With over eight million copies sold worldwide, four Top 10 hits, a “unique” reputation in cinematic history, and more, it is no wonder that the “heart of rock and roll” beats strong with Huey Lewis and The News bar room masterpiece thirty-five years after its release. Sports wasn’t just the sound of a band finally arriving on the scene, it encapsulated everything that was important to being goddamn American in the early 80’s even if it was all just a fantasy that has since faded, like so many Schlitz Tall-Boys, into the dark night of history
Like it or not, every last one of you mofo’s knows who Huey Lewis and The News is. Whether you came by him by “Power of Love”, the hit song from Back To The Future, his later endeavors as an actor in classics like Sphere or the unforgettable Duets with Gweneth Paltrow, you know who the f@@k I’m talking about. So the question isn’t WHO this Huey Lewis cat is, it’s how he makes you feel.
I’ll go first. Makes me feel pretty damn good actually. “I Want A New Drug”, the lead single off of 1983’s Sports damn near threatened to ruin my life. Nancy Reagans “Chemical People” initiative was in full swing and my father headed up their local chapter. As luck would have it the first thing on their agenda was to ban the song before it corrupt the youth of America. Luckily, I could hear it EVERY SINGLE NIGHT on the top 10 countdown...and so could everyone else...so maybe that one didn’t work so well, eh Nancy. In fact if anything it made me want to find out what this whole Sports thing was all about.
And what it was about was hits. LOTS and LOTS of hits. More hits than you would ever imagine, and yet you know them all: “The Heart Of Rock And Roll”.“Heart and Soul”.“Walking On A Thin Line”. The aforementiond “I Want A New Drug”.“If This Is It”. That’s more hits then most people have in a career folks, but for Huey Lewis and the News it was just all in a day’s work, and all on one album.