Huey Lewis and the News release
30th-anniversary edition of Sports
By Will Fifield
IN THE 1980s, MAN Y emerging artists, such
as Elvis Costello, Prince, Madonna and U2,
were taking pop music in new directions, yet
Huey Lewis and the News stuck to their
roots, playing traditional rock music with
astonishing commercial success. In 1983, the
San Francisco Bay Area group released Sports,
its third album, which sold more than 10
million copies worldwide. Four songs from
the record, “Heart and Soul,” “I Want a New
Drug,” “The Heart of Rock & Roll” and “If
This Is It,” found their way to the top 10 on
Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 list. Sports was
also internationally successful, with top- 40
chart peaks in the UK, Canada, Germany,
Sweden, New Zealand and Norway.
To celebrate the album’s 30th anniversary,
Lewis, who has continued performing, personally oversaw
an expanded commemorative edition of Sports.
recently caught up
with him via telephone during a
break from rehearsals in Marin County,
California, to discuss the new album
and his career.
The Costco Connection: Sports has been
a high-water mark in your career. While you
were developing the songs, did you, as a band,
have a sense that this album was going be so
Huey Lewis: No. Not while we were recording the record. But as soon as the first single
was a hit, I knew we had a few more. I felt it.
It was a radio world in those days, so we
aimed everything at the radio. Sports was a
collection of singles in that respect. And we
were producing ourselves, which wasn’t done
a lot in the early ’80s. The idea was to get a
radio hit so we could make money for the
record company so that we could make
another record. Top- 40 singles was the only
format that meant anything in those days.
Tablet or smartphone? Scan or click here to watch the video for “Heart and Soul.” (See page 5 for scanning details.)
The Costco Connection
You’ll find copies of the 30th-anniversary
edition of Sports, Huey Lewis and the News’
1983 blockbuster album, at your local Costco.
expanded our audience. I’d like to think our
record would have been successful anyway,
but probably not as popular as it was.
CC: What can fans expect from the new
release of Sports?
HL: The new record is going to be neat, because
it’s not only the remastered version of Sports,
but it includes another CD, which is all the
same songs in the same order, but recorded live
at various venues all over the world back in the
’80s. “I Want a New Drug” is from Australia. “If
This Is It” is from New Orleans. “The Heart of
Rock & Roll” is from Cleveland. Except two of
the tracks, “You Crack Me Up” and “Honky
Tonk Blues”: We recorded those two live in our
little studio just a couple of months ago. That
CD is very, very interesting and really good,
CC: Is the Internet today’s MTV?
HL: You Tube is super important. What’s interesting is that back in the ’80s MTV showed
only videos of tunes that were hits. Didn’t
matter what the video was like, it was about
the hit. In other words, it was still radio
driven. Nowadays somebody can make a
You Tube video and it can just go viral. It’s
a huge deal.
CC: How many shows do you do a year?
HL: Well, this year, because of the re-release of
Sports, we’re going to do a lot. Maybe 85 or 90.
Generally 75 seems to be a good number for
us, but I think we’re going to have to do more
than that this year.
MICROPHONE: JANET FAYE HASTINGS; RAY PAT TERN:
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CC: Do you feel music video was important to
your band’s popularity in the early ’80s?
HL: Very much. Although we made at least
one record before music television, it really
JUNE 2013 ;e Costco Connection 79
CC: Is there a new Huey Lewis and the News
album, with all-new material, in the works?
HL: You know, there might be. We’re working
up three new songs, one of which is really
good, I think. I think there will be [a new
album], but I can’t tell you how soon, and I
don’t know who will care. But we’ll have a lot
of fun. A new album means you can go out on
the road and play a new song or two. C