Daily Song Study

Huey Lewis and the News – Naturally

In songs on October 18, 2011 at 10:27 am

The 1980s brought back the 1950s in a big way (although technically that started in the late ’70s, but I digress), both culturally and musically. The children of the hippies returned to the pre-counterculture ethos, not so much interested in changing the world as in having a good time. It was a perfect environment for a band like Huey Lewis & the News to inhabit.

While certainly embodying many of the cheesier elements of the era, the News were charmingly unapologetic about their earnestness, one of the many reasons they were prominently featured in the ’80s-’50s collision of Back to the Future. They had the zeitgeist, and they had it bad.

This proved tricky when sensibilities shifted, and much of their output does look a bit silly in retrospect. But it doesn’t mean they weren’t damned good musicians, as highlighted by this track from 1986.

Not many bands from any era can take their members’ instruments away and pull off an a capella number of this complexity, a doo-wop composition (again, the ’50s) that would stymie even many of that genre’s best practitioners.

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