Saturday, March 12, 2022

"Give Me the Keys (And I'll Drive You Crazy)" by Huey Lewis & the News

Song#:  3775
Date:  01/21/1989
Debut:  66
Peak:  47
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  The band's fifth album, Small World, was not matching the hit making success of their previous two efforts, which combined featured nine Top 10 hits. Although the LP's first single, "Perfect World," made it to #3, the title track second single stalled at #25. The news became worse when this third single was released. It became only their second song to miss the Pop Top 40 following 1982's "Workin' for a Livin'" (#41). It was also a minor entry at AC getting to #42. The single would end up being the last one released from the album. Despite the lack of hit singles, the album still became a #11 platinum seller.

ReduxReview:  This is one of the band's wink-wink, nudge-nudge tunes set to their standard groove and arrangement. In other words, kinda meh. I felt like I had heard this before, but done much better. It seemed like the band was running out of ideas (or time) as the tunes on Small World just didn't match the quality of the ones on their previous albums. A good chunk of artists who have a run of hit songs and albums eventually reaches a point where can't sustain the same level of popularity or material and for Lewis & Co. the cracks definitely started to show with Small World.

ReduxRating:  3/10

Trivia:  After Small World, the band would switch labels and move over to EMI. In 1991, they would issue out their sixth album Hard at Play. The LP found the band returning to the blues-oriented pop/rock sound of their earlier albums. Its first single, "Couple Days Off," would become their last major hit reaching #11 Pop and #3 Rock. A second single, "It Hit Me Like a Hammer," would make it to #21 Pop/#10 AC. The LP would get to #27 and become their last to go gold. In 1994, they would release an album of R&B covers titled Four Chords & Several Years Ago. It would feature a pair of AC Top 10s and get to #55. After that, the band would only release a few albums, however they remained a top touring act. Unfortunately, that mainly came to an end in 2018 when Lewis was diagnosed with Ménière's disease, an inner ear condition that usually results in hearing loss (which, sadly, I think I'm about to be diagnosed with - ugh - I feel ya, Huey!). The decreased hearing made it too difficult for Lewis to sing and the band's touring and recording came to a halt. The band's potential last album, 2020's Weather, consisted of seven tracks they had recorded in 2018 prior to Lewis' diagnosis. It would reach #71 on the chart.



  1. I feel like this album was made to allow Huey to slowly move back into the blues - knowing that his overall run of hits was coming to and end. I like the album overall but it feels all of the charting songs did so on name only.

    1. Agreed. I think they were getting tired of trying to come up with hits and wanted to just do what they wanted. Meanwhile, I'm sure the label was like...we need a hit!