Now Hear This: “Heart and Soul”

Listen beyond the hits and discover weird, wonderful alternate versions of your favorite songs.


In September, 1983, Huey Lewis and the News dropped their long-awaited lead single from Sports, the album that would take them from being Bay Area wunderkinds to the top of the national charts.

The modest success of their 1982 album Picture This had all but lit the path to platinum success, and the next batch of songs was a good one. But internal issues and reorganization at Chrysalis Records meant that, at best, the release would be handled poorly and disappear. At worst, it could spell the end of the band.

So Huey stuck the master tapes under his mattress, openly talking about the issues while the band performed the hell out of the new songs at small venues until the matters were resolved. Once Chrysalis got their shit together and an agreement in place by the band’s management, the master tapes were handed over for production.

“Heart and Soul” was written by 80s hit-makers Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn, and cracked the Top 10. You might remember it:


Huey’s version of “Heart and Soul” swam upstream against the synth-pop tide and was daringly square at the time – see what we did there? – but also managed to claw its way to #8 on the US charts, paving the way for FIVE more hits from Sports. Among them, “The Heart of Rock and Roll,””If This Is It,” and “I Want a New Drug.”

The song is a classic because of its timelessness and crisp arrangement. But Huey’s version wasn’t the first one released, and it wasn’t even the first time the song was arranged that way:

The song was first recorded by Exile in 1981 as the title track of their album Heart and Soul. But the 70s band best known for their AM gold standard “Kiss You All Over” wasn’t exactly burning up the charts in 1981. Their version of “Heart and Soul” failed to crack the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 2 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.


Between Exile’s failed original and Huey’s carbon-copy smash was the 1982 version recorded by The Bus Boys for their 1982 album American Worker. The Bus Boys are probably best known for their rousing blues tune “Cleanin’ Up the Town” that played under a key montage in Ghostbusters. Here is their version, which sounds nothing like the others:

And of course, once that movie came out and Huey took a close listen to Ray Parker Jr’s “Ghostbusters” theme … well, we all know how that story ends.

We now return you to original programming.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *