Huey Lewis And The News
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Debut album from the group from the San Francisco Bay area. TRACK LISTING: . Some Of My Lies Are True (Sooner Or Later) . Don't Make Me Do It . Stop Trying . Now Here's You . I Want You . Don't Ever Tell Me That You Love Me . Hearts . Trouble In Paradise . Who Cares? . If You Really Love Me You'll Let Me
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In a post disco era commercial defined by power pop and such,that's basically what this album is. The mildly punky cover art is not ironic. "Some Of My Lies Are True","If You Really Love Me You'll Tell Me","Stop Trying" and "Hearts" do owe a lot of their sound to new wave style rock more than the bands more trademark sound. But let's just say that was still under construction. "Now Here's You" and "Trouble In Paradise" are my two favorite songs here. And in my own opinion the strongest numbers here. The reason is that they have that professionally produced rock n soul style sound they'd become known for while maintaining their freshness and enthusiasm through the strong vocal harmonies and sax solos that would soon become the backbone of their sound. "Who Cares" applies that same quality to a more new wavish type tune,with some almost...fusion style guitar solos that make it mildly abstract to a degree.
Does this album have that Huey Lewis & The News sound written all over it?No it doesn't. Not sure if it existed in that way yet either. Bill Schnee would not be the bands usual producer. Not sure if it was him or not but this a lot of the more rock oriented songs on here are not exactly original or particularly interesting. The tight pop writing style is always there. And a lot of people call music like this "raw and fresh". But in all honest,raw and fresh is all too often overdone. Being in jazz,funk and soul bands before Huey knew the key to the best pop music was a live and well produced sound,not a live and unproduced sound. And while this is very much a topic for debate,it does have a point. Time has been extremely kind to this band over the years. Especially their big hit period to come. And I have to say I don't think it was any "raw and fresh" cliches that made that happen.
The album on the whole is somewhat like unrefined SPORTS album, and it is rather surprising to find the basic style of their music had been unchanged up to late 80s. And unlike their contemporary bands they never experienced the member replacements during 80s. The opener SOME OF THE LIES ARE TRUE is crunchy, upbeat rock song featuring Chris Hayes's excellent guitar solo. But they got the title wrong. It should have been SOONER OR LATER. (In Japan, it was released under the title of SOONER OR LATER). NOW HERE'S TO YOU is another great song, somewhat similar in style to IF THIS IS IT from SPORTS. TROUBLE IN PARADISE is another commitment song which could even fit into SPORTS or FORE.
Verdict: Unrefined but it's still Heuy Lewis and the News 80s rock fans love.
Rating: 83 out of 100
Recommended for: Every Heuy Lewis fan, Early 80s rock fans and debut album collectors.
Huey Lewis And The News is not as good an album as Sports, despite what Bay Area fans seem to insist, but, if you did like Sports and/or have enjoyed Huey Lewis and The News over the years, the debut album becomes a "must have", mostly because the music is so similar to their later efforts. However, it is alo quality music exhibiting the potential of a band that would culminate in Sports and continue up to "Soulsville". Listen to this and you understand how this band would ultimately produce an (arguably) record of the decade in Sports (sure, Thriller sold more but it's appeal was completely different). It demonstrates how truly talented musicians and songwriters can absorb a wide variety of influences and create a totally original sound and style, and shows that, here is something to build on. This album is sort of a rarity, too, in-as-much as it's an album you want to have in your collection, not just own becuase you want to own everything associated with a band.