Tuesday, July 11, 2017

"Walking on a Thin Line" by Huey Lewis & the News

Song#:  2097
Date:  10/20/1984
Debut:  53
Peak:  18
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Lewis' third album, Sports, just had a run of four Top 10 singles with the last three all peaking at #6. With the album still selling well, the decision was made to issue a fifth single. This track was chosen and unfortunately it couldn't quite reach the Top 10. It fell short at both Pop and Rock, where it peaked at #16. Still, the single kept album sales humming and over time it would certified for sales of over seven million.

ReduxReview:  Oooo...Huey gets serious! With subject matter concerning those serving in the Vietnam War, the lyrics were a bit outside the band's typical bubble of stuff like love, girls, working, and rock 'n' roll. While the music worked fine for the band, the social commentary lyrics didn't fit. These guys were really a top-notch bar band that made the big time and it certainly wasn't because they were doling out songs with deep, serious lyrics. These guys were fun and so was their music. Sometimes it is best to stick with what works.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  This song was written by Andre Pessis and Kevin Wells. According to Pessis, who was speaking at a studio seminar, this song was initially written back in the late 60s specifically for a documentary film on the Vietnam War titled Walking on a Thin Line. For demo purposes, Pessis paid a young Huey Lewis to sing the tune. It seems the song and documentary never really went anywhere at the time. However, Lewis later remembered the tune and revived it with his band for the Sports album. Lewis confirmed in the liner notes for an anniversary edition of Sports that he did indeed sing the demo for Pessis, but no mention on when that was done or why.


No comments:

Post a Comment