The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Still Beating: Huey Lewis and The News Mark 30 Years of “Sports” with Expanded Set (UPDATED)

with 17 comments

Sports 30UPDATE (4/16/2013): Amazon’s track list has further elaborated on the live bonus disc, and those who were less than thrilled with the contents may be even less so: only one recording is sourced from the Workin’ for a Livin’ Tour of 1983-1985. Most come from shows recorded from 1986 to 1989, and the album’s last two tracks, “You Crack Me Up” and “Honky Tonk Blues,” are represented as “newly recorded” versions on the bonus disc.

We’ll still be following this title closely, should anything change.

ORIGINAL POST (3/27/2013): Whatever your city (or country!), it truly is still that same old backbeat rhythm that really really drives ’em wild. And we’ve got a popular album reissue coming our way in May with the forthcoming expansion of Huey Lewis & The News’ iconic Sports in honor of its 30th anniversary.

Huey Lewis & The News, comprised partially of one harmonica-playing frontman who’d toured with Thin Lizzy and a group of pub-rockers who’d backed Elvis Costello on his debut album, were the ’80s “bar band made good” to a tee. The Bay Area-based sextet had two modestly successful albums under their belt on Chrysalis Records in 1980 and 1982, the latter of which included Top 10 hit “Do You Believe in Love.”

But Sports was classic, definitive News that appealed to MTV-hungry kids and slick young adults yearning for good times. The LP was self-produced and, barring a few crucial tracks (the Chapman-Chinn-penned “Heart and Soul,” underrated Top 20 hit “Walking on a Thin Line”), self-written. Lewis, guitarist Chris Hayes, bassist Mario Cipollina, drummer Bill Gibson, keyboardist Sean Hopper and saxophonist Johnny Colla were in fine form on the seven-times-platinum album, particularly its four Top 10 hits, “Heart and Soul,” “I Want a New Drug,” “The Heart of Rock & Roll” and “If This is It.”

Bolstered by catchy videos, a hot live act and a crucial extracurricular appearance in 1985 on the soundtrack to Back to the Future, the world was ready to play Sports and catapult Huey Lewis & The News to the ranks of one of the planet’s biggest bands. Three decades, later, the News (minus Cipollina and Hayes) still tours, and will play across America this summer to commemorate three decades of the album that made them stars.

On May 14, Sports will be remastered and expanded by Capitol/UMe as a double-disc set featuring a new booklet with archival photos and new liner notes by journalist Gary Graff. While a 1999 expanded edition appended live cuts and session takes to the original LP, this two-disc set will feature a bonus live disc from the Sports tour featuring all songs from the original album. The press release touts “many” of the tracks as unreleased, leading one to assume the show is sourced from the band’s famous 1985 set at San Francisco’s Kabuki Theater. (Released on VHS at the height of the band’s success, one live cut – “Trouble in Paradise,” off the band’s first album – made it to the original We Are the World album while two others were included on the 1999 reissue.) (Of course, this didn’t actually happen. If only. -MD)

Huey Lewis and The News - photo

After the jump, preview the track list and order your copy from Amazon.

Huey Lewis & The News, Sports: 30th Anniversary Edition (Capitol/UMe, 2013)

Disc 1: Original LP (released as Chrysalis FV 41412, 1983)

  1. The Heart of Rock & Roll
  2. Heart and Soul
  3. I Want a New Drug
  4. Bad is Bad
  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

Disc 2: Bonus live versions

  1. The Heart of Rock & Roll (Live in Cleveland – 1988)
  2. Heart and Soul (Live in Cleveland – 1988)
  3. I Want a New Drug (Live in Sydney, Australia – 1989)
  4. If This is It (Live in New Orleans – 1986)
  5. Bad is Bad (Live in Boston – 1987)
  6. Walking on a Thin Line (Live in Chicago – 1983)
  7. Finally Found a Home (Live in Cleveland – 1988)
  8. You Crack Me Up (newly recorded)
  9. Honky Tonk Blues (newly recorded)

Written by Mike Duquette

April 16, 2013 at 10:35

17 Responses

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  1. Why not include the entire live show on disc 2 and not just the songs from “Sports”? Seems like a missed opportunity. Hopefully Capitol/UMe will revise this before the release, although with only about 6-7 weeks before the street date it’s most likely already mastered & in production. What a shame.

  2. I agree — its diappointing. As much as I love Huey Lewis & The News, I’m passing on this — its not worth it…..

    Rich Dudas

    March 27, 2013 at 18:06

  3. I was excited to see the headline but… what a disappointment. I know mixes are not always popular with rock fans but at least some 12″ mixes would set this apart from the last reissue in 1999, but this doesn’t make want to double dip.

    Tom

    March 27, 2013 at 18:24

  4. Yep. Really dull reissue.

    Andrew

    March 27, 2013 at 19:16

  5. I agree. A big NO THANKS from me on this one.

    Zubb

    March 27, 2013 at 20:12

  6. Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes, but when Sports came out in ’83, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He’s been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far more bitter, cynical sense of humor.

    Patrick Bateman

    March 28, 2013 at 01:26

    • Thank you!

      ericthegardener

      April 23, 2013 at 11:46

  7. I’m with everyone else on this one–I’ll pass! The headline got me but the story lost me. None of the mixes are included? The 12″ mix may not have been on the radar of the rock enthusiast, but the fact that Chrysalis issued club friendly versions of “Heart & Soul” and “I Want A New Drug” indicates that they were well aware of other music fans listening to Huey. Why neglect that fanbase now? Surely there’s also stuff in the vault from these sessions that could have been tacked onto this issue. What a a buzz kill.

    DanaDotCom

    March 28, 2013 at 11:23

  8. I suspect a lot of the folks prepping these reissues weren’t even alive when the albums came out.

    Patrick Denny

    March 28, 2013 at 18:59

  9. So, dump the bonus tracks from the last (horrible-sounding) remaster, and replace them with a disc’s worth of live tracks. No thanks.

    RoyalScam

    March 29, 2013 at 10:07

  10. Ditto all the above.

    Dan

    March 29, 2013 at 21:16

  11. I wasn’t going to buy this anyhow, but this part doesn’t make sense to me:

    “… all but one recording is sourced from the Workin’ for a Livin’ Tour of 1983-1985. Most come from shows recorded from 1986 to 1989,”

    Am I missing something here? First you say all but one recording is from 1983-85, but then you say most of are from 1986-89?

    Shaun

    April 16, 2013 at 22:33

    • I see the listing of the songs, and the years they were recorded, now. Looks like “all but one” was just a typo.

      Anyhow, if I were a Huey fan I’d be mighty pissed about this release.

      Shaun

      April 16, 2013 at 22:36

      • You’re right, it should be “just one.” Typing too fast yet again.

        I don’t know if I’d label myself “pissed,” but it certainly seems a wasted opportunity. That Kabuki Theater show from ’85 is of huge interest to fans, having never been officially out on CD or DVD. It would have been perfect to include somewhere…

        Mike Duquette

        April 16, 2013 at 22:40

  12. I already moaned about the lack of 12″ mixes, but I’m pretty sure there are single edits/mixes of at least 3 songs that could have been included, too. What a waste. Sorry, it’s so disappointing it deserves to be said twice. I would only consider buying this for very cheap and *IF* the sound quality is proven to be revelatory.

    Eric Martin

    April 19, 2013 at 09:21

    • I’ve got a couple of the 12″ mixes from the album, as well as some of the b-sides, etc.

      Not really sure why they didn’t at least try and make this reissue a better representation of the compelte contents of the release cycle.

  13. I’ll pass on this

    Ranasakawa

    May 14, 2013 at 08:40


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