Sports (Huey Lewis and the News album)

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Huey Lewis and the News - Sports.png
Studio album by Huey Lewis and the News
Released September 15, 1983
Recorded Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California;
Record Plant, Sausalito, California;
The Automatt, San Francisco, California
Genre Rock, pop rock
Length 37:46
Label Chrysalis
Producer Huey 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
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B+[2]
The Daily Vault A−[3]
Rhapsody (favorable)[4]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[5]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[6]

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.

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 agreement in place by 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.

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.[7]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Heart of Rock & Roll" Johnny Colla, Huey Lewis 5:03
2. "Heart and Soul" Mike Chapman, Nicky Chinn 4:13
3. "Bad Is Bad" Alex Call, John Ciambotti, Sean Hopper, H. Lewis, John McFee, Michael Schriener 3:48
4. "I Want a New Drug" Chris Hayes, H. Lewis 4:46
5. "Walking on a Thin Line" Andre Pessis, Kevin Wells 5:11
6. "Finally Found a Home" B. Brown, C. Hayes, H. Lewis 3:43
7. "If This Is It" J. Colla, H. Lewis 3:54
8. "You Crack Me Up" Mario Cipollina, H. Lewis 3:42
9. "Honky Tonk Blues" Hank Williams 3:26

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.

No. Title Length
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:

No. Title Length
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).[8] 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.[9]

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 A.M. Club, a popular bar located in Mill Valley, California where the band had performed during its early days.


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)


Chart (1984)[10] Peak
Australian Albums Chart 22
Canadian Albums Chart 3
German Albums Chart 29
Japanese Albums Chart[11] 55
New Zealand Albums Chart 19
Norwegian Albums Chart 6
Swedish Albums Chart 40
UK Albums Chart[12] 23
US Billboard Top 200 Albums[13] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1984) Position
Canadian Albums Chart[14] 3
New Zealand Albums Chart[15] 44
Norwegian Albums Chart (Julen Period)[16] 7
US Billboard 200[17] 2
Chart (1985) Position
Canadian Albums Chart[18] 88
US Billboard 200[19] 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)[20] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[21] Diamond 1,000,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[22] Gold 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[23] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[24] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[25] 7× Platinum 7,000,000^

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ "Robert Christgau: CG: Artist 2230". 
  3. ^ "Huey Lewis & The News: Sports - Daily Vault". 
  4. ^ "Huey Lewis and the News". 
  5. ^ Rolling Stone review
  6. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David (1 January 2004). "The New Rolling Stone Album Guide". Simon and Schuster – via Google Books. 
  7. ^ "Huey Lewis & The News Announce Sports 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Plus Spring/summer 2013 Tour". 10 April 2013. 
  8. ^ GREIN, PAUL (14 May 1989). "New Golden Rule: 500,000 Sales Mark for All Singles" – via LA Times. 
  9. ^ "Ray Parker Jr. Suing Huey Lewis Over 'Ghostbusters' Comment". 
  10. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Huey Lewis And The News - Sports -". 
  11. ^ Oricon Archive.
  12. ^ "ChartArchive - Huey Lewis And The News". 23 July 2012. 
  13. ^ "Huey Lewis Album & Song Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  14. ^ "The RPM Top 100 Albums of 1984". RPM. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  15. ^ "The Top 50 Albums of 1984". Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  16. ^ "The Top 20 Albums of Julen 1984". Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  17. ^ "Billboard.BIZ – Year-end Charts – Billboard 200 – 1984". Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  18. ^ "The RPM Top 100 Albums of 1985". RPM. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  19. ^ "Billboard.BIZ – Year-end Charts – Billboard 200 – 1984". Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  20. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1986 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  21. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Huey Lewis and the News – Sports". Music Canada. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  22. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Huey Lewis and the News – Sports" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  24. ^ "British album certifications – Huey Lewis and the News – Sports". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 25 July 2012.  Enter Sports in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  25. ^ "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
Preceded by
Footloose (soundtrack) by Various artists
Billboard 200 number-one album
June 30, 1984 - July 6, 1984
Succeeded by
Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen