HUEY LEWIS & THE NEWS – Picture This +5 [Japan UHQCD / MQA mini LP remastered] (2023) HQ *Exclusive*
The sweet 80s pop/rock sound of San Francisco’s HUEY LEWIS & THE NEWS has sadly gone silent in recent years, thanks to its one-of-a-kind frontman’s battle with Ménière’s disease, which causes intermittent hearing loss. But a surprise new reissue campaign courtesy of Universal Music Group’s Japanese division promises the most comprehensive look at the band’s blockbuster catalogue.
These new remasters, expanded with bonus tracks reissues are sourced from new DSD masters from original U.S. analog tapes, transferred in 24-bit high definition and feature CD-sized reprints of the original inner LP sleeves and Japanese obi strips, all pressed on high-fidelity UHQCD / MQA discs.
The outer jackets have been replicated as well, but in the case of this, the band’s second LP 1982’s ”Picture This” utilizes the alternate cover art design released in Japan at the time – much more colorful.
With ”Picture This” HUEY LEWIS & THE NEWS got their first Top 10 hit with the irresistible Mutt Lange-penned “Do You Believe in Love”. The album also includes “Tattoo (Giving It All Up for Love)” – a cover of a Phil Lynott song. Not a surprise, as Huey Lewis previously had played harmonica on Lynott’s first two solo albums, as well as Thin Lizzy’s blockbuster LP ‘Live and Dangerous’ LP.
This Japanese reissue campaign is the perfect tribute to one of the hardest working bands of their generation – seasoned studio pros whose live performances remained deeply engaging long after their time at the top of the charts ended.
Singer Huey Lewis had busked his way around Europe in the ’70s, learning blues harp and becoming a minor fixture on the U.K. pub rock scene as part of the group Clover. That group, sans Lewis, backed Elvis Costello on his debut My Aim is True; Huey would be first heard on record playing with Thin Lizzy on their Live And Dangerous album.
Lewis and Clover bandmate keyboardist Sean Hopper would eventually head back to their native Bay Area, recruiting drummer Bill Gibson, saxophonist/guitarist Johnny Colla and bassist Mario Cipollina (brother of Quicksilver Messenger Service guitarist John Cipollina) into a short-lived band called American Express, who cut a bizarre disco cover of Elmer Bernstein’s Exodus theme on a single for Phonogram.
Adding lead guitarist Chris Hayes in 1979, the rechristened Huey Lewis & The News would sign to Chrysalis releasing a self-titled debut.
The band toil in relative obscurity until ‘Picture This’ yielded the catchy “Do You Believe in Love.” The record also features longtime staples of the group’s live sets, including “Workin’ for a Livin’,” “Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do” and “Change of Heart.”
”Picture This” is another fun example of quality ’80s rock&pop, now augmented with bonus tracks and a pristine remaster akin a vinyl LP in terms of sound, not brickwalled and very well balanced
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01 – Change of Heart
02 – Tell Me a Little Lie
03 – Tattoo (Giving It All Up for Love)
04 – Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do
05 – Workin’ For a Livin’
06 – Do You Believe in Love
07 – Is It Me
08 – Whatever Happened to True Love
09 – The Only One
10 – Buzz Buzz Buzz
11 – Do You Believe in Love (Long Version)
12 – Buzz Buzz Buzz (Long Version)
13 – Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do (Live)
14 – Workin’ For a Livin’ (Live)
15 – Buzz Buzz Buzz (Live)
Huey Lewis – vocals
Chris Hayes – lead guitar, backing vocals
Johnny Colla – rhythm guitar, saxophone, backing vocals
Mario Cipollina – bass
Bill Gibson – drums, percussion, backing vocals
Sean Hopper – keyboards, backing vocals