I will fully admit that I still enjoy the music of Huey Lewis & the News. The band is really pretty tight and there is something about their sound that just has always appealed to me. Here is a link to the issue where I published my Top 10 Huey Lewis 80s Songs. If you are a fan, I highly recommend you go check that out and it includes links to the videos for the top 4 songs on the list.
One of my most popular lists is my Top Songs from 80s Movies. Huey Lewis & the News ranks in the top 10 there with "The Power of Love" from Back to the Future. You can click on that link to go back and see the other 54 songs on the list and read what I had to say.
I recently came across an article posted on Overthinkingit.com on the topic of Huey Lewis and Back to the Future that I thought was interesting enough to share with you. You can click on that link to take you the actual article or I have taken the liberty to include it here below as well.
Huey Lewis? Where we're going we don't need Huey Lewis!
posted by sheely on Sunday, January 18th, 2009
Over the past week, the Overthinking It team has subjected the Back to the Future trilogy to a level of scrutiny it definitely deserves, pointing out a wide variety of paradoxes, inconsistencies, and unanswered questions regarding the series. Because these analyses have focused on the logical, metaphysical, and technological aspects of time-travel within the plot of the three BTTF movies, they haven't touched on what I consider to be one of the most interesting puzzles in the series: The Huey Paradox.
The Huey Paradox is jointly produced by two features of the BTTF trilogy: the overwhelming number of references to Huey Lewis throughout Back to the Future, along with his near absence in the other two films in the series. Songs by Huey Lewis and the News are the first and last music that you hear in part one of the trilogy: Marty listens to "The Power of Love" as he skateboards to school (and again after getting a kiss from Jennifer under the clock tower), and "Back in Time" plays on his clock radio the morning after he returns from 1955 (and is reprised over the end credits). In addition, Huey Lewis himself makes a brief cameo as one of the high school teachers who deems Marty's band "too loud" to play at the school dance, cutting off their instrumental noise-metal rendition of "The Power of Love" after about 30 seconds. Huey also reappears briefly as a fedora-wearing man who briefly stares at Marty's "life preserver" puffy vest in 1950s Hill Valley.
In many ways, using Huey Lewis and the News as a shorthand for 80s popular culture was an inspired choice by the filmmakers; by the early 80s the band had really come into their own, commercially and artistically. The band's sound and on-stage personas managed to tie together the three of the biggest elements of early eighties pop music: the Soft-Soul of artists like Hall and Oates, the synthesized sheen of new wave, and many of the classic hard rock influences that informed their spandex-clad pop metal contemporaries. The amalgamation of these three musical elements led to the critical and commercial success of their 1983 release Sports, and even inspired Ray Parker Jr. to rip off one of their melodies for the Ghostbusters theme song (eventually leading to a lawsuit and settlement in favor of Lewis).
The selection of Huey Lewis as a representative element of 80s pop culture in Back to the Future was also a self-fulfilling prophecy: on the strength of their inclusion in the film, both "The Power of Love" and "Back in Time" became hits in 1985, giving Lewis his first #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100. On the strength of these singles, the band's next full-length album, Fore! became a mega-hit, reaching the top of the Billboard albums chart and producing five top ten hit singles.
Given Huey Lewis's prominent placement in Back to the Future, and the role that the film had played in his chart dominance in 1986 and 1987, it would have been logical to expect more Huey in Parts II and III of the series... maybe another theme song or four, a few more period-relevant cameos, another music video tie-in? Instead, almost all evidence of Lewis's association with the franchise is erased in the sequels: in Part II, the 2015 version of Marty plays a barely recognizable version of the chord progression to "The Power of Love" after getting fired for engaging in white collar crime, and at the end of Part III, Needles is listening to the song in his truck when he challenges Marty to a drag race.
Why is Huey Lewis inescapable throughout much of the original Back To The Future, but nearly absent from the other two movies in the series? The underthought answer is that because the last two movies in the series spend very little time in the 1980s, there is simply no opportunity to bring in Huey Lewis in those films. However, Lewis's appearance in the first installment isn't limited to the appearance of his songs as diegetic music in 1980s Hill Valley: Huey himself has a cameo as a resident of the 1955 version of the town. Moreover, 1980s pop culture manage to make their way the depictions of both 2015 and 1885 by way of the nostaglia-driven 80's cafe in Part II and the appearance of ZZ Top as the hoedown band in Part III.
Instead, the main reason that Huey Lewis disappeared faster than Marty's brother's head is that the popular culture had already moved on in the four years following the release of Back to the Future. By the time of the release of BTTF Part II in 1989, "The Power of Love" was already old news and Small World, the band's follow-up to Fore! flopped commercially. Indeed it is telling that even by 1988, Huey barely cracked the Hot 100 or the Modern Rock charts, instead achieving his biggest chart success on the Adult Contemporary chart. Although the rise of alternative rock in the early 90s was the final nail in the coffin, by 1989 it already seemed that Huey's pop culture relevance would be limited to the nostalgia industry and roles in movies about karaoke hustlers.
And yet, pop cultural time doesn't always move in a neat, unilinear way. When Seth Rogen and David Gordon Green tapped Huey Lewis to write the theme song for Pineapple Express, it definitely seemed that all of the elements had aligned for a major Huey renaissance. The theme song did receive a bit of attention from music and film blogs, but the real pop culture breakthrough from that film was M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes", which became a top 10 hit, a YouTube sensation, and earned a Grammy nomination, all as a result of the song's inclusion in the Pineapple Express trailer. Even though 2008 wasn't to be the year where Huey Lewis became the king of cool once again, M.I.A.'s unlikely Apatow-driven crossover success managed to carry on the spirit of his 1985 Back to the Future heyday in an unexpected way.
I would be all for a Huey Lewis comeback into prominence, but I will probably have to settle for my favorites from the 80s. I really thought this article was an interesting look at the "Huey Paradox" and, looking back now, I am surprised he did not have a theme song or more prominent role in the sequels. I am not sure if that would have made any difference, but the article makes an intriguing observation. I am a fan and will continue to be a fan of Huey Lewis & the News regardless.
That'll do it for another issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks as always for reading. If you are interested in reading any of my other 80s related issues, please click there for a summary of those. You can also always click on the Archives in the upper left hand column or use the Google Search Box at the top of the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. If you are a fan of Kickin' it, PLEASE CLICK ON THE FACEBOOK LOGO in the upper right hand column. This will take you to the new Fan Page where I ask you to then click on "Become a Fan". Even if you are not a Facebook member yet, please consider joining and registering as a fan at that page. Let other 80s fans know about it as well! Peace and much love.
Check this out: I was recently sent this rant by someone and I found it to be humorous and mostly true. I would think you have to be at least in your mid-30's to appreciate it, but most of us 80s fans will definitely be able to relate. It reminded me of some of the Child of the 80s posts I made a while back. This one is quite a rant, so enjoy...
When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were.
When they were growing up; what with walking Twenty-five miles to school every morning.. ... Uphill...BOTH ways....Yadda, yadda, yadda
And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!
But now that... I'm over the ripe old age of Thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.
You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!
And I hate to say it but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it! I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet.
If we wanted to know something, We had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue or in an encyclopedia, not on Wikipedia!!
There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter, with a pen!
Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!
There were no MP3's or Napster! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself!
Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up!
We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it! And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your Bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!!
You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!
We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution
3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'.
Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever! And you could never win.
The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!
Sure, we had cable television, but back then it was only channels 2 thru 13, and sometimes if you were lucky, you got a few channels between 14 and 63. There was no on screen menu and no remote control! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on!
You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel.
There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning.
Do you Hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rats!
And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove ... Imagine that! If we wanted Popcorn, we had to use that stupid Jiffy Pop thing and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot.
That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids Today have got it too easy. You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted Five minutes back in 1980!
Regards, The over 30 Crowd
Quote of the day: "My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require." -Edward Elgar