Friday, October 26, 2012

FDF Volume 3 Issue 284 - Huey Lewis & The News - Fore!

Album – Fore!
Artist – Huey Lewis and the News
Key Players - Sean Hopper –keyboards, vocals. Chris Hayes – lead guitar, vocals. Bill Gibson– drums, percussion and vocals. Johnny Colla – saxophone, guitar and vocals. Mario Cipollina – bass. Huey Lewis – lead vocals, harmonica.

Produced By – Huey Lewis and the News

Release Date – September 26. 1986

What caused me to blow off the dust? -Hey I need to mix it up now and then too!

Overview – This is the fourth studio album from San Francisco California band Huey Lewis and the News. Formed in 1979 the band would mix pop with a hint of the blues and a dash of soul and find huge success in the mid 1980's and early 1990's. Earlier in their career some of the members were Elvis Costellos backing band on “My Aim is True” and at one point they were not the “News” but “the American Express”. MTV would be a huge tipping point for the band. This album would continue on the success of “Sports” and would go to #1 on the Billboard charts. It would contain five top ten singles (two went to #1).

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The ten track album opens with “Jacobs Ladder”. The full band comes in with guitars, bass and drums. There are some keyboards, but once Lewis begins to sing everyone peels off some and just light fills from Hayes or Cipollina are heard as it builds towards the chorus. Hayes takes a short, but clean guitar solo. Nearly every member sings back up to Lewis so the harmonies are nice and the track has a full vocal feel. Cipollina has his bass a bit high in the mix at times, but Hayes solos a second time as the track fades. Gibson kicks off “Stuck With You” and Hayes has a choppy, yet clean guitar sound. Lewis has the deep smoky baritone and the playful guitar over the top plays well with some of the keyboard fills from Hopper. Hopper gets his time after the second chorus where in lieu of a guitar solo he gets the spotlight. There is some fun harmonies to open up “Whole Lotta Lovin”. Having the feel of an older doo-wop track for the first verse is really top notch before the full band comes in. Hayes and Gibson are quick to get things moving. Colla offers up that second guitar and it has then it feels a bit more rock-a-billy. Lewis gets a turn on harmonica and its just that right length before the band comes back in. A solid track that was probably skipped by many when this album was getting dozens of spins a week. Shows the band is far more than just a “pop” band. Another huge single from the record comes in“Doing it All for My Baby”. The backing horns on many tracks for the band on this, and in the past came from Tower of Power. Hopper on piano right along with the horn section has the big intro. It is a mid-tempo track that has a fun backbeat to keep your toes tapping. Hayes flutter as few guitar lines here, but its a laid back fun song. It has aged well to these ears. The band is no set of slouches that is for sure. Hayes has a clean solo once more on the guitar and the horns really reach out and pull you in. Hopper alternates from a piano sound to a heavier organ sound. A solid single from this record. Keeping the hits coming you get “Hip to Be Square” right away. I had no idea on this...and don't adjust your screen on this bit of news. Giving backing vocal support on this track (and the next) were Joe Montana (yes..that one), Dwight Clark, Ricki Ellison, Ronnie Lott, Herome Fletcher, Mike Duke, Ralph Arista, Jim Moran and Stephen “Doc” Kupka”. Yeah it is okay to read that again. Stephen “Doc” Kupka from Tower of Power offered up the Baritone saxophone section here as well. It was hard to escape this track on the radio in 1986 (Be sure to check the music section below for a curious observation of how the track was used). As the song wraps up Gibson gets way over on the bell of the ride cymbal and Hopper swtiches to organ, the Tower of Power gets rolling, it almost seems to fade a little too early. A third big single in a row keeps this going as “I Know What I Like”. Gibson and Hayes are off to the races on this and Hopper chimes in. Cipollina is heard a bit better once Lewis begins to sing. Personally this was one of my favorite of the 'singles' from the album, if not my favorite. The backing vocal, call and response sections are what I seemed to like. “I Never Walk Alone” has a keyboard intro led by Hopper and the whole band comes in. Lewis, how doesn't have a huge range, pushes himself on this track. Again there are some terrific harmonies on this track. Hayes flies out of the gate trading sections with Hopper as “Forest for the Trees” begins. It flows in to a little more laid back tempo, but Gibson keeps a tight ship as always. “Naturally” is a fully a'capella do-wop, vocal frenzy. When I was 16 I probably rolled my eyes, but now, I go back and listen again. Impressive. The album concludes with “Simple as That”and Tower of Power returns. This is one of the slower tracks on the album, but don't let that fool you in thinking it is not a full sounding track. Sure the horns add to it, and Hopper seems to stretch out some on the keybaords and the backing vocals are easy and smooth.

Where are they now? - The band is still active both in the studio and as a touring act. Mario Cipollina left the band in 1995. Chris Hayes also left the band. He left in 2000 to spend more time with his family.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – Freely admitting I've seen the band. Once actually on this very tour. Aprl 26, 1987 at the Centrum in Worcester MA. I don't recall a ton about it, other than it being pretty spot on versions of the songs I wanted to hear.

FDF Overall Take – You could not escape this band for a few years and at the time when MTV was showing videos they latched on to clever and fun ideas. They are a talented group of guys and some may see it as 80's throw back act. They may have had their most success commercially 20+ years ago, but that doens't mean it wasn't good then, or now. Listening back this is a very talented band, and the harmonies are solid. It is just a fun record, you should go back and listen with that adult ear, you might be surprised they are far more hip than you think.


Curious? Check out some MUSIC!
All of these will take you back...miss MTV yet???
Doing it All for My Baby (man love long videos!!)
Just because..Hip to Be Square discussed in the film “American Psycho”. (note he says 87..but it was 86) here

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.


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