Huey Lewis & The News
Out of California. A record label's dream. Huey Lewis & The News could crank out pop-infused Rock with ease. Their most controversial song, "I Want A New Drug," was as threatening as Jello pudding. At least they had a sense of humor.
They were a long time coming. Members had been in several Bay Area bands of little consequence. They even left their home turf for the UK and wound up working with Elvis Costello (on the "My Aim Is True" sessions), Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds. In '80 they came together for one more try at the big time. Their self-titled debut came out the following year. In '82 "Picture This" with "Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do" and "Do You Believe In Love" got them noticed. For this album the group took the Three Dog Night approach, covering outside songwriters.
With "Sports" Huey Lewis & the News reversed themselves and wrote most of the material. Turned out to be a good decision. "I Want A New Drug," and "The Heart of Rock and Roll" resulted. They even had success with a cover of an Exile tune "Heart and Soul."
Huey Lewis & The News' good-natured Rock continued on "Fore!" (with "Hip To Be Square") and "Small World" (featuring the title track and "Jacob's Ladder"). But as the '90s hit the group ran out of steam. They showed up occasionally on tribute projects (Curtis Mayfield, Beatles, etc.) often indulging their doo-wop tendencies.
In what appeared to be a total shot out of the blue, Lewis was tapped to sing the title song for the '08 comedy, Pineapple Express. When asked how he landed such a plum assignment, Lewis shrugged and said, "I just answered the phone."
"Sports" is Huey Lewis & The News' defining moment. "Picture This" and "Small World" (with jazz master Stan Getz playing sax on the title track) are next. "Time Flies: The Best of Huey Lewis & The News" is a fun compilation illustrating the group's appeal.