Wednesday, December 31, 1986

Pop Memories 1890-1954 – Top 100 Artists

image from recordresearch.com

This list is taken from page 623 of Joel Whitburn’s Pop Memories 1890-1954. That book was designed as a companion to the Billboard books which tracked the songs which charted on the Hot 100 from 1955 to the present. The book lists acts alphabetically and all their hits, including peak position and date first charted. This list was created by totaling each act’s chart points.

1. Bing Crosby
2. Paul Whiteman
3. Guy Lombardo
4. Tommy Dorsey
5. Billy Murray
6. Benny Goodman
7. Glenn Miller
8. Henry Burr
9. Peerless Quartet
10. Harry MacDonough

11. Ben Selvin
12. Ted Lewis
13. Al Jolson
14. Sammy Kaye
15. Arthur Collins and Byron Harlan
16. Perry Como
17. Jimmy Dorsey
18. Frank Sinatra
19. Charles Adams Prince
20. The Andrews Sisters

21. Freddy Martin
22. Kay Kyser
23. John McCormack
24. Leo Reisman
25. Isham Jones
26. Rudy Vallee
27. Eddy Duchin
28. American Quartet
29. Dinah Shore
30. Harry James

31. Jo Stafford
32. Haydn Quartet
33. Ada Jones
34. Duke Ellington
35. Louis Armstrong
36. Vaughn Monroe
37. Fats Waller
38. Glen Gray
39. Jan Garber
40. Hal Kemp

41. The Mills Brothers
42. Ruth Etting
43. Byron Harlan
44. Gene Austin
45. Ray Noble
46. Russ Morgan
47. Nat Shilkret
48. Fred Waring
49. Arthur Collins
50. Nat “King” Cole

51. Albert Campbell
52. Artie Shaw
53. George Olsen
54. Horace Heidt
55. Len Spencer
56. Frankie Laine
57. Ada Jones and Billy Murray
58. Enrico Caruso
59. Woody Herman
60. Frank Stanley

61. Marion Harris
62. Cal Stewart
63. The Ink Spots
64. Eddy Howard
65. Ella Fitzgerald
66. Ben Bernie
67. Dick Haymes
68. Walter Van Brunt
69. Patti Page
70. Nora Bayes

71. Dan Quinn
72. Eddie Fisher
73. Bob Crosby
74. Fred Astaire
75. Larry Clinton
76. Cab Calloway
77. Shep Fields
78. Margaret Whiting
79. George J. Gaskin
80. Charles Harrison

81. Doris Day
82. Bert Williams
83. Billie Holiday
84. Teddy Wilson
85. Ozzie Nelson
86. J.W. Myers
87. Ted Weems
88. Wayne King
89. Tony Martin
90. Vic Damone

91. Lewis James
92. Frank Crumit
93. Peggy Lee
94. Vincent Lopez
95. Cliff Edwrads
96. John Phillip Sousa
97. Vess Ossman
98. Connee Boswell
99. Kay Starr
100. Johnny Mercer


Resources:
  • Joel Whitburn (1991). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Record Research: Menomonee Falls, WI. Page 623.

Saturday, December 20, 1986

The Bangles hit #1 with “Walk Like an Egyptian”

First posted 12/8/2020.

Walk Like an Egyptian

The Bangles

Writer(s): Liam Sternberg (see lyrics here)


Released: September 1, 1986


First Charted: September 13, 1986


Peak: 14 US, 11 CB, 12 RR, 1 CO, 3 UK, 11 CN, 12 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.25 UK, 1.3 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 109.34 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

Liam Sternberg was part of the Akron, Ohio, music scene in the ‘70s. He worked with Jane Aire & the Belvederes and wrote songs for Rachel Sweet, but didn’t find any real success. He did, however, find one-hit wonder status as a songwriter with “Walk Like an Egytian.” While riding a ferry boat across the English Channel, he noticed that as people struggled to maintain their balance, they held up their arms like they were doing Egyptian movements. SF

He recorded a demo of the song with singer Marti Jones in 1984. He offered it to Toni Basil, who had a #1 hit in 1982 with “Mickey,” but she turned it down. Lene Lovich recorded the song, but she decided to take a break from music to raise a family and the song went unreleased. Dave Kahne, who produced the Bangles’ Different Light album, got a copy of the demo and presented it to the Bangles.

He had each of the four members sing the song, eventually opting to have Vicki Peterson, Michael Steele, and Susanna Hoffs each sing a verse. WK Kahne didn’t like Debbie Peterson’s vocal, so he relegated her to backing vocals. She was even more angry when a drum machine was also used instead of her drumming. WK As for the whistling in the song – none of them do it. It was done by machine. WK

The band didn’t think the song would be released because it was “a goofy romp” and “too weird.” SF However, it was the third single from the Different Light album, following the success of the #2 hit “Manic Monday” and “If She Knew What She Wants” (#29). It became their best-selling album with 3 million copies and highest charting, reaching #2. Not only did “Walk Like an Egyptian” go to #1 in the U.S., but became Billboard magazine’s top song of the year.


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Bangles
  • DMDB page for parent album Different Light
  • BR1 Fred Bronson (2007). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (4th edition). New York, NY; Billboard Books. Page 656.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

The Beastie Boys charted with “Fight for Your Right”: December 20, 1986

Originally posted December 20, 2011.

image from imstars.aufeminin.com

The fourth single from the Beastie Boys’ debut album made them a household name. Their goofy wit and party atmosphere endured them to millions – millions who flocked to buy the parent album, Licensed to Ill and give the Beasties the distinction of being the first rap group in U.S. history to hit #1 on the Billboard album chart.

The song – and the success of the album – owed much to the Beasties’ combination of metal and rap. The Beastie Boys were “just three kids from rich New York families who liked black culture.” CR With the help of producer Rick Rubin, they merged the sounds of Led Zeppelin with the style of old school rap. It wasn’t the first time rock and rap had found chart success – just months earlier, Rubin helped Run-D.M.C. get a top 5 U.S. pop hit with their remake of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” – aided by Aerosmith’s own Steven Tyler and Joe Perry.

“Fight for Your Right” was intended as a parody of the kind of “beer-soaked, panty-raiding rock jam that ruled fraternity houses and dingy bars alike.” TB The video, which depicted “the party that is every suburban parent’s worst nightmare” TB played up the parody and garnered it plenty of spins on MTV.

Unfortunately, as member Mike D said, “There were tons of guys singing along to ‘Fight for Your Right’ who were oblivious to the fact it was a total goof on them.” WK In fact, the song was reportedly cut just as a joke. Once the group became superstars thanks to their new frat-boy fanbase, they played up the roles until, according to Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch, they had become their own joke. SF

In time, the group would come to be very respected for their experimental music and ability to merge different genres. Rap group Public Enemy was on board early, even sampling the song for their own 1988 “Party for Your Right to Fight”.

You Gotta Fight for Your Right to Party


Awards:



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Friday, December 19, 1986

Judge refuses to reinstate a lawsuit against Ozzy Osbourne’s “Suicide Solution”: December 19, 1986

Originally posted December 19, 2011.



October 26, 1984: 19-year-old John McCullum committed suicide in his home in California. His parents brought a lawsuit against heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne and his CBS record label. The McCullums were convinced that the song “Suicide Solution” from Ozzy’s Blizzard of Oz album, played a part in their son’s death. They claimed the song had hidden lyrics which incited their son to kill himself and that the song urged listeners to “get the gun and try it, shoot, shoot, shoot.” HI Osbourne responded that the song was actually anti-suicide, written in response to a musician who drank himself to death, HI supposedly AC/DC’s Bon Scott. WK

The crux of the lawsuit depended on the idea that while it is legal to express a viewpoint or feeling, it is illegal to directly call for any specific violent responses. Specifically, in the case of Brandenburg v. Ohio, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that “expression advocating violent or otherwise illegal behavior only loses First Amendment protection if the expression is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless behavior, and is likely to result in such action.” TJ Because this is hard to prove, similar lawsuits brought against other entertainers have generally failed. On December 19, 1986, a judge in California refused to reinstate the lawsuit.





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Saturday, November 29, 1986

Bruce Springsteen live box set debuted at #1

First posted 2/14/2011; updated 11/16/2020.

Live 1975/1985

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band


Released: November 10, 1986


Recorded: October 18, 1975 to September 30, 1985


Peak: 17 US, 4 UK, 17 CN, 3 AU


Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 0.1 UK, 12.3 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: classic heartland rock


Tracks:

Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts. Chart information is for original studio releases for pre-1986 songs. The raised numbers indicate the studio album on which the song was originally featured.

Disc 1:

  1. Thunder Road (1975, 1 CL) 3
  2. Adam Raised a Cain (1978, 42 CL) 4
  3. Spirit in the Night (5/73, 9 CL) 1
  4. 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) (1973, 9 CL) 2
  5. Paradise by the “C”
  6. Fire (11/22/86, 46 US, 54 UK, 14 AR)
  7. Growin’ Up (1973, 19 CL) 1
  8. It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City (1973, 23 CL) 1
  9. Backstreets (1975, 12 CL) 3
  10. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (1973, 4 CL) 2
  11. Raise Your Hand (12/20/86, 44 AR)
  12. Hungry Heart (10/21/80, 5 US, 6 CB, 3 CL, 28 UK, 5 CN, 33 AU) 5
  13. Two Hearts 5

Disc 2:

  1. Cadillac Ranch (3/28/81, 48 AR, 11 CL) 5
  2. You Can Look But You Better Not Touch 5
  3. Independence Day 5
  4. Badlands (8/78, 42 US, 52 CB, 6 CL, 44 CN) 4
  5. Because the Night (12/6/86, 22 AR)
  6. Candy’s Room (1978, 11 CL) 4
  7. Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978, 17 CL) 4
  8. Racing in the Street (1978, 11 CL) 4
  9. This Land Is Your Land
  10. Nebraska 6
  11. Johnny 99 (10/9/82, 50 AR) 6
  12. Reason to Believe 6
  13. Born in the U.S.A. (6/23/84, 9 US, 6 CB, 8 AR, 5 UK, 11 CN, 2 AU, gold single) 7
  14. Seeds

Disc 3:

  1. The River (6/13/81, 19 CL, 35 UK) 5
  2. War (11/22/86, 8 US, 18 UK, 4 AR)
  3. Darlington County 7
  4. Working on the Highway 7
  5. The Promised Land (10/78, 21 CL) 4
  6. Cover Me (6/23/84, 7 US, 16 UK, 2 AR, gold single) 7
  7. I’m on Fire (2/16/85, 5a US, 5 UK, 6 AC, 4 AR) 7
  8. Bobby Jean (6/23/84, 36 AR) 7
  9. My Hometown (11/21/85, 6 US, 7 CB, 11 AC, 6 AR, 9 UK, 16 CN, 47 AU, gold single) 7
  10. Born to Run (8/25/75, 23 US, 1 CL, 16 UK, 53 CN, 38 AU) 3
  11. No Surrender (6/16/84, 29 AR) 7
  12. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out (1/10/76, 83 US, 5 CL, 82 CN) 3
  13. Jersey Girl

1 Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ (1973)
2 The Wild, the Innocent, & the Street Shuffle (1973)
3 Born to Run (1975)
4 Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)
5 The River (1980)
6 Nebraska (1982)
7 Born in the U.S.A. (1984)


Total Running Time: 216:13


The Players:

  • Bruce Springsteen (vocals, guitar, harmonica)
  • Roy Bittan (piano, synthesizer, backing vocals)
  • Clarence Clemons (saxophone, percussion, backing vocals)
  • Danny Federici (organ, accordian, glockenspiel, piano, synthesizer, backing vocals)
  • Nils Lofgren (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Patti Scialfa (backing vocals, synthesizer)
  • Garry Tallent (bass, backing vocals)
  • Steve Van Zandt (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Max Weinberg (drums)

Rating:

4.084 out of 5.00 (average of 17 ratings)


Quotable: --


Awards:

About the Album:

“Long before he sold substantial numbers of records, Bruce Springsteen began to earn a reputation as the best live act in rock & roll. Fans had been clamoring for a live album for a long time, and with Live/1975-85 they got what they wanted, at least in terms of bulk. His concerts were marathons, and this box set, including 40 tracks and running over three and a half hours, was about the average length of a show.” AMG

Anticipation was so high, the album generated over 1.5 million advance orders, the largest dollar-volume pre-order in record business history at that time. WK The album debuted at #1, a feat last seen a decade earlier with Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life. It was the first five-record set to reach the top 10 and the first to sell more than a million copies. WK The album was certified for sales of 12 million; U.S. sales were actually 4 million, but the RIAA multiplies that figure by the number of discs in the collection. The only live album certified for more was Garth Brooks’ Double Live at 13 times platinum. WK

“In his brief liner notes, Springsteen spoke of the emergence of the album’s ‘story’ as he reviewed live tapes, and that story seems nothing less than a history of his life, his concerns, and his career. The first cuts present the Springsteen of the early to mid-‘70s; these performances, most of them drawn from a July 1978 show at the Roxy in Los Angeles, present the romantic, hopeful, earnest Springsteen.” AMG

“The second section begins with his first Top Ten hit, Hungry Heart – this is the Springsteen of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, an arena rock star with working-class concerns. After an acoustic mini set given largely to material from Nebraska – songs of economic desperation and crime – comes a reshuffling of Born in the U.S.A., songs in which the artist and his characters start to fight back and rock out.” AMG Surprisingly, ‘Dancing in the Dark,” his #2 hit from that album and highest-charting song of his career, doesn’t make the cut. He does, of course, include his most iconic song, Born to Run, the “unofficial state anthem” AMG of New Jersey.

Reviews were “overwhelmingly positive,” WK but some critics cited the omission of concert highlights such as “Prove It All Night,” “The Fever,” and his cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain.” WK “Fans could rejoice in the seven previously unreleased songs,” AMG which included a cover of Edwin Starr’s War and Fire, a song written by Springsteen and a top-ten hit for the Pointer Sisters in 1979.

Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, November 15, 1986

Nov. 15, 1986: Robert Cray's Strong Persuader hit the charts

First posted May 29, 2008. Last updated September 9, 2018.

Strong Persuader

Robert Cray

Charted: Nov. 15, 1986


Sales (in millions):
US: 2.0
UK: --
IFPI: --
World (estimated): 2.0


Peak:
US: 13
UK: 34
Canada: 34
Australia: --

Quotable: --


Genre: blues


Album Tracks:

  1. Smoking Gun (11/29/86, #22 US, #2 AR)
  2. I Guess I Showed Her (3/28/87, #28 AR)
  3. Right Next Door (Because of Me) (5/9/87, #80 US, #50 UK, #27 AR)
  4. Nothin’ But a Woman
  5. Still Around
  6. More Than I Can Stand
  7. Foul Play
  8. I Wonder
  9. Fantasized
  10. New Blood

Notes: A 1995 reissue added a bonus live disc.


Singles/Hit Songs:

Click here for the chart codes for singles/hit songs.

Review:

Strong Persuader, Cray’s fifth studio album, was his mainstream breakthrough, opening up blues to a wider audience than it had received in decades. The Village Voice, Robert Christgau called it “the first album to break out of the genre’s sales ghetto since B.B. King was a hot item” WK and “the best blues record in many, many years.” WK

It was Cray’s “innovative expansion of the genre itself that makes this album a genuine 1980s classic.” BD In his Rolling Stone review, Jon Pareles called it “a version of blues and soul that doesn't come from any one region, building an idiom for songs that tell with conversational directness the stories of ordinary folks.” WK

The album was heavily praised by Christgau for the “fervently crafted” WK “songwriting of his supporting studio team.” WK Pareles gave it props for “intriguing stories about sex and infidelity with disciplined singing, songwriting.” WK

“Cray’s smoldering stance on Smoking Gun and Right Next Door rendered him the first sex symbol to emerge from the blues field in decades.” BDNothing but a Woman boasts an irresistible groove pushed by the Memphis Horns and some metaphorically inspired lyrics, while I Wonder and Guess I Showed Her sizzle with sensuality.” BD

The Village Voice called it the third best album of the year WK and Rolling Stone named it the 42nd best album of the ‘80s. WK


Review Source(s):

Awards:


Related DMDB Link(s):


Saturday, October 25, 1986

Bon Jovi hit #1 with Slippery When Wet: October 25, 1986

First posted 2/19/2008; updated 11/24/2020.

Slippery When Wet

Bon Jovi


Released: August 18, 1986


Peak: 18 US, 6 UK, 18 CN, 16 AU


Sales (in millions): 12.0 US, 1.0 UK, 28.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: pop metal/hair band


Tracks:

Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Let It Rock
  2. You Give Love a Bad Name (8/9/86, 1 US, 14 UK, 9 AR)
  3. Livin’ on a Prayer (10/25/86, 1 US, 4 UK, 1 AR)
  4. Social Disease
  5. Wanted Dead or Alive (11/1/86, 6a US, 13 UK, 13 AR)
  6. Raise Your Hands
  7. Without Love
  8. I’d Die for You
  9. Never Say Goodbye (3/14/87, 28a US, 21 UK, 11 AR)
  10. Wild in the Streets


Total Running Time: 43:49


The Players:

  • Jon Bon Jovi (vocals, guitar)
  • Richie Sambora (guitar, harmony and backing vocals)
  • Alec John Such (bass, backing vocals)
  • Tico Torres (drums, percussion, backing vocals)
  • David Bryan (keyboards, backing vocals)

Rating:

4.165 out of 5.00 (average of 26 ratings)


Awards:

About the Album:

Bon Jovi hit the rock scene in 1984. Their debut chart single, “Runaway”, cracked the top 40 on the pop charts and went top 5 at rock radio. However, the handful of singles which followed over the rest of that album and the next came and went with much less fanfare. It looked like Bon Jovi could well become an also-ran that would be lucky to be remembered beyond the ‘80s.

WK “The group wrote 30 songs and auditioned them for local New Jersey and New York teenagers.” WK While most of the album was written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, Desmond Child lent his talents to You Give Love a Bad Name, Livin’ on a Prayer, and Without Love. Collaboration with an outside professional songwriter worked: two of those songs were #1 hits and the band went “from minor-league poodle rockers to global superstars” RD

As “Name” was still climbing the charts, Wet found itself at #1 on the album chart. It abdicated the throne to Boston’s Third Stage the next week. After that album’s month-long stay on top, Bruce Springsteen grabbed the gold for seven weeks with his Live 1975-1975 box set. However, by the time “Prayer” became the band’s second #1 song in February 1987, the album returned to the top as well – for an additional seven weeks.

Bon Jovi may have “had little more on their minds than girls and rock-as-mythology (even the working-class anthem ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ featured a character who was forced to hock his ‘six string’), but that may only mean they had identified their audience – young white adolescent males – and were targeting it accurately.” WR “From the scantily clad car-wash girls on the inner sleeve to the ‘You lost more than that in my back seat / Yeah!’ lyrics, the album is blissfully untouched by irony and subtlety, which actually adds to its charm.” RD

Even the album title betrays the band’s aim at hormonal youth males. The band came up with the album title “Slippery When Wet after visiting strip clubs in Vancouver.” WK In addition, “the album originally was to feature a busty, 34DD woman in a wet yellow tee shirt with the album name on the front of the shirt. This original version of the cover was swapped for the wet plastic bag cover just prior to release, mainly due to the fact that Jon Bon Jovi hated the pink edging to the cover. The exception is in Japan, where most releases of the album do include the original cover art.” WK

Of course, the album wouldn’t have achieved such massive success if it were only targeted at horny male teenagers. “Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi’s mop of curls and winning smile” WR gave the group a healthy dose of sex appeal from the female front as well.

Ultimately, though, the album became a massive success because it “contains its fair share” RD of “consistently memorable tunes” RD and “competent contemporary pop/rock from its Eddie Van Halen-inspired guitar solos to the singer’s enthusiastic, husky wail (which owed a lot to Bruce Springsteen).” WRSlippery When Wet won’t change your world, but it will, undoubtedly, rock it.” RD


Notes: An import edition includes bonus tracks.

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Monday, October 20, 1986

Crowded House released “Don’t Dream It’s Over”

First posted 10/23/2020; updated 10/25/2020.

Don’t Dream It’s Over

Crowded House

Writer(s): Neil Finn (see lyrics here)


Released: October 20, 1986


Peak: 2 US, 3 CB, 3 RR, 9 AC, 11 AR, 1 CO, 25 UK, 1 CN, 8 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.4 UK, 0.4 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 211.3 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

New Zealand-born singer/songwriter Neil Finn got his big break in the late ‘70s when older brother Tim invited him to join his band Split Enz. Over the next few years, Neil assumed co-frontman duties (most notably on 1980’s “I Got You”) and even led the band briefly before its demise when Tim left for a solo career. Neil and the drummer from Split Enz then formed the Mullanes in 1984, which later became Crowded House rounded out by bassist Nick Seymour, whose older brother was Mark, leader of Hunters & Collectors.

The trio released their self-titled debut in August 1986. It was preceded by singles “Mean to Me” and “World Where You Live,” which were minor hits in Australia. Third single “Now We’re Getting Somewhere,” sadly, went nowhere and it looked like Crowded House might be nothing more than an afterthought to the more successful Split Enz. However, the fourth single from the album was a hit. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” reached #2 in the U.S. in April 1987. It also went to #1 in New Zealand and Canada. It was a top-10 hit in Australia, Norway, and the Netherlands.

Finn said he wrote the “majestic ballad” WK on his brother’s piano and that it was “about, on the one hand feeling kind of lost, and on the other sort of urging myself on.” SF In 2016, he said “I’m super pleased and proud that the song that is almost the most identiable for us is, I think, one of my best songs.” SF Seymour said it was “about not giving up hope and succumbing to the effects of the mass media and consumerism.” WK Naturally it was used in commercials for the New Zealand Tourism Commission. SF

The video featured surreal images of household objects floating in the air. Finn plays guitar and walks through the house while his bandmates are doing chores or playing background instruments. At the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards, it earned the group a Best New Artist award. It was also nominated for Best Group Video and Best Direction.


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Saturday, October 18, 1986

Huey Lewis & the News hit #1 with Fore!

First posted 11/26/2020.

Fore!

Huey Lewis & the News


Released: August 20, 1986


Peak: 11 US, 8 UK, 13 CN, 3 AU


Sales (in millions): 3 US, 0.6 UK, 4.57 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: mainstream pop rock


Tracks:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Jacob’s Ladder (1/5/87, 1 US, 10 AR, 17 AC, 16 CN, 48 AU)
  2. Stuck with You (7/21/86, 1 US, 1 AR, 1 AC, 12 UK, 1 CN, 2 AU)
  3. Whole Lotta Lovin’
  4. Doing It All for My Baby (6/29/87, 6 US, 2 AC, 93 UK, 30 CN, 93 AU)
  5. Hip to Be Square (10/6/86, 3 US, 1 AR, 20 AC, 41 UK, 14 CN, 17 AU)
  6. I Know What I Like (3/23/87, 9 US, 25 AR, 30 AC, 30 CN)
  7. I Never Walk Alone
  8. Forest for the Trees
  9. Naturally
  10. Simple As That


Total Running Time: 41:40


The Players:

  • Huey Lewis (vocals, harmonica)
  • Mario Cipollina (bass)
  • Johnny Colla (guitar, saxophone, backing vocals)
  • Bill Gibson (drums, percussion, backing vocals)
  • Chris Hayes (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Sean Hopper (keyboards, backing vocals)

Rating:

3.556 out of 5.00 (average of15 ratings)


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Huey Lewis & the News became superstars with their third album, Sports. On the strength of four top-10 hits, the album reached #1 and multi-platinum status. All Music Guide’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted it was “one of the rare mainstream pop/rock albums where everything works – the songs were catch, the sound was inviting, and it all sounded perfect on the radio.” AMG

They’d set the bar high for themselves, but if 1985’s #1 hit “The Power of Love” from the Back to the Future was any indication, it looked like they could reach the same lofty heights a second time around. With their aptly named Fore! album, they did – depending on one’s measuring stick. Like its predecessor, it reached the pinnacle of the album chart. It bested Sports by achieving not four, but five, top-10 hits. None of the singles from Sports got above #6, but three of the singles from Fore! did – including the #1 songs Stuck with You and Jacob’s Ladder.

Fore! did, however, fall short of Sports was in sales. While both achieved multi-platinum status, Sports topped ten million while Fore! didn’t reach half that. Part of the problem is that “much of Fore! sounds labored” AMG and the songs just weren’t as catchy. In essence, once the band achieve major fame, they could “no longer sound like a working band,” AMG which was much of what drove their appeal with Sports.

The song Hip to Be Square garnered a rather odd second dose of fame more than a decade after its release when the main character in American Psycho discusses the song in terms of how it espouses “the pleasures of conformity.” WK While the song is perfectly inoffensive, it becames disturbing to hear a serial killer commending it for its virtues.


Notes: The European, Australian, and Japanese versions added “The Power of Love” to the album.

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