Plan Bby Huey Lewis & the News
Most artists who show up on Behind the Music have a tragic tale to tell, whether it's drug addiction, the death of a loved one, or a bitter falling out between longtime bandmates. Not Huey Lewis & the News -- the one time they faced tragedy is when they thought Ray Parker, Jr. ripped off "I Want a New Drug" for his theme to Ghostbusters. Apart from that, everything's been pretty great, because they're a bar band (if they'd been from England, you'd call 'em pub rock) that made good and they've always been grateful for their success. When the hits stopped coming sometime during the first Bush administration, they graciously stepped back from the spotlight; during the '90s, they only released one new album, and that was just a covers record. Ten years later, they finally reemerged with Plan B, a record of original material (barring a cover of one of Nick Lowe's best songs, "When I Write the Book") that helped showcase their new, expanded lineup with a full horn section. Some bands might verge on bloat with a new horn section, but not the News -- it just emphasizes that Plan B is a return to their roots, a lean, soul-inflected, driving rock & roll record. And that "Plan B" in the title certainly alludes to the bandmembers' decision to give up any hopes of chart success in favor of just making a record of music they like, and the gambit pays back better than anyone could have hoped. This is an unpretentious, utterly likeable record, filled with clever, catchy songs that would sound great in a packed club on a Friday night. And these are good songs, songs that could hold their own with "Workin' for a Livin'," "Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do," and "Some of My Lies Are True" -- they're nearly as memorable and melodic, and easily as fun. It's true that part of the pleasure of Huey Lewis & the News' first three albums was how the records straddled the line between pub rock classicism and post-new wave modernity, and that sound is nowhere to be found here. But the music itself is first-rate, whether it's on the opening track, "We're Not Here for a Long Time (We're Here for a Good Time)" -- which trumps "Couple Days Off" with its casual honesty -- or on the middle-age love duet "I'm Not in Love Yet," which finds Huey and Wynonna trading lines in an absolutely alluring fashion. There's nothing fancy here; as a matter of fact, it's disarming, refreshingly unpretentious, and all the better for it. Even better, this is the first Huey Lewis & the News record that sounds like a Huey Lewis & the News record in ten years, and it's their best since at least Fore!, probably Sports. There's not a chance in hell that it'll burn up the charts like those records, but it's certainly one of their best albums.
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Performance CreditsHuey Lewis & the News Primary Artist,Track Performer
Bill Gibson Drums,Vocals
Johnny Colla Guitar,Piano,Saxophone,Vocals
Dallis Craft Background Vocals
Chris Hayes Guitar,Vocals
Sean Hopper Keyboards,Vocals
Jack Jacobsen Organ,Piano
Huey Lewis Harmonica,Vocals
Marvin McFadden Trumpet,Shouts
John Pierce Bass
Rev. Ron Stallings Tenor Saxophone,Shouts
Rob Sudduth Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Ric Wilson Guitar
Technical CreditsDave Edmunds Composer
Billy Bremner Composer
Johnny Colla Producer,Engineer
Wynonna Judd Contributor
Huey Lewis Producer,Engineer
Nick Lowe Composer
Terry Williams Composer
Merrit Pelkey Engineer
Jim "Watts" Vereecke Engineer
David Boucher Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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It is so refreshing to hear the the sound of Huey Lewis & the News. Just good old rock'n' roll with a blues flavor. A true music lover will love this album.
WOW! You guys are the greatest....this music is tops, has it all!! Right from opening tune thru last...ROCKIN GOOD..THANKS, HUEY & JOHNNY!
If you are looking for a CD loaded with good music, this is it! This is music you can't find around much these days. The music on this album is real rock with a r&b feel! Any mature listener would appreciate this CD! check it out!
I last saw Huey in concert the summer of '97 and really enjoyed some of his new bluesy songs that he and the band were trying out. When I popped ''Plan B'' into my car CD player yesterday, it surpassed anything I had heard 4 years ago. While the sound is definitely different from the Sports & Fore! era (I first saw him in concert back in 1985 on his mini ''Back To The Future'' tour), it is still fantastic. ''I Ain't Perfect'', ''I Never Think About You'', ''Plan B'' and ''Thank You #19'' are all great, catchy tunes that have infused themselves into me in less than 24 hours. Welcome back, Huey!!! Looking forward to your August 5th show here in the DC 'burbs of VA.
Huey Lewis does not disappoint on this long-awaited album! For those loyal HLN fans, this is great stuff...lots of horn section and lots of blues and jazz influenced rock and roll. For those who are not yet loyal HLN fans, go see HLN in concert, buy this album and you will become one!
Plan B is a modern twist to the music that made Huey Lewis and the News rocket to the top of the charts in the 80s. Huey's voice is more mature, but still maintains that gravely rasp. If you're a fan of the group, the album has the great harmonica, horns and guitar you've come to expect -- you'll probably find this album even better than Sports. This album is a "must have" for the music collection of fans of artists like Dave Matthews, Matchbox Twenty, Bryan Adams, Bruce Springstein, John Mellencamp and Wynonna Judd -- you won't be disappointed.
Huey Lewis is always Huey Lewis. In this CD you will find the same sound that made him a big star in the 80s. He is loyal to his music style. He doesn´t understand anything about alternative rock, teen pop or grunge and that´s good. This CD is a must have for anyone who believes that good rock and roll is N´Sync or Marilyn Manson
What a treat to have discovered Plan B. This offering provides yet another chance for HLN fans to enjoy the band's work yet again. Nice uplifting songs. Catchy tunes. Great duet with Wynonna. Songs that will have you humming for hours! Some very cute lyrics. Some fun songs, some thoughtful songs. And as always, great brass sounds. My only complaint - only 11 songs. Wish there had been 11 more!
Plan A: go buy this CD. I've been a huge Huey & News fan since I saw them in concert in 1985 at the North Dakota State Fair. ''The Heart of Rock 'n Roll'' was zooming up the charts, and they outsold every other performer there that year. In fact, the fair had to turn away people for the concert. Since then, Huey has nearly always delivered the goods, despite the occasional misstep (OK, I liked SMALL WORLD, but few others did). After languishing in near obscurity the past few years, Huey finally found his way back to his roots, and PLAN B is a great success. Frankly, it doesn't have the same impact as SPORTS or FORE! but, then again, I don't have as much hair as I did back then nor as small a waist. Time changes things. What it hasn't changed is Huey's superb r&b vocals, the catchy tunes that bear repeat listening, and the sly humor which has been a hallmark of this band. One thing I've always appreciated about Huey is that he and the band have never seemed to take themselves too seriously--more than can be said of about 90% of the so-called music today. Honestly, it took me about three listenings through to appreciate just how refreshing this CD is--now, I can't stop humming the tunes. If you appreciate bluesy, throwback lyrics and melodies, or are simply a latent Huey fan waiting for a good new release, this is a good one to buy. Huey is back!