The Power of Love (Huey Lewis and the News song)

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"The Power of Love"
Artwork for U.S. and continental European releases
Single by Huey Lewis and the News
from the album Back to the Future: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack
B-side"Bad Is Bad"
ReleasedJune 1985[1]
RecordedMay 30, 1985
GenrePop rock[2]
Length3:53 (single version)
7:10 (12" long version)
Songwriter(s)Huey Lewis, Chris Hayes, Johnny Colla
Producer(s)Huey Lewis and the News
Huey Lewis and the News singles chronology
"Walking on a Thin Line"
"The Power of Love"
"Stuck with You"

"The Power of Love" is a 1985 single by Huey Lewis and the News, written for the soundtrack of the 1985 blockbuster film Back to the Future. The song became the band's first number-one hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100[3] and their second number-one hit on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart. In the United Kingdom, it was released as a double-A side with "Do You Believe in Love", becoming the band's only top ten hit on the UK Singles Chart.[4] The song is included alongside "Back in Time" on the film's soundtrack, and appears as a bonus track on international editions of the band's fourth studio album, Fore!.


Huey Lewis was approached to write a theme song for the film.[5] He met with Bob Gale, Steven Spielberg, and Robert Zemeckis, from the film's production team, who intended that the band be Marty McFly's favorite band. Though flattered, Lewis did not want to participate because he did not know how to write film songs and did not want to write one called "Back to the Future".[5] Zemeckis assured Lewis he could write any song he wanted. Lewis agreed to submit the next song he wrote, which was "The Power of Love". The lyrics do not make any mention of the film's storyline.[5]

Use in Back to the Future[edit]

The song appears early in Back to the Future as Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) skateboards to school. Later in the film, McFly and his band play a hard rock version of the song for a Battle of the Bands audition, at which a judge played by Huey Lewis tells Marty's group that they are "just too darn loud", and later when Marty returns to his neighborhood.[1] In the sequel, Back to the Future Part II, the 2015 version of Marty attempts to play the song on his guitar just after being fired but ends up playing it very poorly due to his damaged hand from his 1985 accident with a Rolls-Royce. Finally, it can be briefly heard playing in the car where Needles and his buddies are driving when Needles challenges Marty to the fate-determining car race near the end of Back to the Future Part III.

Music video[edit]

The music video, filmed in June 1985,[1] shows the band playing in a nightclub (Uncle Charlie's, a frequent stop for the band in their early career)[6] with Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) showing up in his DeLorean, apparently after time-traveling, and a couple stealing it for a joy ride. Lewis said filming took the entire day and night to complete, with the band finishing up at 3:00 AM.[6] The video is included as a bonus feature in several home video releases of Back to the Future.


Three different mixes of the song have co-existed since its release in 1985. The Back to the Future soundtrack version, also the version used in the music video, has a run time of 3:51.

A 12" version of the song was released to most countries, remixed by John "Jellybean" Benitez, features a seven-minute dance version with changes in its mix such as additional backing keyboards and an extended guitar solo.

A 7" single released in 1985 to radio in some countries as promotion of the film contains an edit of the aforementioned extended remix, with a run time of 4:21. In selected countries, this shorter edit was featured on the B-side of the 12" single. Whilst this version is occasionally played on radio, it has only ever been included on one Huey Lewis "Best Of", and as a result is a very rare version of the song.


Cash Box said that "the inimitable charm and drive which made Sports such a pop/rock winner is displayed from the first chords."[7]

At the 13th Annual American Music Awards, the song was nominated for "Favorite Single" and "Favorite Video Single", winning in both categories.[1] The song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 58th Academy Awards but lost to Lionel Richie's "Say You, Say Me".[1] It was also nominee at the 28th Annual Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, but lost against USA for Africa's "We Are the World", to which Lewis and his bandmates had contributed backing vocals.[citation needed]

Track listings[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

"The Power of Love" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No. 46 for the week ending June 29, 1985, with Billboard calling the song "an out-of-the-box monster hit".[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Huey Lewis and the News: World Tour 1986 tour book
  2. ^ "10 Best Pop Rock Songs | Made Man". Archived from the original on November 11, 2018. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  3. ^ a b DeKnock, Jan (August 23, 1985). "Huey Lewis and the News Rise to No. 1 Spot on 'Power of Love'". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved January 30, 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "The Breakdown: Huey Lewis and the News on 'The Power of Love'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 8, 2021.
  6. ^ a b Huey Lewis Fan Q&A: March 27, 2017
  7. ^ "Single Releases" (PDF). Cash Box. June 22, 1985. p. 9. Retrieved July 29, 2022.
  8. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 Singles". Billboard. Vol. 97, no. 26. June 29, 1985. pp. 64, 67. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  9. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  10. ^ (Retrieved September 17, 2012)
  11. ^ source: Pennanen, Timo: Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972. Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava, 2006. ISBN 9789511210535. page: 280
  12. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (November 9, 1985). "Billboard". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. – via Google Books.
  13. ^ ""Power of Love" on the South African Singles Chart". Springbok Radio. November 22, 1985. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  14. ^ * Zimbabwe. Kimberley, C. Zimbabwe: singles chart book. Harare: C. Kimberley, 2000
  15. ^ "RPM's Top 100 Singles of 1985". RPM. December 28, 1985. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  16. ^ "The Official New Zealand Music Chart".
  17. ^ "1985 The Year in Music – Top Pop Singles". Billboard. Vol. 97, no. 52. December 28, 1985. pp. T-21. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  18. ^ "Top 100 Singles". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications: 24. January 24, 1987.
  19. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  20. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Huey Lewis & The News – The Power of Love". Music Canada. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  21. ^ "British single certifications – Huey Lewis & The News – The Power of Love". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  22. ^ "American single certifications – Huey Lewis & The News – Power of Love". Recording Industry Association of America.