When writing reviews for this website, we mostly try to be unbiased and just listen to the music but at times that can be hard to do. In this case it may be darn near impossible. Huey Lewis and the News was the first band that I loved that was not influenced by my parents or brothers. They were the first band that I considered mine as no one else in the family particularily cared. Lots of others in North America cared as the band sold albums by the boatload throughout the 80s. Universal in the Netherlands has been releasing these three disc collections for a few years. The first two discs focus on the hits with the third being devoted to odds, sods and rarities.
The first disc here covers the band’s self titled debut released in 1980 through 1986’s Fore!. A whopping 8 tracks are taken from the band’s first two albums including their first top 10 hit, “Do You Believe In Love”. Six tracks are taken from the band’s smash hit album, Sports, that sold 7 million copies in the US alone. Rock music is celebrated on the “Heart of Rock n Roll”, a cover of “Heart and Soul” and “I Want a New Drug” where Lewis features his famous red suit in the video were all over pop rock radio in 1984 and form the core of this disc. “Power of Love” and “Back in Time” from the Back to the Future OST bridge to the tracks from Fore!. Somehow Bruce Hornsby co-write “Jacob’s Ladder” was a #1 single in 1987 while “Hip To Be Square” is one of their liveliest numbers. (9/10)
Disc two continues with tracks from Fore! Before moving to 1988’s Small World. Like a lot of bands the singles being released start to be on the slower side but “Perfect World” is one of the bands more memorable hits post Fore!. Social conscience starts to creep into the tracks on singles “Small World” and “Simple as That”. Blue collar tales of struggle take over lyrics about clubs and relationships from a few years earlier. The blue eyed soul of “(She’s) Some Kind of Wonderful” and “But It’s Alright” add a shot of adrenaline to the mix with the latter being a particular highlight. These tracks make a case for the band being the best bar band you’ll ever hear. Lewis’ raspy yet soulful voice is pleasing and the band effortlessly move from rock to soul and back again. (7.5/10)
Part of the band started out as Clover back in the early 70s and backed Elvis Costello for his first album, My Aim Is True, before moving back to San Francisco and forming Huey Lewis and the American Express with members of Soundhole. Songs from that era appear including oddball disco track “Excodisco”. Elsewhere a cover of The Beatles’ “Oh Darling” is here before remixes of several hits from the golden age. (7/10) Dropping a few early tracks from disc 1 and adding the better tracks from disc 2 would more than satisfy most fans. Those Huey fans wanting a deeper dive will be rewarded with several gems that appeared after the mid 80s heyday.
Collected – 8/10