Sunday, November 14, 2021

"Small World" by Huey Lewis & the News

Song#:  3674
Date:  10/08/1988
Debut:  66
Peak:  25
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  The band's fifth album, Small World, got kicked off with the #3 single "Perfect World" (#5 Rock/#2 AC). The result was positive and it should have driven the album straight into the Top 10 especially following a pair of multi-platinum #1s, but it halted shy at #11. They needed another big hit to help the LP rebound and this title track was selected. Unfortunately, it didn't do the job. The song could only make the Top 30 at Pop while reaching #28 Rock and #19 AC. It was a big disappointment considering that their previous album generated five Pop Top 10 hits including two #1s. The lack of a second hit certainly played into sales of the album, which could only manage platinum status. It was a sign that the band's signature rock sound was losing favor as the 90s approached.

ReduxReview:  It is difficult to constantly come up with hit after hit and Lewis & the News certainly found that out with Small World. Whether it was rushed or they just didn't have the ideas, the LP was quite weak and lacked the hooks and fun tracks that made their previous two album sail to multi-platinum levels. "Perfect World" was a pretty good track and would serve as their last Top 10, but after that the LP didn't have anything that was going to keep up their string of hits. This title track tried to lure folks in with its initial riff, but after that, the song couldn't really get off the ground. The verse was lackluster and kind of boring while the chorus failed to kick the song into gear - except maybe park. Even Lewis sounds bored here, which is unusual. Definitely one of their most forgettable singles and it was the one that ended their streak of seven consecutive Top 10 hits.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  While the single lists this song as just "Small World," on the album it is the opening track and is titled "Small World (Part One)." That is because the song is revisited later as the LP a-side closer and is listed as "Small World (Part Two)." Basically, the original song was over 7 minutes long and instead of putting the whole song on the LP as one track, it got split into two. Part One fades out following a guitar solo while Part Two picks up and fades in where that guitar solo was ending and it moves into a sax solo. Most all of Part Two is instrumental. On the single, Part One acted as the a-side. On the b-side both parts were combined into one solid track and listed as "Small World (Part 1 & 2)." The sax solo on the track was handled by jazz legend Stan Getz. Apparently Getz met Lewis at a benefit concert and offered to perform on a track whenever the band was to record again. Lewis took Getz up on his offer for "Small World."


No comments:

Post a Comment