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Huey Lewis and the News - Soulsville

  by Fiona Hutchings

published: 10 / 10 / 2010



Huey Lewis and the News - Soulsville
Label: Proper Records
Format: CD

intro

Fabulous collection of Stax Records covers in first album in eight years from Huey Lewis and the News


I can't help it. You mention Huey Lewis and the News and I am immediately transported to 1985, 'Back to the Future', denim, nice shirts and coiffured hair. Then my internal jukebox jumps from 'The Power of Love' to 'Hip To Be Square' and 'Stuck With You' and all this makes me smile because Mr Lewis and co. have always produced radio friendly, sing-a-long happy hits. So originally the idea of them recording an album in tribute to Stax Records seemed a little (only a little) incongruent. But then when you consider Stax are world famous for their mix of soul, gospel, funk and jazz and then consider the blues rock with occasional dips to soul and do wop dee do do-ing that help form the 'News' sound, it suddenly doesn't feel like that much of a stretch at all. Anyway, after more than 30 years perhaps such a vanity/concept project is overdue. Of course the question you really want answering is, however, is it any good? Yes. Yes it is. Huey's voice retains a certain craggy charm but is smoother than I remember. There is something joyful about the horns and piano intro to Wilson Pickett's 'Don't Fight It' that makes me smile. "Don't fight it/Baby you got to feel it" - it's a scene setter because expected broken hearted melancholy aside there is a lot of joy in this record. This collection isn't the plastic covers record it could easily be. It is comfortable and competent certainly, but for the most part it strikes that balance between paying homage to the original artists and giving those originals a twist. The Staple Singers' anthem for the post 1970's African American civil rights movement 'Respect Yourself' has been treated with just that and remains a big dirty bassed bad-assed track. 'Cry to Me', dear to a whole generation of 'Dirty Dancing' fans, remains a bittersweet lament with an up tempo dance track. This is a good selection of tracks from one of the most important and influential record labels ever, performed with soul and enthusiasm. Push back the rug and dance.



Track Listing:-
1 Don't Fight It
2 Got To Get You Off My Mind
3 Free
4 Respect Yourself
5 Cry To Me
6 Just One More Day
7 Never Found A Girl
8 Soulsville
9 Little Sally Walker
10 I Want To (Do Everything For You)
11 Just The One (I've Been Looking For)
12 Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You
13 Never Like This Before
14 Grab This Thing


Label Links:-
http://www.proper-records.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/ProperRecords
https://twitter.com/ProperRecords
https://www.youtube.com/user/propertv
http://www.properdistribution.com/
http://instagram.com/properblog



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