At the end of the 1970s, a debut song became a pop anthem that is still beloved: My Sharona by The Knack.
Written by band members Berton Averre and Doug Fieger, the song was written about Fieger’s girlfriend Sharona.
Averre had the song’s riff long before he collaborated with Fieger on the song.
Both acknowledge that Smokey Robinson and The Miracles’ “Going to a Go Go” and The Who’s “My Generation” were influences on the song, that detailed the attraction Fieger had for his girlfriend. Although Fieger was older, the song was written from the perspective of a 14 year old boy.
Recorded in April 1979, the song was released in June 1979, at the same time as the band’s debut album Get the Knack on Capitol Records. The single cover is a photograph of Sharona, holding the band’s debut album.
The combination of new wave, power pop and rock made the song an irresistible hit on the Billboard Hot 100, hitting the number one slot in the last week of August and staying at the top of the charts for six weeks.
My Sharona was certified gold in the US, selling one million units and was named the number one single for 1979 by Billboard, as well as the fastest-selling single for Capitol Records since The Beatles I Wanna Hold Your Hand in 1964.
The song became the band’s signature and their only number one hit. In 1994, the song re-entered the Billboard charts because of its inclusion on the Reality Bites film soundtrack.
The song still remains a favourite of rock and contemporary radio stations and playlists.