Huey Lewis And The News
Hot Off The Press (Live 1987)
Another day, another old radio-station live broadcast bootlegged out to the world anew in a ‘semi authorised’ fashion. I’m loving finding these things on every second doorstep down Music Avenue right now.
Huey Lewis And The News was – by strange quirk, really – one of the biggest bands of the 1980s. I say by strange quirk, because, basically they weren’t that far off being a Blues Brothers Revue-styled thing; they were the rock’n’roll jam-band version of R’n’B, a flipside to Hall & Oates’ blue-eyed soul-pop.
But then – on the back of one big album of monster pop hits, they were the official band of Back To The Future – and then there was another big album of monster pop hits. After that they seemed to just go back to being a working band and never really troubling the pop charts after owning them for a solid 36 months or so.
This live outing captures them at height of fame and on the back of that second album of monster pop hits, Fore! So we have plenty from that including album (and concert) opener, Jacob’s Ladder, I Know What I Like, I Never Walk Alone, Hip To Be Square and Stuck With You.
There’s plenty of the big anthems from Sports – Heart Of Rock And Roll, If This IS It and of course I Want A New Drug – which is parties on for 10 minutes and shows off the band’s great instincts for milking an intro, delivering hook after hook and hit-filled choruses.
The Tower of Power horns are on hand for that big Back To The Future hit, Power of Love and then Back In Time. Their first album of great pop significance, Picture This, is represented with the very Blues Brothers-esque Buzz Buzz Buzz – a cover of The Hollywood Flames.
What a terrific band, those killer harmonies, great ensemble playing – and lead guitarist Chris Hayes could really rip. It’s all here. The big stadium-filling pop hits, some ballads, shades of that great R’n’B world they borrowed parts from to build brand new pop songs.
The brand new Huey Lewis and the News mini-album is a strong reminder of all that was good about his band. This archival live set shows them in match-fit fighting form. Such a great band.
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