“Their early work was a little too New Wave for my tastes, but when Sports came out in '83, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically,” Bateman told Paul Allen, a work associate with much nicer business cards and an annoying ability to get reservations at all the best restaurants. “I think their undisputed masterpiece is ‘Hip to be Square,’ a song so catchy, most people probably don’t listen to the lyrics,” Bateman concludes. “It’s not just about the pleasures of conformity and the importance of trends, it’s also a personal statement about the band itself,” he says. And then he hacks Allen to bits with an axe.
Sure, Bateman’s moral and musical assumptions are questionable, but Huey Lewis (who began his career as the more hilarious Houie Louis) is a certifiable ’80s icon, a mullet pioneer, accomplished harmonica player, and, by all accounts, a big Memphis music fan. Sports is one of the best selling albums ever, and you can probably count on hearing hits like the “Back in Time,” and “I Want a New Drug.” But maybe (and really, quite possibly) the man who taught us that it’s hip to be square will break out some selections from Soulsville, the Stax tribute he recorded at Ardent Studio last year. -- Chris Davis