You’ve probably heard the song, but have you heard the cover by Veruca Salt?
My Sharona is one of the most easily identifiable rock songs of the late 70s. The all too catchy lyrics have inspired dozens of pop parodies, including Weird Al Yankovic’s My Bologna.
So, what is it about Veruca Salt’s cover of My Sharona that’s so awesome?
Let’s find out!
The Story of My Sharona
My Sharona was a 1979 smash hit by the rock band, The Knack. They released My Sharona on their debut album entitled Get The Knack. For almost two months, the song was number one on the Billboard Top 100 charts.
It became Billboard’s number one song of 1979. The Knack, who had played for just a few months together after forming in 1978, was on fire.
Doug Fieger wrote the lyrics for My Sharona because of his crush on Sharona Alperin. According to Fieger, it was love at first sight. Fieger and Alperin eventually dated and were engaged. Although the courtship didn’t last forever, the couple remained friends until Fieger died in 2010.
Resources have quoted Fieger as saying My Sharona took fifteen minutes to write. He took his love story and gave it the perspective of a 14-year-old boy. The music feels equally as energetic yet awkward as teenage years do. It’s no wonder the song is a favorite at high school dances.
Although The Knack secured their place in pop history with My Sharona, it was not enough to keep the band going. The Knack produced two follow-up albums with marginal success.
Due to internal strife and public criticism of them ripping off The Beatles, The Knack broke up in 1982. The original members reunited and toured on and off for the next two decades.
Sharona Alperin got married and became a highly successful real estate agent. You can find her real estate agency at mysharona.com.
What we want to know is, how does Sharona Alperin feel about the Veruca Salt cover of My Sharona?
Who is Veruca Salt?
Veruca Salt is an indie-grunge band most known for its alternative 90s sound. Formed in 1992, Veruca Salt was one of the first female-fronted indie bands to land on the billboard charts.
Louise Post and Nina Gordon started playing acoustic sets together at a local Chicago club before forming the band. After securing bassist Steve Lack and drummer Jim Shapiro, the sound shifted to a louder, more riff-driven vibe.
The 90s were a great time to be an indie rock band. Independent labels could actually thrive. For Veruca Salt, a few shows plus one hit single equaled touring before recording even one album!
Veruca Salt toured with Hole in 1994, placing them dead center in front of hungry grunge kids everywhere. Their energy on stage heralded a legion of fans they still have today.
The band’s first single, Seether, went to number eight on the Billboard Alternative Charts. The song’s swift success on college radio prompted the band to rush and finish its first record, American Thighs. The album release started a bidding war between major labels, with Geffen records winning the bid in late 1994.
Veruca Salt’s second record, Eight Arms to Hold You, sold well but was met with mixed reviews. Too polished for the indies and too underground for the mainstream. Trouble had been brewing since the album’s recording, centering on style and musical direction. Attempts at producing a third album flopped when Gordon left in 1998.
Louise Post continued with Veruca Salt and various touring band members. Critics and fans gave the following two albums with Post as the solo frontwoman lukewarm reviews. Fans were happy in 2013 when Vera Salt announced the reunion of all four original band members. The band toured worldwide for its fifth album, Ghost Notes.
Veruca Salt’s Best Known Songs
Nina Gordon had no idea her song about feminine rage would become one of the most popular songs of the early 90s. Although she knew her rave-up ditty had mainstream potential, she thought her band might not be on board.
It springs with an upbeat riff that’ll get you bopping up and down in no time. Seether is short for seething with anger but can also be short for a woman’s sexual desire.
The chorus, can’t fight the seether, became a 90s anthem. It hit the charts in the US, UK, and Australia and MTV had the music video on heavy rotation. Paste magazine ranked Seether as #10 in its list of 50 best Grunge Songs of all times.
Volcano Girls is the second most popular song by Veruca Salt. But listeners are split between which one they favor. Released on the 1997 album Eight Arms to hold you, Volcano Girls is an grown up Seether.
It’s a little more polished with more oomph from the drums. Gordon’s lyrics speak again about girls with a rebel attitude. She even references Seether. Only this time, the girls aren’t afraid to long for love.
Why Isn’t Resolver on Spotify?
Resolver is the third studio album by Veruca Salt and the first released after Nina Gordon left the band. The album is known for Louise Post’s venom-fueled lyrics. She was reeling from her split with Gordon and a bad breakup with Dave Grohl.
Although Resolver didn’t receive great accolades or notable mainstream popularity, the album has devoted supporters. Enough to merit Reddit threads and inquiries into Spotify as to why the album isn’t available.
As fun as it might be to think Spotify is holding some kind of moral ground by not hosting the album, we believe the reasons are simpler.
Post released Resolver on her independent label, Velveteen Records, and Beyond Records distributed it. As Resolver is available on both Pandora and Apple Music, odds are Post simply has not bothered with Spotify’s poor payout to artists.
So, Why is Veruca Salt’s Cover of My Sharona My New Favorite?
Simply put, Veruca Salt’s cover of My Sharona is much cooler than the original. It sounds completely different. It’s slightly seductive and a little creepy, in a good way.
The tempo is slowed down, gritty, and riddled with that 90s fuzz guitar sound. The vocals are entirely deadpan. They even got rid of The Knack’s signature WOO exclamation at the end of the chorus.
One of the best things about Veruca Salt’s version of My Sharona is the bass line. The bass strums one note for most of the verse. Again, this is different from the original ping pong effect The Knack had going.
One guitar strums along with loads of distortion. Another one creeps in, here and there, with awkwardly high-pitched pickings and guitar licks. The vocal harmonies are similar. You’ve got to check it out!
Veruca Salt released My Sharona as a B-side to the 1995 single, Victrola.
Which Version is the Greatest?
Veruca Salt’s cover of My Sharona might be the gateway song to the authentic sounds of Nina Gordon and Louise Post. Its 90s grunge pop songs like Seether made the band famous. But most Veruca Salt songs had a much slower rhythm. And their fans love it.
What do you think? Which version of My Sharona do you prefer?