Huey Lewis Reflects On The 40th Anniversary Of ‘Sports’

After it was released in 1983, the Huey Lewis and the News album Sports hit number one, charted for 160 weeks, spawned five hit singles and earned the band an Academy Award. Now, on the album’s 40th anniversary, Huey Lewis looks back on the pop-rock classic – and admits to seeing it in a whole new light.
“It sounds like a collection of singles to me, which means it’s a record of its time,” Lewis says. “In the early ’80s, there was no Internet, no jam bands, and album rock didn’t mean anything, either. All that mattered was contemporary hit radio, which was playing 23 songs, basically a playlist. We aimed every song — or most of those songs — right at radio. We knew we needed a hit. We didn’t know we were gonna have five of them.”
While the album made the band a rock sensation overseas, Lewis blames MTV for giving the band a pop image in the U.S. “[Without MTV], we certainly wouldn’t be as popular,” he says. “But we might be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It kind of hurt our credibility. But I remember it was a necessity for us.”
Why don’t most pop stars enjoy the longevity that most rock stars do?