Monday, April 16, 2018

"The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis & the News

#1 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  2375
Date:  06/29/1985
Debut:  46
Peak:  1 (2 weeks)
Weeks:  19
Genre:  Rock, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  After five hit singles including four Top 10's, Lewis and his band were riding high with their multi-platinum album Sports. Thanks to its massive success, film director Robert Zemeckis approached Lewis to write a couple of songs for his upcoming movie Back to the Future. Lewis was skittish about the idea as he had never written for a film, but was finally convinced by Zemickis. With his band mates Chris Hayes and Johnny Colla, Lewis set out to write a couple tracks for the film. This first song didn't have anything to do with the film lyrically, but the music was perfect for the opening scene of character Marty McFly skateboarding through town. It was selected to be the single to represent the film and was released a few weeks prior to the movie's opening. It was an out-of-the-box hit debuting near the Top 40 and quickly climbing to the #1 spot. It would be Lewis' first chart topper and second gold seller. The song would also get to #1 at Rock and #6 at AC. The track was also helped along by the film, which was a huge box office hit. It would be the year's #1 grossing film. The associated soundtrack album, which featured a second Lewis track plus ones from Lindsey Buckingham and Eric Clapton, would get to #12 and go gold. The song would go on to received an Oscar nod for Best Original Song. It would also get a Grammy nod for Record of the Year.

ReduxReview:  This was just the perfect song at the perfect time for Lewis. To have it included in one of the biggest film hits of the decade was just icing on the cake. The song pretty much summed up the band's sound within four catchy minutes. I liked the song when it came out, but it wore on me quickly. It was just played to death. I got so sick of it that I avoided the song for years. However, it is truly well-done and I appreciate it. But truth be told, there are a few other songs in the band's catalog that I'd rather hear.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) Lewis' other song for the soundtrack was "Back in Time." The lyrics for the song did related to points in the film and was used in the final scenes and end credits. The track proved to be popular at Rock radio getting to #3, however it was decided to not release the song as an actual single and therefore it did not make the Pop chart.  2) Lewis made a cameo in the film. When Marty McFly's band auditions to play at the school dance, they break out into a hard rock version of "The Power of Love." A teacher on the committee (Lewis) stops them quickly and says "I'm afraid you're just too darn loud."  3) Although not listed as a writer, the song did have another contributor. Apparently, Lewis was talking to Alex Call, who had been in a band called Clover with Lewis, and Lewis asked Call what he was working on. Call mentioned he was trying to write a song called "Power of Love." Lewis then later used that as inspiration for his new song. He could have left it at that and ignored the fact that Call supplied him with a title, but Lewis went back to Call and offered him a deal that would secure money for Call since he basically supplied the title. The one stipulation though was that he would not get a songwriting credit - just the deal for the title. Call accepted and was able to make money off of Lewis' hit. Call had earlier co-written another big 80s single, 1982's "867-5309/Jenny," which was a #4 hit for Tommy Tutone.


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