Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"We Should Be Making Love" /
Huey Lewis and the News

I've never really gotten over my 1984 crush on Huey Lewis. In those delicious early MTV days, you never heard his music without a visual image of this handsome, virile-looking guy with the wry self-deprecating grin -- like even he couldn't take himself seriously as a hunk -- remember that video of him in the bathtub? Ah, those were the days. Sting, Daryl Hall, Robert Palmer, Brian Ferry -- you couldn't turn on the TV without seeing some dapper broad-shouldered rocker with a craggy jaw and bedroom eyes. But Huey was always my favorite; that little bluesy rasp in his voice sent shivers up my spine. I guess I knew he was a musical lightweight, but who cared?

A little while ago, though, somebody sent me a DVD of an old British TV documentary about Rockpile, and in between all the footage of Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds who should walk into the studio but Huey Lewis? I never knew until then that Huey was in the band Clover, which (I think sans Huey) functioned as a backing band for the earliest Elvis Costello tracks. For some reason Huey was over in London at that point, hanging with Nick and Dave. Now believe me, it's very hard for anybody else to get my attention when Nick Lowe is on the screen -- but when I saw Huey, my heart did a flutter sure enough.

So I scouted around and downloaded some old Huey Lewis stuff, and this song's one of the things I found. It's from their 1991 album Hard At Play, which I'll admit I never heard before. (It was supposed to be their comeback album, though it couldn't have been such a great comeback if I never heard of it.) This goes right along with John Hiatt's "She Loves the Jerk" as an ode to Unrequited Love, subgenre The Best Friend With the Secret Crush. It's the old When Harry Met Sally story -- Huey's talking to a girl he's best friends with, and they're always "talking to each other / comparing our heartaches /Confessing the ways we looong to be satisfied" -- that sudden little groan of desire he drops into "long" is purely electric. And now he's screwing up his courage and finally suggesting that maybe they should, um, after all -- "Maybe / there's something / going on here..." Does she feel it too?

That's about all there is to it. Great emphatic whacking drums and sweet pleading guitar licks, all at a sort of lazy bluesy tempo that's dead sexy. "We should be making love," he urges her, "instead of wasting time with someone else / We should be making love / Instead of going hooome all by ourselves." Well, apart from the fact that I can't imagine being Huey Lewis' best friend without having the hots for him . . .

We Should Be Making Love sample


Uncle E said...

I believe Clover backed Costello only for My Aim Is True and no more. He assembled the Attractions for the follow up.

Nina said...

this is a great blog, props.

i'd love some feedback on mine!