of the "My Sharona" single was "Let Me Out". It was written by Fieger and Averre to fill the band's need for a strong opening track for concerts and later for their Get the Knack album. Averre has stated that the song is "absurdly fast." Drummer Bruce Gary felt that the words of "Let Me Out" helped make the song a perfect opener since the band wanted to "let out," and bassist Prescott Niles noted that, with the song, the band was all of a sudden "out of the box." Gary has also claimed that the song was "me trying to be Buddy Rich in a rock 'n' roll band. It was just full on."
Billboard Magazine described "Let Me Out" as "a teen anthem delivered at full throttle" and praised the song's "delightful" harmonies, "slapping" guitars and "perfectly tuned" drumming. Superchunk and The Mountain Goats drummer Jon Wurster commented on the "full force" of Gary's drumming on "Let Me Out." Ira Robbins and Michael Sandlin of Trouser Press described the song as "tight guitar pop." Author John Borack described the song as "a damn fine pop tune." Audio magazine called it a "basher" with "plenty of style." Allmusic critic Mark Deming stated that the live version of "Let Me Out" has "a joyous force nearly any act would envy." Dave Swanson of Ultimate Classic Rock called it "one of the most powerful album openers ever."
A 1979 live performance of "Let Me Out" from Carnegie Hall was included on the laser disc of Live at Carnegie Hall. The song was included on their compilation album, Premium Gold Collection. A 2012 vinyl EP for Record Store Day includes 1978 live performances of "Let Me Out" and "My Sharona" from Los Angeles and two other songs. The two performances are also included on the live CD of the entire 1978 Los Angeles concert Havin' a Rave-Up.
- "My Sharona". HitParadeItalia (in Italian). Creative Commons. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- Bonomo, Joe (2007). Sweat: The Story of the Fleshtones, America's Garage Band. Continuum. p. 153. ISBN 978-0-8264-2846-2.
Wexler's goal seemed to be replicating the Knack's "My Sharona," the cleanly recorded power-pop classic
- Perrone, Pierre (March 5, 2010). "Doug Fieger: Leader of The Knack who co-wrote the worldwide hit 'My Sharona'". The Independent. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- Bonomo, Joe (2007). Sweat: The Story of the Fleshtones, America's Garage Band. Continuum. p. 153. ISBN 978-0-8264-2846-2.
- Nytimes.com "'My Sharona' has become an emblem of the new wave era in rock"
- Atkinson, Terry (October 18, 1979). "The Knack: yesterday ... and today". Rolling Stone: 32.
- Lieby, Richard (April 17, 2005). "'My Sharona,' Revealing a Knack for Current Affairs?". The Washington Post. p. D3.
- Liner notes, 2002 "Get the Knack" digitally remastered re-issue.
- Sisario, Ben (February 15, 2010). "Doug Fieger Dies at 57, Singer of 'My Sharona'". New York Times. New York (published February 16, 2010). p. A25.
- Cateforis, Theodore (2011). Are We Not New Wave? : Modern Pop at the Turn of the 1980s. University of Michigan Press. pp. 123–127. ISBN 978-0-472-03470-3.
- Kelly, J. (August 26, 2006). "Knack Drummer's Beat Burrows into the Brain". Toledo Blade. pp. D3, D7.
- "Women Behind the Songs: 'My Sharona'". Spinner.com. August 3, 2007. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
- Nusser, Dick (July 28, 1979). "Closeup: Get The Knack". Billboard Magazine: 52, 66. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
- "Pazz & Jop 1979: Critics Poll". Robert Christgau. 1980-01-28. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
- Woodstra, Chris. "Get the Knack review at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- Nathan Brackett, Christian David Hoard, ed. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 462. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8.
- "The Knack awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- "Talk About Coming From Nowhere". Electronic Gaming Monthly (59). EGM Media, LLC. June 1994. p. 212.
- Woo, Kelly (June 25, 2010). "Scenes We Love: Reality Bites - The Moviefone Blog". News.moviefone.com.
- "Reality Bites: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Retrieved February 25, 2017.
- Wilkinson, Peter (April 13, 2005). "Bush bares soul with 'iPod One'". CNN.com. Cable News Network LP, LLLP. Archived from the original on December 21, 2008. Retrieved December 21, 2008.
- "Billboard Hot 100 Chart 50th Anniversary". Retrieved February 15, 2010.
- "It's Only Rock & Roll: Top Billboard Hot 100 Rock Songs". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
- "Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Year". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
- Gaddo, Kyle (February 25, 2011). "Eleven Legacy Rock Band Tracks Getting PRO Upgrades On Monday". The Gaming Vault.
- Simanton, Keith (October 10, 1997). "Entertainment & the Arts – 'Rocketman' Is Hardly A Stellar Disney Movie". The Seattle Times. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
- Head, Steve (April 16, 2003). "The New Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle Trailer". IGN. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
- Barker, Lynn (June 6, 2011). ""Super8"'s New Star Joel Courtney". TeenHollywood.com. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
- Brody, Richard (April 5, 2016). ""Everybody Wants Some!!" Is Richard Linklater's Personal Best". The New Yorker. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
- Lazo, Alejandro (February 18, 2010). "M-m-m-my career in real estate: Sharona Alperin, who at 17 was the real-life inspiration for the 1979 Knack megahit, now sells high-end homes to celebrities.". Los Angeles Times.
- Turner, Gustavo (February 17, 2010). "Real-Life 'My Sharona' Inspiration Cashes In On Knack Singer's Death - Los Angeles - Music - West Coast Sound". Blogs.laweekly.com. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
- "Sharona Alperin". Retrieved January 11, 2013.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 169. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Austriancharts.at – The Knack – My Sharona" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- "Ultratop.be – The Knack – My Sharona" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- "My Sharona - THE KNACK". VRT (in Dutch). Top30-2.radio2.be. Retrieved July 27, 2013. Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 12
- "Top Singles - Volume 31, No. 24, September 08 1979". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- "InfoDisc : Tous les Titres par Artiste". Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc (in French). InfoDisc.fr. Retrieved July 27, 2013. - Use the index at the top of the page and search "Knack"
- "Offiziellecharts.de – The Knack – My Sharona". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". IRMA. Retrieved July 27, 2013. - Search for "My Sharona" and pick the one result
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – The Knack - My Sharona search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – The Knack – My Sharona" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- "Charts.org.nz – The Knack – My Sharona". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- "Swisscharts.com – The Knack – My Sharona". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- "28, 1979/ Archive Chart: July 28, 1979" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 04 Sep 1994". ARIA. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 431. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Canadian single certifications – The Knack – My Sharona". Music Canada. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
- "American single certifications – The Knack – My Sharona". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 10, 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
- Ellis, Iain (2008). Rebels Wit Attitude: Subversive Rock Humorists. Counterpoint Press. p. 205. ISBN 978-1-59376-206-3.
- Szaroleta, Tom (February 12, 2012). "a.m. stir: The many faces of 'My Sharona'". Jacksonville.com.
- Morris, Jeff. "details for 9 Coronas - John Mammoser". Dmdb.org. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- "Israel and Jewish Videos - My Menorah Spoof Animation". WeJew.com. Archived from the original on March 25, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
- "ACN: My Menorah". Americancomedynetwork.com. November 13, 2006.
- TheBobRiversShow (March 3, 2010). Bob Rivers Twisted Tune: "My Toyota" (YouTube).
- Ivan, DJ (July, 2005). "Interview with Gerald Casale of DEVO (6-12-05)". earcandymag.com. Check date values in:
- Bryant, Steve (October 4, 2006). "'My Sharona' Creators Sue Yahoo, Apple, Amazon and Run DMC for Copyright Infringement". eWeek.com. QuinStreet Inc.
- Connor, Alan (February 17, 2010). "Who was My Sharona?". News.bbc.co.uk. BBC News.
- M. McLaughlin, K. Sharp (2004). Getting the Knack. Passport Productions.
- "Bruce Gary: Controlled Bombast with the Knack". Modern Drummer. September 1, 2011.
- Ira Robbins & Michael Sandlin. "The Knack". Trouser Press. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- Borack, John M. (2007). Shake some action: the ultimate power pop guide. Not Lame Recordings. pp. 23, 60. ISBN 978-0-9797714-0-8.
- "Get the Knack: The Knack". Audio. CBS Magazines. 1979. p. 104.
- Deming, Mark. "Havin' a Rave-Up! Live In Los Angeles, 1978". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- Swanson, D. (June 11, 2014). "The History of 'My Sharona' - How One Song Doomed the Knack". Retrieved 2015-03-24.
- "Live at Carnegie Hall". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- "Premium Gold Collection". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- "The Knack Takes You Back ... to 1978". The Knack. March 10, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- BBC News: Who was My Sharona?
- Classic Tracks: The Knack 'My Sharona'
- NPR: The Woman Behind 'My Sharona'
- Sharona Alperin's Web site
- Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
"Shadow Dancing" by Andy Gibb
|Billboard Hot 100 Year-End number one single
"Call Me" by Blondie
"Good Times" by Chic
|Billboard Hot 100 number one single
August 25, 1979 – September 29, 1979
"Sad Eyes" by Robert John
"Born to Be Alive" by Patrick Hernandez
|Canadian "RPM" Singles Chart number-one single
September 8, 1979 – September 22, 1979
"I Was Made for Lovin' You" by Kiss
"Up There Cazaly" by Two-Man Band
|Australian Kent Music Report number one single
September 3, 1979 – October 1, 1979
"Born to Be Alive" by Patrick Hernandez