Ronnie-Lott

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On this day in music history: August 20, 1986 - “Fore!”, the fourth studio album by Huey Lewis And The News is released. Produced by Huey Lewis And The News, it is recorded at Studio D, The Plant Studios in Sausalito, CA and Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA from February - July 1986. Following the huge multi-Platinum success of their previous album “Sports” and chart topping single “Power Of Love” from the film “Back To The Future”, Huey Lewis And The News once again feel the pressure to match that success with their next full length release. Having toured almost non stop for nearly two years has left the band little time to write new material, and it proves not to be as easy as it had been the previous time around. Many of the songs are written in the six months spent in the studio recording the album, during the first half of 1986. The band augment their trademark sound with assistance from the Tower Of Power horn section (Stephen “Doc” Kupka, Emilio Castillo, Richard Elliott, Greg Adams, Lee Thornburg) who play on three tracks. Once released, the album is an immediate hit, spinning off five top ten singles including “Stuck With You” (#1 Pop, #1 AC), “Jacob’s Ladder” (#1 Pop, #17 AC), “Doing It All For My Baby” (#6 Pop, #2 AC), and “I Know What I Like” (#9 Pop, #30 AC). The second single “Hip To Be Square” (#3 Pop, #20 AC) also features background vocals from then San Francisco 49ers Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Dwight Clark and Riki Ellison. Written as a tongue in cheek statement about 80’s excess and hedonism, the song is also memorable for its music video directed by Kevin Godley and Lol Creme (Herbie Hancock, Duran Duran, The Police). The directors film the clip using an arthroscopic camera normally used for invasive surgery, allowing the band to be shot in extreme close up, and letting the camera travel into very tight spaces that a normal one would be unable to go. “Square” is also referred to in the horror novel “American Psycho”, and is featured in the film adaptation starring Christian Bale and Jared Leto. The song is originally featured on the released soundtrack album, which is pulled from record stores after it is determined that Koch Records had not secured the rights for the song to appear on the album. In 2013, “Hip To Be Square” appears in a short film on the comedy website “Funny Or Die” featuring Huey Lewis and “Weird Al” Yankovic. The video is a comic parody of “Psycho” that ends with Lewis hacking Yankovic to death with an axe, while the singer berates the comedy parody artist for having spoofed the bands hit “I Want A New Drug”. “Square” is also used to great comic effect on the animated series “American Dad!”, in the episode “The Kidney Stays In The Picture”.  The song is also used on “Sesame Street” in an animated segment called “Hip To Be A Square”. “Fore!” spends one week at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.