Monday, August 16, 2021

"Perfect World" by Huey Lewis & the News

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3584
Date:  07/16/1988
Debut:  51
Peak:  3
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Lewis and his band were on fire during most of the 80s scoring two #1 multi-platinum albums and eleven Pop Top 10s. Two years after their second #1 LP, 1986's Fore!, the band issued out their fifth album Small World. This first single was released and it became another winner for them reaching #3 Pop, #2 AC, and #5 Rock. It was Lewis' twelfth overall and sixth consecutive Pop Top 10. The week that this song reached #3, the album hit its peak of #11, which was a bit of a disappointment coming on the heels of a pair of #1s. While definitely not a bad result, it was a signal that perhaps the band's popularity was beginning to wane.

ReduxReview:  With its reggae-influenced syncopated verse, this track was a bit different from the band's normal rock/blues sound. When it was first released, I didn't like the track and promptly ignored it. Listening to it all these years later, I find that it is actually a pretty good tune. I like how it progresses from the bouncy verse to the more open and smoother front half of the chorus. The horns are a nice add as well. It was easily the best track on the LP, which mainly consisted of the same ol' shticky pub rock the band had been slinging out over the past couple albums, except not as good. Like "Jacob's Ladder," this track gave the band something meatier and more interesting. While it wasn't quite up to the level of that Bruce Hornsby-penned track, it did end up being a quality tune for the band. However, it is one that is rarely, if ever, heard anymore.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  This song was written by Alex Call. Starting in 1967, Call was the lead singer and songwriter for the country rock band Clover. The band would release a couple of albums in the early 70s, but not much came from them. However, it seems that British rocker Nick Lowe was a fan of the band and encouraged them to hop the pond. They decided to make the move and along the way picked up a harmonica player by the name of Hugh Cregg, aka Huey Louis, aka later, Huey Lewis. The band would gain a following in the UK and would record a pair of albums, but bigger success just wasn't coming their way and by 1978 the band was done. Call would then move on to a solo career along with writing songs for other artists. His first song to become a hit was the 1982 Tommy Tutone #4 "867-5309/Jenny." It was followed by Pat Benatar's 1983 #20 "Little Too Late." The hits helped secure Call a recording contract with Arista Records and in 1983 he would issue out a self-titled debut album. The single "Just Another Saturday Night" nearly make the Pop 100 chart, but halted at the #101 position. The LP did not chart and Call lost his contract. He continued writing for other artists including Lewis and "Perfect World" became Call's third major hit as a writer.


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