Huey Lewis & The News – Hard At Play (1991)

FrontCover1Hard at Play is the sixth album by American rock band Huey Lewis and the News. It was released in 1991 on EMI for most of the world and Chrysalis in the UK. Hard at Play peaked at number 27 on the Billboard 200 pop albums chart and produced two Top 40 singles, “Couple Days Off” and “It Hit Me Like a Hammer”. Music videos were released for “It Hit Me like a Hammer”, “Couple Days Off”, and “He Don’t Know”. (by wikipedia)

As the title indicates, Hard at Play is a return to the straight-ahead blues-inflected pop/rock that made Huey Lewis and the News superstars in the early ’80s. While the material wasn’t as consistently strong as Sports or Picture This, the band rocked with a renewed vigor and a handful of songs, including the anthemic hit “Couple Days Off,” were as catchy as their older hits. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)


One of the great records of the band. rock n roll high school from the first nineties to the top. The unmistakable voice and sharper than ever of the singer. A disc forgotten and little considered globally. (by Edgardo Gregorini)


Probably not the best collection of News songs but certainly a good effort nonetheless. Hard hitting singles “It hit Me Like A Hammer” and “Couple Days Off” may not have achieved the success of previous efforts. However, it must have shocked those who remember Huey for “If This Is It” and “Stuck With You”. Yes, the News can rock!
There’s a bit of everything on this album. “Best Of Me” is more akin to “Stuck With You” whilst “Time Ain’t Money” harks back to the likes of “Whole Lotta Lovin'”. In between there’s some solid catchy AOR numbers such as “Attitude”, “Don’t Look Back” and “Do You Love Me, Or What?” (UKDave)


Mario Cipollina (bass)
Johnny Colla (guitar, saxophone, background vocals)
Bill Gibson (drums, percussion, background vocals)
Chris Hayes (guitar, background vocals)
Chris Hayes (guitar, background vocals)
Sean Hopper (keyboards, background vocals)
Huey Lewis (vocals, harmonica)
John McFee (guitar)
background vocals:
Mike Duke – David Fredericks – Gospel Hummingbirds


01. Build Me Up (Colla/Lewis) 4.28
02. It Hit Me Like A Hammer (Lange/Lewis) 4.02
03. Attitude (Carl) 4.01
04. He Don’t Know (Covay/J.Tiven/S.Tiven) 4.16
05. Couple Days Off (Hayes/Lewis/Palmer) 4.56
06. That’s Not Me (Ruff) 4.16
07. We Should Be Making Love (Goldmark/Kipner/Lindsey) 4.03
08. Best Of Me (B.Hayes/K.Hayes/Stocking) 3.59
09. Do You Love Me, Or What? (C. Hayes/Lewis/Lowe) 3.47
10. Don’t Look Back (Lewis/Gibson/Fredericks) 3.45
11. Time Ain’t Money (Colla/Lewis) 4.46