Chris Knox

Chris Knox

Chris Knox
Background information
Born (1952-09-02) 2 September 1952
Invercargill, New Zealand
Genres Indie rock, punk
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer, writer, reviewer, film-maker, cartoonist, artist
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1977–present
Labels Flying Nun
Associated acts The Enemy, Toy Love, Tall Dwarfs

Chris Knox (born 2 September 1952) is a New Zealand rock and roll musician, cartoonist, and DVD reviewer who emerged during the punk rock era with his bands The Enemy and Toy Love. After Toy Love disbanded in the early 1980s, he formed the group Tall Dwarfs with guitarist Alec Bathgate. The Tall Dwarfs were noted for their unpolished sound and intense live shows. His 4-track machine was used to record most of the early Flying Nun singles.

He has also released a number of solo, self-produced albums which feature his Casiotone. Knox has also released an album under the pseudonym 'Friend'.


  • Career 1
  • Discography 2
    • LPs 2.1
    • Compilations 2.2
    • Tribute albums 2.3
    • Singles and EPs 2.4
    • With Toy Love 2.5
    • With Tall Dwarfs 2.6
  • References 3
  • External links 4


At the 2001 New Zealand Music Awards Knox's ballad "Not Given Lightly" (1990) was announced as New Zealand's thirteenth best song of all time, as voted by APRA members.[1] A love song written for "John and Liesha's mother"—his then-partner Barbara—this track never scaled commercial heights though it has belatedly generated some income for the songwriter through its use in TV advertising (notably for Vogel's bread).

Knox has played live in front of audiences all around New Zealand, winning a reputation for his sometimes confrontational style, and performed annually at Wellington's infamous Bar Bodega. He has also extensively toured internationally. His swing through the US in 1995 included, among others, stops in Seattle to play the Crocodile Cafe. His minimalist, DIY sound played well to ears then-focused on grunge, with its retro-punk stylings.

A long-time resident of Auckland, Knox has spent time as a newspaper columnist and film reviewer for Real Groove. His satirical comic strip Max Media appeared in the NZ Herald every week for more than fifteen years. He has also been an occasional television film reviewer, hosted a Television New Zealand season of classic movies, and presented two seasons of arts series New Artland.

Knox launched his own label 'A Major Records' in 2006 to release the album Chris Knox and the Nothing. This was the first album Knox recorded in a professional studio, rather than in his trademark DIY style, since his time with Toy Love.

Knox's "It's Love", from the 2000 album Beat, has been used in "Share the Good", a Heineken Premium Light commercial directed by Todd Haynes and cinematographed by Edward Lachman.

On 11 June 2009 Knox was admitted to Auckland hospital suffering from a stroke.[2] The album Stroke – Songs For Chris Knox was released in New Zealand on 16 November 2009. It features 33 artists performing Knox's songs. The album is a way for Knox's fans to contribute to the costs of his rehabilitation. All artists contributed their time and talent without charge. Artists include Jay Reatard, David Kilgour, The Mint Chicks, Shayne Carter, Yo La Tengo, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Bill Callahan, The Mountain Goats, The Bats, The Chills, The Verlaines, Jeff Mangum, The Nothing (including Chris), Tall Dwarfs and Lou Barlow.

The Greenwich Village arts venue Le Poisson Rouge hosted a benefit concert for Knox on 6 May 2010.[3] Artists included Jeff Mangum and Yo La Tengo, who both participated in the 2009 benefit album for Knox.

Since his stroke, Knox has done a very small number of live appearances, for instance at the presentation of Stroke – Songs For Chris Knox in November 2009,[4] on 22 April 2012[5] and on 29 September 2012 in Auckland, with Rackets, as Knoxious.[6]



Year Title Details Peak chart
1981 Songs for Cleaning Guppies
  • Label: Flying Nun
  • Catalogue: ME 1
1988 Seizure
  • Label: Flying Nun
  • Catalogue: FN125
1991 Croaker
  • Label: Flying Nun
  • Catalogue: FN165
1993 Polyfoto, Duck-Shaped Pain and Gum
  • "Polyfoto" (introduction), Duck-Shaped Pain (LP), "Gum" (bonus EP)
  • Label: Flying Nun
  • Catalogue: FN249
1995 Songs Of You And Me
  • Double album – Hanging Out for Time to Cure Birth and A Stranger's Iron Shore
  • Label: Flying Nun
  • Catalogue: FN313
1997 Yes!!
  • Released: 23 September 1997
  • Label: Flying Nun
  • Catalogue: FN400
2000 Beat
  • Released: 22 August 2000
  • Label: Flying Nun
  • Catalogue: FN444
2002 Inaccuracies & Omissions
  • Released as Friend
  • Released: 31 March 2003
  • Label: Flying Nun
  • Catalogue: FN471
2005 Chris Knox & The Nothing
  • Released as Chris Knox & The Nothing
  • Label: A Major Label
2008 A Warm Gun
  • Released as The Nothing
  • Label: A Major Label
  • Catalogue: AMAJ001
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Title Details Peak chart
1993 Meat
  • Compilation of tracks from Seizure and Croaker
  • Label: Communion
  • Catalogue: COMM 28-2
1999 Almost
  • Bonus CD with Yes!!
  • Label: Dark Beloved Cloud
  • Catalogue: DBC 220
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Tribute albums

Year Title Details Peak chart
2009 Stroke – Songs for Chris Knox[8]
  • Various artists
  • Released: 15 November 2009
  • Label: A Major Label
  • Catalogue: AMAJ002
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Singles and EPs[9]

Year Title Details Peak chart
1989 "Not Given Lightly" / Guppiplus
  • Label: Flying Nun
  • Catalogue: FN127
1990 "Not Given Lightly"
  • Label: Flying Nun
  • Catalogue: FN152
1990 Song For 1990
  • Label: Flying Nun
  • Catalogue: FN155
1993 "Under The Influence"
  • Label: Flying Nun
  • Catalogue: FN266
1993 Chris Knox/Tall Dwarfs split
  • Label: Forced Exposure
  • Catalogue: FE-031
1993 "Not Given Lightly"
  • Label: Communion
  • Catalogue: COMM 26-1
1995 One Fell Swoop
  • Label: FN316
  • Catalogue: Flying Nun
1996 Songs From 1990
  • Label: Caroline
  • Catalogue: CAR 7528
1996 15th Anniversary Etching
  • Label: Flying Nun
  • Catalogue: FN372
1998 "Not Given Lightly"
  • Label: Curveball
  • Catalogue: Curve 3CD
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

With Toy Love

With Tall Dwarfs


  1. ^ Chris Knox, "Not Given Lightly", The Listener 194(3352), 7–13 August 2004.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Jeff Mangum Announces Rare Performance at Chris Knox Benefit". Pitchfork. 26 March 2010. Retrieved 29 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Gilchrist, Shane (28 November 2009). "Local legends rally for Knox (page 1) | Otago Daily Times Online News : Otago, South Island, New Zealand & International News". Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Marika Hill. "Rock Legend Chris Knox Returns To The Stage". Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "Rackets Announce Auckland Show With Chris Knox – Music News at Undertheradar". 18 September 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Chris Knox on
  8. ^ on Discogs.comStroke
  9. ^ Chris Knox Singles and EPs on

External links

  • NZ Listener Interview with Chris Knox (Archived 29 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine)
  • Chris Knox + 0 – official MySpace site
  • NZOnScreen collection of Chris Knox's music videos
  • NZOnScreen biography
  • Interview with Knox by Roger Shepherd Part 1 and Part 2