Rock Pop and Roll / The Podcast
A bar band is a good thing, right? They cut their chops live. The are purveyors of the underrated talent of being able to make a crowd – big or small – happy and dance and rock.
Huey Lewis and the News were a bar band that was better than a bar band. That’s such a lazy way to describe a band anyway. A bar band is a good thing anyway, right? That means they cut their chops live and can make a crowd – big or small – happy. Lewis and the band just happened to have the songs, the performance chops, and the talent to take that bar band moniker and make it huge.
There’s a long history of bar bands who had some fame and hits and a bit of a legacy. The J. Geils Band comes to mind. Georgia Satellites. John Cafferty. I might say the greatest bar bands of all time may be Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Springsteen with the E St. Band. So there is no shame there. Lewis and the News where a glossier,-pop-leaning bar band than who had nine top 10 hits over the space of about four years. Later in their career, they turned deeper to soul and Stax and to a version a band leaning into a bit of R&B later in their career, to pretty good results.
After that glorious run from about 1982 through 1987, they began that journey, beginning with Small World album. Though it reached #11 on the album chart -and the song “Perfect World” went to #3 on Hot 100, the white-hot radio magic was on it’s way out for the band.
What happened after the 80’s to Huey Lewis and the News? They continued to release albums. They continued to play live. Hard at Play was the first of those post-80’s albums to be released. Though they weren’t burning at the levels of the mid 80’s any longer, the record produced two top 40 singles with “Couple Days Off” and “It Hit Me Like a Hammer”. What came after these? How did they age? What is worth hearing hat we might have missed. That’s the podcast. Dig in.