Archive for Huey Lewis and the News

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Weird Al Yankovic- Dare To Be Stupid

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2018 by 80smetalman

After the big success of his 1984 album, “In 3D,” it was only expected that the King of Parody, Weird Al Yankovic, release an album in 1985. Therefore, many people like me eagerly awaited and grabbed “Dare to be Stupid” as soon as it came out. Even though some critics said that the new album wasn’t as good as its predecessor, (what do they know?), I still really like this album.

First let us start with the parodies. Opening the album is what has been said one of his best songs, “Like a Surgeon,” which is a parody of the then Madonna classic, “Like a Virgin.” For all the things I might say about Madonna, I have to give her credit here. Not  only did she give Weird Al her blessing to make a take off on her song, she collaborated on “Like a Surgeon.” Reportedly, this was the only time that he used ideas from outside artists on any of his songs. Whatever the case,  the song is a hoot and so is the video for it.

Other artists who gets the parody treatment are Huey Lewis and the News, the Kinks and Cyndi Lauper. The Huey Lewis song which gets it is “I Want a New Drug” in the form of “I Want a New Duck” and the song is actually about a duck. Listen to the lyrics and you’ll be rolling around in laughter but that’s what Weird Al does best. Back in 1985, some Star Wars fans took offense at his parody of the Kinks classic, “Lola” with “Yoda.” The song shows that at least he saw the film. No 80smetalman points for guessing which Cyndi Lauper song he would parody. Thinking about it, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” was probably to golden of an opportunity for him and “Girls Just Wanna Have Lunch” is a great send off. It sounds like he’s singing off key on the song but I think that’s just the weird in Weird Al.

Something which always gets overlooked in regards to Weird Al is the fact that he does have musical talent. All of his parodies sound like the original. “I Want a New Duck” and “Yoda” sound almost exactly as they could have been done by the original artists. It’s his seemingly non parodies where his talent can be seen more. I shouldn’t call some of these non-parodies because they are parodies in a different way. The style in which the title track is that of Devo and the very funny “One More Minute” sounds like an Elvis Presley ballad. However, the lyrics in that song will crack you up. Staying with that one, it sounds like a lamentation of a guy who has been dumped by his girl but in typical Weird Al style, he goes above and beyond. Sure, I’ve been dumped but I never considered burning down the malt shop we went to because it reminded me of her.

If his songs aren’t spoofing an artist’s song or musical style, they’re doing it to aspects of life. “This Is the Life” is a send off on rich people’s life style and “Slime Creatures From Outer Space” pays hilarious tribute to 1950s Sci-Fi films. However, my favourite in this category is “Cable TV” which by 1985 was becoming a nationwide household phenomenon. Nowadays, most Americans have hundreds of channels but often times still nothing to watch. There’s also a cover of the theme song to the cartoon “George of the Jungle,” I like it and like “In 3D” he puts popular contemporary at the time songs to polka music. ZZ Top and Twisted Sister along with many others get the polka treatment. Only this time, it closes the album and probably the most appropriate song to do so.

Track Listing:

  1. Like a Surgeon
  2. Dare to be Stupid
  3. I Want a New Duck
  4. One More Minute
  5. Yoda
  6. George of the Jungle
  7. Slime Creatures From Outer Space
  8. Girls Just Wanna Have Lunch
  9. This is the Life
  10. Cable TV
  11. Hooked on Polkas

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic- lead vocals, accordion, keyboards

Rick Derringer- guitar, production

Steve Jay- bass, banjo, backing vocals

Jim West- guitar, backing vocals

John ‘Bermuda’ Schwartz- drums percussion

Ignore the critics, to me “Dare To Be Stupid” is just as zany and well done as any of Weird Al’s other albums. While songs will have you in stitches, try to appreciate just how musically talented he really is.

Next post: Petra- Beat the System

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Great Rock Albums of 1983: Huey Lewis and the News- Sports

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 20, 2016 by 80smetalman


Huey Lewis and the News were another band I inwardly debated about featuring here. Most metalheads consider this band to be pop or top 40 and in some cases I would tend to agree. However, as my mind drifts back to 1983, I remember that I didn’t hate them. My first experience of them came late that summer when I saw their video for the first single from the “Sports” album, “Heart and Soul.” Okay, the song didn’t have me fist pumping away to it but I did like the hard guitar part during the chorus. My verdict then was that “Heart and Soul” was a decent enough song and Huey Lewis and the News weren’t all that bad. That was my attitude towards them, even after the release of the more successful single, “I Want a New Drug,” for the next few months. Then, in February 1984, I happened to see them open for 38 Special. Now, I won’t say that I became a die hard News fan that night but they definitely won my respect.

“Sports” was the making of the band. It produced several singles in addition to the two I already mentioned. “The Heart of Rock and Roll” is one of those fun filled songs that is an okay listen provided you don’t take it too seriously. I have been in the situation and know others who have been in the situation described in the single, “If This is It.” In fact, I think most of us have been left dangling by a boy/girl friend whom one is not sure if they want to stay in or get out of the relationship with you. Still, they make it seem okay with this light hearted song. Of all the singles though, my favourite happens to be “Walking on a Thin Line.” Even though I never saw actual combat while in the marines, I still think the song speaks directly to me.

“Don’t you know me I’m the boy next door.

The one you found so easy to ignore.”

When they played this song, Huey Lewis asked if there were any vets in the audience. I think I was the only one who screamed “Yes!” I got some looks from people around me but that was Regan youth for you.

Besides the hits, I found “Bad is Bad” to be a good bluesy type song and the intro to “Finally Found a Home” leads the listener to believe that this song is going to be a scorching rocker. It’s still not bad even though it does go more pop as it progresses. Both these songs, as well as, “You Crack Me Up,” confirm to me that The News were actually a good band of talented musicians and I think they certainly had the potential to completely rock out.

Track Listing:

  1. The Heart of Rock and Roll
  2. Heart and Soul
  3. Bad is Bad
  4. I Want a New Drug
  5. Walking on a Thin Line
  6. Finally Found a Home
  7. If This is It
  8. You Crack Me Up
  9. Honky Tonk Blues
Huey Lewis and the News

Huey Lewis and the News

Huey Lewis- lead vocals, harmonica

Mario Cipallina- bass

Johnny Colla- guitar, saxophone, backing vocals

Bill Gibson- drums, percussion, backing vocals

Chris Hayes- lead guitar, backing vocals

Sean Hopper- keyboards, backing vocals

Say what you like about Huey Lewis and the News. Maybe they were a bit too pop but listening to the “Sports” album, I’m not really bothered. They proved to be a good tight band who could probably excel at playing any type of music.

Next post: Stray Cats- Built For Speed

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