Huey Lewis and the News

Gary: “I will look at a group that is still touring and will be playing very close to us in July/2011.  

Our blog mainly attracts fans looking for older music and the beginnings of Rock and Roll.  Well, today I will look at a group that just about owned the middle Eighties. I would have been in my mid forties and was made aware of this group by my middle daughter, Shannon, who would have been Eleven at the time.  Her social group was holding a dance event and Shannon asked me if I could help her with the music.  She had borrowed some 45’s (remember them?) from her friends and in those 45’s there where a couple by this one group in particular that she thought was fantastic. Well, this caught my attention so I listened to the group and all of a sudden the roots of Rock came flooding back. This may have been a new sound in the Eighties, but the soul was from way back. 

Long story short, the dance was good for  Shannon and I carried on purchasing music on New Item CD’s and I even went to see them in concert twice. The last DVD that I purchased was about their 25th Anniversary; it is just great.  I have always thanked Shannon for introducing me to a very talented group. – Huey also plays Golf ! 😉 …

Huey Lewis and the News

Original News

  • Huey Lewis – (born Hugh Anthony Cregg, III on July 5, 1950 in New York, New York) lead vocals, harmonica (1979–present)
  • Sean Hopper – (born Sean Thomas Hopper, March 31, 1953, in San Francisco, California) – keyboards, backing vocals (1979–present)
  • Bill Gibson – (born William Scott Gibson, November 13, 1951, in Sacramento, California) – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1979–present)
  • Johnny Colla – (born John Victor Colla, July 2, 1952, in Sacramento, California) – guitar, saxophone, backing vocals (1979–present)
  • Mario Cipollina – (born November 10, 1954, in San Rafael, California) – bass guitar (1979–1995)
  • Chris Hayes – (born Christopher John Hayes, November 24, 1957, in Great Lakes, Illinois) – guitar, backing vocals (1980–2001)

Videos: 

I looked a long time but finally found my favourite video’s.  Done in 1985, San Francisco with the Tower of Power Horns, maybe the best concert I have seen and I got the idea for my license plate from this concert.

I want a new Drug [RS- Fabulous!]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1ku4QUhoXk

The Heart of Rock and Roll

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q61MvucepBs

The Trouble in Paradise

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kk9TFRmWCH0&feature=fvst

Workin’ for a Livin’
(video only on Youtube)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ4f8fiCW2c  – My favourite, the band totally cooks and the Tower of Power Horns just blow everyone away.

Music: 
Huey Lewis and the News charted 18 Songs on Billboard’s Top 40, had two Gold and Three Platinum Albums.  I will give you all of the Billboard songs, plus a few of my favourite’s that did not quite make the Top 40.

1.   Do You Believe In Love/ Chrysalis 2589/ February 1982/ #7

2A.   Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do/ Chrysalis 2604/ June 1982/ #36

2B.   Same album, but did not reach top 40, my favourite Workin’ for a Livin’

3.   Heart and Soul / Chrysalis 42726/ October 1983/ #8

4A.   I want A New Drug/ Chrysalis 42766/ January 1984/ #6 (Huey Lewis sued Ray Parker Jr for Plagerism over this Song. It was settled out of Court and Huey said that if it had not been for the lawsuit and the envolvement with the “Ghostbusters People, he may never have done “Back to the Future”)

4B.   Ghostbusters/ Ray Parker Jr.

5.   The Heart of Rock and Roll/ Chrysalis 42782/ April 1984/ #6

6.   If This is It/ Chrysalis 42803/ July 1984/ #6

7.   Walking on a Thin Line/ Chrysalis 42825/ October 1984/ #18

8.   The Power of Love (from Back to the Future)/ Chrysalis 42876/ July 1985/ #1(2)

9.   Stuck with You/ Chrysalis 43019/ August 1986/ #1(3)

10. Hip to be Square/ Chrysalis 43065/ October 1986/ #3

11. Jacob’s Ladder/ Chrysalis 43097/ January 1987/ #1

12. I Know What I Like/ Chrysalis 43108/ April 1987/ #9

13. Doing It All For My Baby/ Chrysalis 43143/ August 1987/ #6

14. Perfect World/ Chrysalis 43265/ July 1988/ #3

15. Small World/ Chrysalis 43306/ October 1988/ #25

16. Couple Days Off/ EMI 50346/ May 1991/ #11

17. It Hits Me Like A Hammer/ EMI 50364/ August 1991/ #21

18. It’s Alright/ Album Cut/ August 1993/ # 37 (Tribute to Curtis Mayfield)

My Favourite Album isFour Chords & Several Years Ago/ Here are couple of cuts I really like.

1.   Blue Monday

2.   She’s Some Kind A Wonderful

3.   Searching For My Love

4.   But It’s Alright

5.   Mother In Law

6.   She Shot A hole In My Sole

7.   Going Down Slow  

I will be 71 this year and this group still rocks and is fun to see and listen to.  Being a golfer, it also helps that Huey likes to play. 

Huey Lewis & the News were a bar band that made good. With their simple, straightforward rock & roll, the San Francisco-based group became one of America’s most popular pop/rock bands of the mid-’80s. Inspired equally by British pub rock and ’60s R&B and rock & roll, the News had a driving, party-hearty spirit that made songs like “Workin’ for a Livin’,” “I Want a New Drug,” “The Heart of Rock & Roll,” “Hip to Be Square” and “The Power of Love” yuppie anthems. At their core, the group were a working band, and they knew how to target their audience, writing odes to 9-to-5 jobs and sports.

As the decade progressed, the group smoothed out their sound to appeal to the aging baby boomers who adopted them, but by the beginning of the ’90s, the appeal of their formula had decreased. Nevertheless, the group remained a popular concert attraction, and they continued to have radio hits on adult contemporary stations.

The roots of Huey Lewis & the News lay in Clover, an early-’70s country-rock band from San Francisco that featured Lewis (vocals, harmonica) and keyboardist Sean Hopper.

Clover moved to England in 1976 upon the urging of Nick Lowe, who believed they could fit into the U.K.’s pub rock scene. In a short time, the group cultivated a small following. Lowe produced the group’s first single, “Chicken Funk,” which featured lead vocals by Lewis and, the following year, the band, minus Lewis, supported Elvis Costello on his debut album, My Aim Is True.

Polygram released two Clover albums that failed to find an audience and when their leader, John McFee, left the group to join the Doobie Brothers, the band broke up and returned to California. Before returning to the States, Lewis played harmonica on Lowe’s Labour of Lust and Dave Edmunds’ Repeat When Necessary, which also featured Lewis’ song “Bad Is Bad.”

Upon their return to America, Lewis and Hopper began jamming at a Marin County bar called Uncle Charlies, which is where they formed American Express with Mario Cipollina (bass), Johnny Colla (saxophone, guitar) and Bill Gibson (drums), who had all played in Soundhole, one of Van Morrison’s backing bands in the late ’70s. American Express recorded a disco version of “Theme From Exodus,” calling it “Exodisco.” Mercury released the single, which was ignored.

In 1980, the group added lead guitarist Chris Hayes and were offered a contract by Chrysalis who requested that the band change their name. The members chose Huey Lewis & the News and the band’s eponymous debut was released later that year to little attention.

Picture This, the group’s second album, was released early in 1982 and the record became a hit on the strength of the Top Ten single “Do You Believe in Love,” which was written by former Clover producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange.

A couple other minor hits, “Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do” and “Workin’ for a Livin’” followed, and the band began building a strong following by touring heavily.

Sports, their third album, was released in the fall of 1983 and it slowly became a multi-platinum success, thanks to touring and a series of clever, funny videos that received heavy MTV airplay.

Heart and Soul” (#8, 1983), “I Want a New Drug” (#6, 1984), “The Heart of Rock & Roll” (#6, 1984) and “If This Is It” (#6, 1984)  all became Top Ten hits, and Sports climbed to number one in 1984; it would eventually sell over seven million copies.

Late in 1984, Lewis sued Ray Parker, Jr., claiming that his song “Ghostbusters” plagiarized “I Want a New Drug.” The suit was settled out of court.

The News had their first number one single in 1985 with “The Power of Love,” taken from the soundtrack to Back to the Future.

Huey Lewis & the News returned with their fourth album, Fore!, in 1986. The record sailed to number one on the strength of five Top Ten singles: “Stuck With You” (#1, 1986), “Hip to Be Square” (#3, 1986), “Jacob’s Ladder” (#1, 1987), “I Know What I Like” (#9, 1987), and “Doing It All for My Baby” (#6, 1987).

The band was riding high on the charts when they decided to expand their musical reach with 1988’s Small World, dipping tentatively into various American roots musics. While the record produced the Top Ten hit “Perfect World,” it was a commercial disappointment after two chart-topping, multi-platinum albums, stalling at number 11 on the charts and only going platinum.

The News took three years to follow up Small World with Hard at Play, which was released on their new label, EMI. Hard to Play failed to break the Top 20 and only produced one hit, “Couple Days Off.” The group’s commercial heyday had clearly passed, and the group took the remainder of the ’90s rather easy, touring sporadically and releasing the covers album Four Chords & Several Years Ago in 1994. Their first release for Elektra Records, the album generated one adult contemporary radio hit, “But It’s Alright,” and failed to go gold. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

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