Friday, March 27, 2020

"I Know What I Like" by Huey Lewis & the News

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3085
Date:  04/04/1987
Debut:  54
Peak:  9
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  By this point, the band's fourth album, Fore!, had reached #1 and had spawned three Top 10 hits including the #1 "Jacob's Ladder." As a follow-up to that third single, this fourth one got issued out. Prior to the tune getting an official single release, it had already garnered enough airplay at Rock to reach #25 on that chart in late September of '86. After the single came out, the song became the band's ninth consecutive Pop Top 10 hit (tenth overall). It also got to #30 at AC. Like the their previous #3 hit from the LP "Hip to Be Square," this tune featured background vocals by members of the San Francisco 49ers football team. The song helped sell more albums and a little over a year later, it would be certified at triple platinum.

ReduxReview:  I really wasn't connecting with the band at the time and had been ignoring them, although that was a bit difficult to do with their songs all over the radio. However, in retrospect I perhaps didn't give a fare shake to a couple of their tunes from Fore! . This was one of them. It was more in-line with the rock side of the band that I preferred over their retro old school pop/R&B stuff. The song is good, the band is crankin', and the chorus is solid. This tune and "Jacob's Ladder" were easily the two best tracks on the LP. It's also one in their catalog that doesn't get played much anymore.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Besides being a best-selling album, Fore! also had a pop culture moment later in 2000. In 1991, author Bret Easton Ellis published his controversial book American Psycho, which centered on a serial killer character named Patrick Bateman. The graphic book had its share of detractors, but it ended up being a best-seller that many critics liked. In the book, Bateman basically gives critiques on albums by Phil Collins and Whitney Houston. Nearly a decade later, the book was adapted into a film starring Christian Bale. Like the book, the film used several music references, which included the use of "Sussudio" by Phil Collins. The filmmakers also wanted to use "Greatest Love of All" by Whitney Houston, but were denied the rights (they used an instrumental version instead). Yet instead of dissecting the discographies of those two artists, the movie version of Bateman waxes poetically on the career of Huey Lewis & the News. In particular, the album Fore!, which Bateman says is the band's "most accomplished album." After his speech, Bateman then kills another character (played by Jared Leto) while the song "Hip to Be Square" plays on his stereo. It became one of the most memorable scenes in the movie. The song was cleared for use in the film, but someone dropped the ball and didn't get the rights to include it on the film's soundtrack album. The LP initially got released with the track, but then was pulled and reprinted after the rights issue was discovered. Later in 2013, the book/film was adapted into a stage musical (with original music/lyrics by Duncan Shiek). It premiered in London and was then taken to Broadway in 2016. The musical included the Bateman character and his victim performing "Hip to Be Square." Also in 2013 for the sketch channel Funny or Die, Lewis parodied the "Hip to Be Square" scene from the movie with "Weird Al" Yankovic.



  1. 5/10 for me, this was my least favorite of their Top 10 singles although "Stuck With You" isn't far behind, I'm actually surprised you gave this one a 7/10 considering it's one of their overlooked singles that many people aren't really fond of.

    1. I think it is because I like when they do actual rock tunes instead of the cutesy retro stuff. This song has more heft and meat and I like the chorus. It certainly has been forgotten, though I still like it.