The year 1983 was good for Huey Lewis and the News.
It was also a good year for anyone who listened to the radio or watched MTV. The music video channel actually played music videos in those days.
Huey Lewis and the News released "Sports" in September 1983, and the music landscape changed forever.
"Sports" featured "The Heart of Rock and Roll," "Heart and Soul," "Bad is Bad," "I Want a New Drug," "Walking on a Thin Line," "Finally Found a Home," "If This is It," "You Crack Me Up" and "Honky Tonk Blues."
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of "Sports," one of the most successful records at the time. It has gone platinum 10 times and was No. 1 on the Billboard 200. There were five Top 20 singles with four of those reaching the Top 10 on Billboard's Top 100. The four were "Heart and Soul," "I Want a New Drug," "The Heart of Rock and Roll" and "If This is It."
Huey Lewis and the News had fun with its videos. For "If This is It," band members sing with their heads popping out of the sand. For "I Want a New Drug," Lewis jams his head into a bowl of ice water. In "The Heart of Rock and Roll," Lewis is rigged up so his heart lights up under his suit jacket with each beat.
While released in 1983, the album enjoyed much of its success in 1984.
I still have the cassette tape I bought in 1983. I also just purchased the reissued CD celebrating the 30th anniversary. The CD has the nine original songs, plus bonus live tracks of "The Heart of Rock and Roll," "Heart and Soul," "I Want a New Drug," "If This is It" and "Bad is Bad."
The liner notes on the anniversary release tell about the making of the CD.
I was a junior at the University of South Carolina when "Sports" was released.
Back then, there were a multitude of places to buy records - yep ... the vinyl kind - in Columbia, including Peaches and School Kids. The stores were on opposite sides of Harden Street near Five Points and were between campus and where I rented an apartment in the Shandon area of town.
Because of the convenience of their locations, I would stop and browse the records and tapes at the shops at least twice a week.
That's where I discovered Huey Lewis and the News. It was before "Sports" was released. I became a fan of the San Francisco-based group in 1982 with the release of "Picture This," which included the hits "Do You Believe in Love," "Workin' for a Living" and "Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do," and other songs such as "Buzz, Buzz, Buzz" and "Change of Heart."
Huey Lewis and the News garnered more national attention when two songs - "Power of Love" and "Back in Time" - were featured on the "Back to the Future" soundtrack in 1985.
That was followed up with another mega-hit, "Fore!" The 1986 release had "Stuck with You," "Hip to Be Square," "Jacob's Ladder," "I Know What I Like" and "Doing it all for my Baby."
Albums and songs followed but they didn't produce the success of "Sports" and "Fore!" and the soundtrack.
To go along with the reissue of "Sports," Huey Lewis and the News is out on tour. I've never seen them play in person, but I bet they're still good. With the success of football's San Francisco 49ers and baseball's San Francisco Giants, Huey Lewis and the News have been seen singing the national anthem a lot the past few years. Not bad.
The group did perform at the Greenwood Civic Center and played the Peace Center in Greenville as recently as 2011.
I felt I was lucky to have found Huey Lewis and the News before a lot of people did. The same thing kind of happened with Shania Twain. I had her CDs before she skyrocketed to stardom. Ironically, Twain was married to Mutt Lange, who happened to write "Do You Believe in Love."
I believe in love - and I still believe in Huey Lewis and the News.
Sitarz can be reached at 943-2529 or via email at email@example.com. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.