Huey Lewis and the News burst onto the national music stage in the early 1980s. Out of San Francisco, Huey Lewis and the News became superstars largely because of the new breakout media known as MTV. The band’s songs are now timeless classics. On many of their greatest tracks, the band’s roots are evident. Huey Lewis and the News effectively fuses blues, Memphis soul, country and of course, American rock n’ roll. Here are the top ten songs by Huey Lewis and the News.
(1) With its killer guitar riffs, I Want a New Drug is a product of the band’s rising level of maturity at the time of the release of their killer album, Sports. An anti-drug ballad that doesn’t sound or feel like an anti-drug ballad, the song likens love to an illicit stimulant without the inevitable crash.
(2) Huey Lewis and the News may best be known for their nationwide ode to rock titled The Heart of Rock n’ Roll. The crisp lyrics and kicking beat are an anthem for the rock n’ roll eighties. The Heart of Rock n’ Roll is the opening tune on Sports.
(3) Bad Is Bad, written solely by Huey Lewis himself, is a devilish ballad with a unique tone. Huey Lewis’ vocal talents are seldom more evident than they are on this track. Lewis also gets to display his skills with the harmonica on this blues-type tune.
(4) Many of the songs by Huey Lewis and the News are love songs, but they are not about chasing after girls – they are about dealing with relationships, a unique take on the classic romantic ballads. One such song is If This Is It. This is an upbeat ballad that is essentially a plea by a man that his lover tell him if this is the end of the relationship.
(5) Doing It All For My Baby is another relationship song about monogamy and satisfaction. Although the theme might be less attractive in today’s culture, the song certainly withstands the test of time.
(6) During a time when nerds were all the rage, who can forget a tune like Hip to Be Square? A masterpiece of a song that suffered a terrible video, Hip To Be Square is a statement about conformity that is often lost because of its terrific beat.
(7) Another great beat can be found in the song Crack Me Up. A slight throwback to the band’s New Wave days, it’s another statement by the band to show that it was “growing up.”
(8) Do You Believe in Love is another classic love song that doesn’t sound like a love song. Huey Lewis’s raspy vocals lend a fun, care-free vibe to even the most serious of lyrics. A killer sax solo adds to this outstanding ballad.
(9) Workin’ For a Livin’ is Huey Lewis and the News’ ode to the working middle class. It has a great beat and is perfect for a happy hour at a blue collar watering hole in any small U.S. town.
(10) Heart and Soul is said to be the tune that established Huey Lewis and the News as a premier rock band in the United States in the Reagan eighties. Heart and Soul was the band’s first big single.
The best album by far released by Huey Lewis and the News was Sports in 1983. The band now has a terrific Greatest Hits album titled Time Flies: The Best of Huey Lewis and the News, which was released in 1996. Huey Lewis and the News has sold over thirty million albums worldwide. The band’s first album, which was self-titled, failed in 1980. Their second album, Picture This, hit number 13 in the United States in 1982. Of course, Sports went multi-platinum and hit number one, as did its successor, Fore! in 1986. Small World hit number 11 in 1988. Hard at Play hit number 27 in 1991. Four Chords and Several Years Ago never made the top 40, but topped out at number 55 in 1994.
Of course, everyone knows that Huey Lewis is the band’s lead vocalist and plays one hell of a harmonica. But who are the News? Well, Johnny Colla plays sax and guitar; Bill Gibson plays drums. Sean Hopper is on keyboards; John Pierce plays bass guitar. Stef Burns is on guitar; Marvin McFadden is on trumpet. Ron Stallings and Rob Sudduth are on saxophones.
Huey Lewis and the News are semi-retired, but the band still plays 80+ U.S. shows each year. If you want Huey Lewis and the News to play at your next party, the band reportedly commands fees starting at $100,000 per show.
Other songs not mentioned in the article but well worth giving a listen to include: The Power of Love from the Back to the Future Soundtrack, Stuck With You, Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do, Hit Me Like a Hammer, Jacob’s Ladder, I Know What I Like, and Some Kind of Wonderful.
Huey Lewis and the News are the quintessential eighties rock band. The band fueled MTV for a generation of rock n’ roll lovers. Huey Lewis himself is an eighties icon whose television and movie appearances are warm, memorable and humorous. If you are new to Huey Lewis and the News, I highly recommend you pick up Sports or Time Flies.