Great Rock Albums of 1986: Huey Lewis and the News- Fore

220px-Huey_Lewis_&_The_News_Fore!_CD_cover

This was one album that nearly escaped my attention in late 1986 because I was already in the UK by the time of it’s release. I say nearly because “Fore” did eventually make its way over here. However, by this time, I was so focused on things metal that I didn’t give it a fair listen. Sure, the hits from the album, “Stuck on You,” “Jacob’s Ladder” and “Hip to be Square” make themselves very well known to everyone but they weren’t enough to make me say, “Hey, I wanna listen to this album.”

Let me start with the not so positive, back in the mid 80s, I thought the track, “Hip to ber Square” was a ploy by the Republicans to get us all to conform through the medium of music. Here’s a popular band telling us it’s okay to not to rebel so I guess we were all supposed to simply follow the lead. Back then, songs like that made me even more determined not to cut my hair and change my clothes and stop listening to heavy metal. These days, while those lyrics don’t anger me any longer and it’s not the best track on the album but it’s okay.

As for the rest of “Fore,” first let me say that while it’s not a bad album, quite good in places to be honest, I still prefer its predecessor, “Sports.” The other two mentioned singles lead the album and they’re okay songs. Not rockers but there’s something about them that made me not want to go into ignore mode when I heard them. Always looking for hidden gems, “Whole Lotta Lovin'” is the first one. It is done in a 1950s doo-wop style. Saying that, Huey and the News do rock this song and I will take it over the singles every time. This track being sandwiched between all the big singles gives the album just a little more spark in my opinion.

When an album has five singles, all of them major hits, it does say something about the album, whether one likes that music or not. Here was my surprise. Being established in the UK, I never knew that “I Know What I Like” was not only released as a single, but it reached number nine in the US charts. I don’t remember it ever being played on British radio or on “Top of the Pops.” Why do I mention this? Answer is that before I did a little research, I had “I Know What I Like” pegged as the hidden gem on the album, especially as it boasts the best guitar solo on it. To my ears, this is the hardest rock song on “Fore,” which is why I like it. This says another good thing about the album, Huey Lewis and the News must have done something right if I actually liked a chart topping single from the album.

Some may dismiss the final four songs as filler, I don’t. “I Never Walk Alone” rocks almost as much as “I Know What I Like” and good job whoever it was idea to put these songs together on the album. “I Never Walk Alone” is the second hidden gem on the album. While not rockers, the remaining songs tend to go back to what the band did so successfully on the previous album. Well not exactly but close enough. “Forest for the Trees” is a mid tempo sort of song but opening with a cool guitar solo and carrying on with a guitar in the background makes it cool. But full marks to the closer, “Simple as That.” I may have banged on about Republican influences of “Hip to Be Square” but this song is the opposite. It very accurately portrays life back then where everyone had to work three jobs in order to make ends meet. Well done Huey Lewis and the News on that score!

Track Listing:

  1. Jacob’s Ladder
  2. Stuck on You
  3. Whole Lotta Lovin’
  4. Doing It All for My Baby
  5. Hip to Be Square
  6. I Know What I Like
  7. I Never Walk Alone
  8. Forest for the Trees
  9. Naturally
  10. Simple as That
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Huey Lewis and the News

Huey Lewis- lead vocals, harmonica

Mario Cipollina- bass

Johnny Colla- guitar, saxophone, backing vocals

Chris Hayes- guitar, backing vocals

Bill Gibson- drums, percussion, backing vocals

Sean Hopper- keyboards, backing vocals

Additional Musicians

Greg Adams- trumpet

Ralph Arista- backing vocals

Emilio Costillo- tenor saxophone

Dwight Clark- backing vocals

Mike Duke- backing vocals

Richard Elliot- tenor saxophone

Riki Ellison- backing vocals

Jerome Fletcher- backing vocals

David Jenkins- backing vocals

Stephen ‘Doc’ Kupka- baritone saxophone, backing vocals

Ronnie Lott- backing vocals

Joe Montana- backing vocals

Jim Moran- backing vocals

Lee Thornburg- trumpet

I just noticed that several members of the four time Super Bowl winning San Francisco 49ers sing on the album but Steve Lukather doesn’t appear here.

“Fore” wasn’t my cup of tea back in 1986 and today, there are still many albums I would reach for before this one. But full credit to Huey Lewis and the News for being able to put out a chart topping album which I like.

Next post: Kate Bush- The Whole Story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1986: Huey Lewis and the News- Fore”

  1. It’s hard not to quote American Psycho here…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It seemed like everybody had this album in 86. Huey was a king then. Today he can’t even get his CD released in Canada. I’m serious.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I liked this album a lot (Sports more though). They had a nice run of albums there for awhile and then quickly disappeared. Sad about Huey’s illness news recently, but glad they put out one more album. It’s not bad, but hard to listen to knowing it might be the last we hear from them. Great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I liked this one, secretly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like this one though I can say it with more authority these days than what I could in 1986. Back then, I thought admitting to liking this album might have damaged my heavy metal street-cred.

      Like

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