Music Video of the Day: Workin’ For A Livin’ by Huey Lewis and the News (1982, directed by ????)

If you go to YouTube, one of the comments under this video simply states, “Huey Lewis was the 80s.” It’s a simple statement but it’s also a true statement. For better or worse, Huey Lewis and the News epitomize an era. Personally, I think they may be one of the most underrated bands of the decade. They turned being a bar band into an art form, with songs that were both unpretentious and instantly catchy.

A lot of people make fun of them as a result of how Bret Easton Ellis used them in American Psycho but what they miss is that Ellis didn’t make fun of the band as much as he made fun of the depths that Patrick Bateman went to find some sort of hidden meaning in their straight-forward and always transparently sincere music.

Speaking of being straight forward, that’s a good description of both this song and this video. This is Huey Lewis showing that they didn’t need a bunch of gimmicks to rock. They just needed a stage.


Music Video of the Day: It Hit Me Like A Hammer by Huey Lewis and the News (1991, directed by Nigel Dick)

Huey Lewis & the News were a band who epitomized the early to mid-80s and their music videos played a large part in MTV’s initial popularity. Unfortunately, by the time 1991 rolled around, the band and its style of music was being overshadowed by the growing popularity of both rap and grunge. It Hit Me Like A Hammer was the band’s final top 40 hit in the United States. One of the cool things about Huey Lewis and the News is that, in contrast to a lot of other bands trying to make the transition from the 80s to the 90s, they didn’t change their sound. Huey didn’t start trying to rap. The band didn’t start wearing flannel and covering the Pixies. Instead, they remained who they were, a rocking and unpretentious bar band who wrote songs for people looking to have a good time.

This video was directed by Nigel Dick, who is one of those music video directors who worked with everyone and who still works with everyone. At last count, he has directed over 500 videos.


Music Video of the Day: Bad is Bad by Huey Lewis and the News (1984, directed by ????)

Today’s music video features a linguistic lesson from Huey Lewis.

Perhaps realizing that a generation was being raised to think that “bad” was the proper way to describe something as being cool, Huey uses this song to remind his fans that sometimes, bad just means that something’s bad.  Sometimes, your cousin plays the guitar and it sounds like chainsaw.  Sometimes, there’s a strange pair of shows under the bed.  Sometimes, bad is bad.

To make their point, the band performs the song while walking around the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco.  What better way was there to do that?  It’s not every day that you see Huey Lewis and the News walking behind a garbage truck.


Music Video of the Day: Hip To Be Square by Huey Lewis and the News (1986, directed by Godley & Creme)

“Everyone thinks I’m the boy next door because I look like the boy next door. But look at my parents, and look where I come from. I’m a beatnik kid.”

— Huey Lewis

For the record, Huey Lewis has always insisted that the lyrics of Hip To Be Square are meant to be ironic.  They were originally written in the third person and were meant to satirize the band’s clean-cut image.  Because Huey Lewis and the News were older than the average rock band when they hit it big, they were often considered to be safe or conservative.  In real life, Huey Lewis was the stepson of beat poet Lew Welch, whom Lewis has described as being a major influence on his life and music.  (Huey, who was born Hugh Cregg III, even paid tribute to Lew Welch with his stage name.)  After high school, Lewis hitchhiked through Europe and he spent several years as a part of San Francisco’s decidedly unsquare music scene.

Despite what Patrick Bateman might try to tell you, Hip To Be Square was never meant to be an anthem for square people.  In concert, Lewis usually makes this point square by signing the song as Too Hip to Be Square.

The video was directed by the team of Kevin Godley and Lol Creme, who directed several memorable music videos in the 80s.  Godley and Creme directed this video using the type of medical cameras that are typically inserted into a human body to allow doctor to get a closer look at what might be ailing you.  The video was nominated for Best Experimental Video at the 1987 MTV Music Video Awards.


Music Video of The Day: I Want A New Drug by Huey Lewis and the News (1984, directed by David Rathod)

Despite what Patrick Bateman might try to tell you, Huey Lewis and the News has never been a band that most people would associate with drugs.  Instead, Huey Lewis and the News wrote and performed the type of songs that you might expect to hear in a sports bar (albeit a sports bar with an 80s theme).  If you need proof, just take a look at the cover of their third album, 1983’s Sports:

That cover sums up who Huey Lewis And The News were as a band.  While only the members of the band can say for sure what they did behind closed doors, most people would look at this cover and say that these weren’t the guys you’d find smoking weed and debating philosophy or doing coke and going crazy on Wall Street.  These were the guys who were waiting for you to come down to the local bar and shoot some pool, with the winner buying the next round.

Ironically, one of their biggest hits was so widely misinterpreted as being a pro-drug song that they actually made a music video with the expressed intent to show everyone that it wasn’t.  I Want A New Drug wasn’t about wanting a new drug.  It was about being so in love with a woman that the feeling was better than anything that any drug could provide.

The video features Huey waking up late and remembering that he has a show that night.  He races across San Francisco and, noticeably, he doesn’t do a single drug during the journey.  He does spot a woman played by Signy Coleman, whose mom was friends with Huey’s mom.

This video was directed by David Rathod, who also directed the videos for two other songs from Huey Lewis and the News, Heart and Soul and He Don’t Know.


Scenes I Love: American Psycho


Last week I put up as one of the entries for the 27 Days of Old School the classic song by Huey Lewis and the News. That song is “Hip to be Square” and I wrote how that song has become famous as not just being part of a great album of the 80’s, but due to the fact that it became the soundtrack to one of the best scenes from Marry Harron’s American Psycho.

Patrick Bateman’s personal take on “Hip to be Square” resonates not just as a description of the song but of the 1980’s as well.

“Do you like Huey Lewis & The News? Their early work was a little too ‘new-wave’ for my taste, but when Sports came out in ’83, I think they really came into their own – both commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He’s been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far more bitter, cynical sense of humour. In ’87, Huey released this, Fore, their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is ‘Hip To Be Square’, a song so catchy most people probably don’t listen to the lyrics – but they should! Because it’s not just about the pleasures of conformity, and the importance of trends, it’s also a personal statement about the band itself! Hey Paul!”

27 Days of Old School: #6 “Hip to Be Square” (by Huey Lewis and the News)



For most people their experience with Huey Lewis and the News’ hit track “Hip to be Square” was due to it being used in American Psycho. It was already a great song before that film came out and continues to remain so, but now it’s taken on an even dark comedic tone.

I used to listen to this song non-stop when it first came out. Now, whenever I listen to it I start seeing Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman dancing to the song while dressed in a plastic raincoat. But before that it was always a catchy song and, dare I say it, a very hip one.

I actually prefer the band’s “Power of Love” track, but this song has to be next in line when it came to my favorite track from the band.

I’ve wondered what my younger self would think about this song now being associated with American Psycho. The answer I always get is that my younger self would think it was cool and hip (ok, ok stopping it there).

Song of the Day: The Power of Love (by Huey Lewis and the News)


I had no choice in the matter. The moment Lisa Marie posted her review of Back to the Future as part of her “Back to School” review series I had no choice but to post the latest “Song of the Day” in honor of her latest review.

The latest featured song is none other than the best-selling single from the Back to the Future soundtrack (one I owned and treasured growing up to the point I wore out that vinyl) by the S.F.-based rock band Huey Lewis and the News. The song is “The Power of Love” and I must admit that I pretty much know this song by heart and can belt it out pretty well. Give me enough alcohol and I’m more than likely request it as the next karaoke song and I’ll grab that mic stand and channel my inner Huey Lewis.

This song may not be metal, but it definitely was a sound of the 80’s and I’d be hard pressed to find anyone who lived during the 1980’s and not have heard this song.

The Power of Love

The power of love is a curious thing
make a one man weep, make another man sing
Change a hawk to a little white dove
more than a feeling, that’s the power of love

Tougher than diamonds, rich like cream
Stronger and harder than a bad girl’s dream
make a bad one good make a wrong one right
power of love that keeps you home at night

Chorus 1 :
You don’t need money, don’t take fame
Don’t need no credit card to ride this train
It’s strong and it’s sudden and it’s cruel sometimes
but it might just save your life
That’s the power of love
That’s the power of love

First time you feel it, it might make you sad
Next time you feel it it might make you mad
But you’ll be glad baby when you’ve found
that’s the power makes the world go’round

Chorus 2 :
And it don’t take money, don’t take fame
don’t need no credit card to ride this train
It’s strong and it’s sudden it can be cruel sometimes
but it might just save your life

They say that all in love is fair
yeah, but you don’t care
But you know what to do
when it gets hold of you
and with a little help from above
you feel the power of love
you feel the power of love
Can you feel it ?

Chorus 3 :
It don’t take money and it don’t take fame
don’t need no credit card to ride this train
Tougher than diamonds and stronger than steel
you won’t feel nothin’ till you feel
you feel the power, just FEEL the power of love
That’s the power, that’s the power of love
You feel the power of love
you feel the power of love
feel the power of love