On this day in music history: September 15, 19…

On this day in music history: September 15, 1983 – “Sports”, the third album by Huey Lewis And The News is released. Produced by Huey Lewis And The News, it is recorded at The Plant Studios in Sausalito, CA, Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA, and The Automatt in San Francisco, CA from Early – Mid 1983. The band’s third release is recorded at a time of uncertainty for them and their label Chrysalis Records. Having achieved success with their second album “Picture This” and the Top 10 hit “Do You Believe In Love?”, palpable pressure is put on the band to match or exceed that success. In the interim, the independently distributed Chrysalis is experiencing financial problems (due to overspending and mismanagement), which are alleviated when it signs a distribution deal with CBS Records prior to the release of “Sports”. Musically, it sees the band experimenting beyond their basic guitar, bass, drums and keyboard sounds. They incorporate current technology, including synthesizers and drum machines to modernize their sound, but using them in a subtle fashion. Upon its release, it is the Marin County, CA based bands breakthrough, launching them into national and international prominence. It spins off five hit singles including “Heart And Soul” (#8 Pop), “I Want A New Drug” (#6 Pop) and “The Heart Of Rock & Roll” (#6 Pop), becoming the second highest selling album of 1984 (behind Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”), also becoming one of the most popular and best selling albums of the 80’s. The albums famed cover artwork features a color tinted photo of the band taken at the 2 AM Club, a local bar in Mill Valley, CA where Huey Lewis And The News often performed in their early days. In May of 2013, a 2 CD thirtieth anniversary reissue of “Sports” is released featuring a remastered version of the original album, along with a second disc featuring live versions of the songs recorded during the 80’s and in 2012. “Sports” spends one week at number one on the Billboard Top 200 on June 30, 1984, is certified 7x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.