Huey Lewis and the News is an American rock band who had a run of hit singles during the 1980s and early 1990s, eventually scoring a total of 19 top-ten singles across the Billboard Hot 100, Adult Contemporary and Mainstream Rock charts. Their greatest success was in the 1980s with the number-one album, Sports, coupled with a series of highly successful MTV videos. Their worldwide fame expanded when the song "The Power of Love" was featured as a key track in the film Back to the Future, became a number-one hit, and nominated for an Academy Award.
In 1972, singer/harmonica player Huey Lewis and keyboardist Sean Hopper joined the Bay Area jazz-funk band Clover. Clover recorded several albums in the 1970s, and in the middle of the decade transplanted themselves to England to become part of the UK pub rock scene for a time. The band returned to the Bay Area by the end of the 1970s.
After getting a singles contract from Phonogram Records in 1978, Huey Lewis united his former bandmate and three of his former rivals to form a new group, Huey Lewis & The American Express. In 1979, they recorded and released a single, "Exo-Disco". The B-side of this record, "Kick Back", was a song that had previously been performed live by Lewis and his former band, Clover.
After the credit card organization American Express complained, in January 1980 they changed their name to Huey Lewis and the News. Later, the band issued their first studio album, a self-titled LP, Huey Lewis and the News. In 1982, the band released their second studio album, Picture This. The album turned gold, fueled by the breakout success of the hit single "Do You Believe in Love", written by former Clover producer Mutt Lange. Largely because of the single, the album remained on the Billboard 200 album chart for 35 weeks and peaked at No. 13. The follow-up singles from Picture This, "Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do" and "Workin' for a Livin'".
Due to record label delays on the release of their third studio album, Sports, Huey Lewis and the News toured small clubs in a bus to promote the record. The new album initially hit No. 6 in the U.S. when first released. However, Sports slowly became a number-one hit in 1984 and multi-platinum success in 1985, thanks to the band's frequent touring and a series of videos that received heavy MTV airplay. Four singles from the album reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100: "Heart and Soul" reached No. 8, while "I Want a New Drug", "The Heart of Rock & Roll" and "If This Is It" all reached No. 6. The album has sold over 10 million copies in the U.S. alone. Their song "The Power of Love" was a number-one U.S. hit and featured in the 1985 film Back to the Future, for which they also recorded the theme song, "Back in Time". Lewis has a cameo appearance in the film as a faculty member who rejects Marty McFly's band's audition for the school's "Battle of the Bands" contest. "The Power of Love" was nominated for an Academy Award.
Huey Lewis and the News released their fourth studio album, Fore! in 1986. Fore! followed the success of Sports and reached number-one on the Billboard 200. The album spawned the number-one singles, "Stuck with You" and "Jacob's Ladder" as well as the mainstream rock hit "Hip to Be Square". In all, the album had five top-ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified triple platinum. The band continued to tour throughout 1987, and released Small World in 1988. The album, which was more jazz and less rock than their previous albums, had one top ten single, "Perfect World", which reached No. 3 on the pop chart.
At the end of the Small World tour in 1989, the band took a break from recording and heavy touring and parted ways with Chrysalis Records. In 1991, they released Hard at Play on the EMI label, which went back to the R&B/rock sound of their earlier albums, and released the hit singles, "Couple Days Off" and "It Hit Me Like a Hammer". The album was certified Gold and the band headlined another world tour in support of the release, which would be their last album of new material for a decade.
The band would release a cover album in 1994 called Four Chords & Several Years Ago featuring doo-wop and rock songs from the 1950s and 1960s. The album charted on the Billboard 200 and had two hits on adult contemporary radio. In early 1997, the band released their first greatest hits album, Time Flies, which focused primarily on the releases from Picture This, Sports, and Fore!, and included four new tracks.
After Lewis's co-starring role in the 2000 film, Duets with Gwyneth Paltrow, the News released their first album of new material, Plan B, on Jive Records in 2001. It only briefly made the charts, while the lead single, "Let Her Go & Start Over", became a minor adult-contemporary hit.
In December 2004, Huey Lewis and the News recorded the live album which celebrated their 25th anniversary as a band. In the summer of 2006, the band co-headlined a U.S. tour with Chicago. In 2008, Huey Lewis and the News recorded the theme song to the action-comedy film Pineapple Express.
The band returned to the studio in 2010, recording their first album of new material in nearly a decade. The album, Soulsville, is a tribute album recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios.