Sports (Huey Lewis and the News album)

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Huey Lewis and the News - Sports.png
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 15, 1983
StudioFantasy Studios, Berkeley, California;
Record Plant, Sausalito, California;
The Automatt, San Francisco, California
GenreRock, pop rock
ProducerHuey Lewis and the News
Huey Lewis and the News chronology
Picture This
Singles from Sports
  1. "Heart and Soul"
    Released: August 30, 1983
  2. "I Want a New Drug"
    Released: January 3, 1984
  3. "The Heart of Rock & Roll"
    Released: April 10, 1984
  4. "If This Is It"
    Released: July 10, 1984
  5. "Walking on a Thin Line"
    Released: 1984
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[2]
The Village VoiceB+[3]

Sports is the third album by American rock band Huey Lewis and the News, released in 1983. It reached number one on the Billboard 200 on June 30, 1984, and catapulted the band to international fame. The album has been certified 7× Platinum by the RIAA. Sports was ranked number 2 on the Billboard year-end album chart for 1984. The album spawned four top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and a fifth went top 20. Sports did very well internationally where most of its singles charted in the top 40 or above in multiple countries.

In May 2013, a two-disc 30th Anniversary Edition album of Sports was released. The album is now approaching 10 million sales in the U.S. according to the liner notes by Gary Graff and the press release issued prior to release.[4]

Production and history[edit]

The album was self-produced and recorded promptly after the modest breakthrough success of the band's second album, Picture This. However, due to reorganization and internal issues at the band's label, Chrysalis, the band held back the master tapes, choosing to perform at small venues to showcase the new material while the matters were resolved. Once Chrysalis got their affairs in order and an agreement in place with the band's management, the master tapes were handed over for production. Sports was finally released in September 1983 and proceeded a slow climb up the charts throughout late 1983 and early 1984.

Huey Lewis based "You Crack Me Up" on the various people he had encountered at the parking lot of Uncle Charlie's,[5] a bar the band used to play at frequently before they hit it big.[6] Lewis wrote "Bad is Bad" in the late 1970s while working with Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy. Lynott liked the song so much that he would sing it at some of his concerts in a fast pace.[7] The band would later record a music video for the song even though it was never released as a single, filming the video on the streets of San Francisco during March, 1985.[8]

Track listing[edit]

1."The Heart of Rock & Roll"Johnny Colla, Huey Lewis5:03
2."Heart and Soul"Mike Chapman, Nicky Chinn4:13
3."Bad Is Bad"Alex Call, John Ciambotti, Sean Hopper, Lewis, John McFee, Michael Schriener3:48
4."I Want a New Drug"Chris Hayes, Lewis4:46
5."Walking on a Thin Line"Andre Pessis, Kevin Wells5:11
6."Finally Found a Home"Bob Brown, Hayes, Lewis3:43
7."If This Is It"Colla, Lewis3:54
8."You Crack Me Up"Mario Cipollina, Lewis3:42
9."Honky Tonk Blues"Hank Williams3:26

1999 Expanded Edition[edit]

A remastered "Expanded Edition" of Sports was released on June 29, 1999, and included the following session takes and live versions of their hit singles as bonus tracks.

10."The Heart of Rock & Roll" (Session Take)5:12
11."Walking on a Thin Line" (Session Take)5:39
12."If This Is It" (Live in San Francisco, 2/21/85)4:25
13."Heart and Soul" (Live in San Francisco, 2/21/85)4:25
14."I Want a New Drug" (Live in Los Angeles, 1/15/84)5:27

30th Anniversary Edition[edit]

On May 14, 2013, a two-disc 30th Anniversary Edition of Sports was released, the first disc being a digitally remastered version of the original Sports album. The second disc includes live tracks as follows:

1."The Heart of Rock & Roll" (Live in Cleveland, OH, 1988)5:37
2."Heart and Soul" (Live in Cleveland, OH, 1988)3:51
3."Bad Is Bad" (Live in Boston, MA, 1987)3:47
4."I Want a New Drug" (Live in Sydney, Australia, 1989)7:56
5."Walking on a Thin Line" (Live in Chicago, IL, 1983)5:39
6."Finally Found a Home" (Live In Cleveland, OH, 1988)3:54
7."If This Is It" (Live in New Orleans, LA, 1986)4:34
8."You Crack Me Up" (Recorded live at the Troutfarm 2012)3:54
9."Honky Tonk Blues" (Recorded live at the Troutfarm 2012)3:41


The lead single, "Heart and Soul", peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart with its accompanying video containing shots of San Francisco and an appearance by soap opera star, Signy Coleman, who played a blind woman on the soap opera, The Young and the Restless. The album's second release turned out to be the band's second best-selling single. "I Want a New Drug" peaked at number 6 on the Hot 100 and was certified gold with sales of 1 million copies in 1989 (by modern single certification standards this would be considered platinum).[9] The track was also the center of a lawsuit against artist Ray Parker Jr., who was accused of plagiarizing the song for his 1984 hit, "Ghostbusters". The case was eventually settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.[10]

The third single from the album continued the band's success as its ode to rock and roll, "The Heart of Rock & Roll", peaked at number 6 on the Hot 100. The accompanying video contained black & white footage of the band performing while legendary performers, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Bill Haley & The Comets, Buddy Holly and Little Richard from the early rock era were shown.

In June 1984, Sports hit number 1 on the Billboard albums chart, and the fourth single from the album, "If This Is It", was released shortly thereafter, also peaking at number 6 on the Hot 100. The fifth and final single from the album, "Walking on a Thin Line", was released in December 1984 and peaked at number 18. Other tracks from the album include, "Bad Is Bad", for which the band shot a video but never released as a single, and a cover of "Honky Tonk Blues", originally written and performed by Hank Williams.


The cover art for the album features a photo of the band at the 2 AM Club, a bar located in Mill Valley, California where the band had performed during its early days.[11]


Additional musician[edit]


  • Huey Lewis and the News – producers
  • Jim Gaines – engineer
  • Jeffrey Norman – engineer, assistant engineer
  • Jesse Osborne – engineer, assistant engineer
  • Larry Alexander – mixing
  • Bob Clearmountain – mixing
  • Ted Jensen – mastering
  • Bob Vosgien – mastering
  • Bob Norberg – remastering
  • Kevin Flaherty – compilation
  • Sam Gay – art direction
  • Lisa Glines – art direction
  • Bunny Zaruba – graphic design
  • Johnny Colla – producer (30th Anniversary reissue)
  • Huey Lewis – producer (30th Anniversary reissue)
  • Vadim Canby – engineer (30th Anniversary reissue)


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
Australian Albums (Kent Music Report)[12] 22
Canadian Albums (RPM)[13] 3
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[14] 29
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[15] 55
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[16] 19
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[17] 6
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[18] 40
UK Albums (OCC)[19] 23
US Billboard 200[20] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1984) Position
Canadian Albums Chart[21] 3
New Zealand Albums Chart[22] 44
Norwegian Albums Chart (Julen Period)[23] 7
US Billboard 200[24] 2
Chart (1985) Position
Canadian Albums Chart[25] 88
US Billboard 200[26] 14
Year Single Chart Position
1983 "Heart and Soul" Billboard Top Rock Tracks 1
The Billboard Hot 100 8
"I Want a New Drug" Billboard Top Rock Tracks 7
1984 The Billboard Hot 100 6
"The Heart of Rock & Roll" The Billboard Hot 100 6
"If This Is It" Billboard Adult Contemporary 5
Billboard Top Rock Tracks 19
The Billboard Hot 100 6
"Walking on a Thin Line" Billboard Top Rock Tracks 16
The Billboard Hot 100 18


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[27] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[28] Diamond 1,000,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[29] Gold 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[30] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[31] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[32] 7× Platinum 7,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

In popular culture[edit]

  • The album is critiqued by the character Patrick Bateman in both the book and film versions of American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. In the film, this album is when Bateman considers the band to have "really come into their own, commercially and artistically." Lewis himself addressed this usage in a Funny or Die video, in which Lewis mirrors American Psycho in seeking revenge on "Weird Al" Yankovic for recording "I Want a New Duck".
  • In the Futurama episode "Luck of the Fryish" this album is said to be the only thing that didn't hold up in the Ronco record vault.


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Sports – Huey Lewis & the News". AllMusic. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  2. ^ Evans, Paul (2004). "Huey Lewis and the News". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 483–84. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (June 26, 1984). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  4. ^ "Huey Lewis & The News Announce Sports 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Plus Spring/summer 2013 Tour". 10 April 2013.
  5. ^ Huey Lewis Fan Q&A: September 19, 2016
  6. ^ Huey Lewis Fan Q&A: October 17, 2016
  7. ^ Huey Lewis Fan Q&A: June 1, 2014
  8. ^ Huey Lewis and the News: World Tour 1986 tour book
  9. ^ GREIN, PAUL (14 May 1989). "New Golden Rule: 500,000 Sales Mark for All Singles" – via LA Times.
  10. ^ "Ray Parker Jr. Suing Huey Lewis Over 'Ghostbusters' Comment".
  11. ^ "2 AM Club". 2016-01-05.
  12. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (doc)|format= requires |url= (help). Australian Chart Book, St Ives, NSW. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  13. ^ "RPM: Huey Lewis and the News (albums)". RPM Magazine. Archived from the original on October 14, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  14. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Phononet GmbH. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  15. ^ "Oricon Archive - Huey Lewis and the News". Oricon. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  16. ^ " – Huey Lewis and the News – Sports". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  17. ^ " – Huey Lewis and the News – Sports". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  18. ^ " – Huey Lewis and the News – Sports". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  19. ^ "Huey Lewis and the News Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  20. ^ "Huey Lewis and the News US Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  21. ^ "The RPM Top 100 Albums of 1984". RPM. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  22. ^ "The Top 50 Albums of 1984". Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  23. ^ "The Top 20 Albums of Julen 1984". Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  24. ^ "Billboard.BIZ – Year-end Charts – Billboard 200 – 1984". Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  25. ^ "The RPM Top 100 Albums of 1985". RPM. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  26. ^ "Billboard.BIZ – Year-end Charts – Billboard 200 – 1984". Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  27. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1986 Albums". ARIA Charts. Australian Recording Industry Association.
  28. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Huey Lewis and the News – Sports". Music Canada. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  29. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Huey Lewis and the News – Sports" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  30. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Huey Lewis and the News – Sports". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  31. ^ "British album certifications – Huey Lewis and the News – Sports". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 25 July 2012. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Sports in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  32. ^ "American album certifications – Huey Lewis and the News – Sports". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 25 July 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.