Plan B

Huey Lewis & The News

Silvertone Records, 2001



Huey Lewis & The News has always been one of my favorite bands. Incorporating some of their well-known hits in the band I was in 1985, they can best be described musically as "having a good time." The band released seven albums from 1980 to 1994; their lineup of musicians has always remained intact throughout this period.

When VH-1's "Behind The Music" featured them in 2001, it was announced that they would be releasing an album of new material later in the year. When Plan B was released, there were two differences for the band: First, they were on a new record label, Silvertone. (Chrysalis had always been their main label). Second, The News' musicians had a few changes. Original members Johnny Colla (sax/guitar/piano), Bill Gibson (drums), Chris Hayes (guitar), Sean Hopper (keyboards) remained with the group. Original bassist Mario Cipollina was replaced by John Pierce. Additional members included more horn-oriented musicians: Marvin McFadden (trumpet), Ron Stallings (tenor sax), and Rob Sudduth (tenor/baritone sax).my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The News have arrived: Plan B is a great album, and should not be overlooked.

Leading off the album is a great "have a good time" party tune, "We're Not Here For A Long Time (We're Here For A Good Time)". Its groove has soul, one of the News' popular sources of music from past albums. (1994's Four Chords And Several Years Ago featured remakes of well-known hits, many soul-influenced tunes.) Another great pop/soulful number is "My Other Woman"; it gets your head grooving to the beat.

Lewis sings "I Ain't Perfect," yet it is perfectly soulful with a much rougher edge. "When I Write The Book" returns the soulful grooving rhythms as the first two songs on this album. A duet with Country artist Wynonna Judd, "I'm Not In Love Yet" is a great Pop/Country crossover hit, and why it doesn't or didn't get enough radio airplay is beyond me. It's a great song, not to be overlooked.

"Pop Rock" best describes "Thank You #19," having a more Rock feel, like in songs heard from their 1991 release Hard At Play. If you watch David Letterman's show, the title track's introduction resembles the theme song played by Paul Shaffer and his band. In any sense, "Plan B" is another great soulful Rock album track. "Rhythm Ranch" has a more Rock feel, and could be compared to the off-Country band, Little Feat ("Dixie Chicken").

"Let Her Go And Start Over" is a nice track that could easily be a popular hit on any Pop/Adult Contemporary radio station. "I Never Think About You" and "So Little Kindness" have the blues style of Robert Cray -- great Blues/Soul styled tunes.

Plan B is a GREAT album. It's great to have Huey Lewis & The News back, with new material and in full stride. Featuring Memphis-Stax Soul, Pop Rock, Blues, and even a little Country -- This album features all various styles, and this album is not one to pass up. Overlooking this one would be selfish. Huey Lewis & The News' albums may not have received ranting reviews with most critics ( Sports not included); ALL of Huey Lewis & The News albums receive rant-and-rave reviews from their fans, and that is more important than anything else. The fans' opinions are what counts, and if anyone who has listened to the music of Huey Lewis & The News, can agree on one thing: It's Good-Time Music.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2002 Eric E5S16 and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Silvertone Records, and is used for informational purposes only.