As Huey Lewis and the News developed their signature sound, they truly came into their own on their third album, 'Sports' holds together better than its predecessors because it has a clear, professional production, but the real key is the songs. Where their previous albums had several album fillers, nearly every song on 'Sports' has a huge hook. And even if the News aren't bothered by breaking new ground, there's no denying that the craftmanship on 'Sports' is pretty infectious. Half of the album ('The Heart of Rock & Roll', 'Heart and Soul', 'I Want a New Drug', 'Walking on a Thin Line', 'If This Is It') were huge American hit singles. The songs have instantly memorable hooks, driven home with economical precision by a tight bar band, who are given just enough polish to make them sound like superstars. And that's just what Sports made them.
'Our first album didn't do anything. We produced the second album ourselves and kind of broke even. The third single from that was "Working for a Living." That was a hit, but our future was anything but secure. This was the third album on our contract, and we knew we had to have a hit.There was no Internet. There was no jam-band scene. FM radio was very programmed. There was only one avenue to success, and that was to have a hit record. We produced it ourselves and wanted to make sure we did it on our terms. Our style was to take something old and make it modern. Around 1980 we heard Steely Dan's "Hey Nineteen," which was cut with the LinnDrum. Our idea was to take the modern technologies of the day as kind of the cake, if you will, and then have the icing be saxophones and voices and old-school stuff. It was the old and the new at once.' Huey Lewis