Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Huey Lewis & the News - "Walking On a Thin Line"

Walking on a Thin Line - Sports

(Debuted October 20, 1984, Peaked #18, 14 Weeks on the Chart)

During the mid 1980s, there was a reconsideration of America's role in the Vietnam War. From the vantage point of a decade away and a new generation begining to grow up who didn't have to worry about getting called to serve there, or have to wonder whether their friends or loved ones would make it home from there, the time had come to understand what had happened. "Walking on a Thin Line" was a part of that conversation (as was Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." and Paul Hardcastle's "19").

At that time, Huey Lewis and the News was best known for lighter material and a series of fun videos on MTV. By that yardstick, "Walking on a Thin Line" was a serious song. It went against the grain and addressed an uncomfortable topic, which is often good art. However, the reception was mixed: some wondered which side the band was taking (which is ironic, since it was about the individual, not the cause), and it ended up being the only chart single from the Sports LP to miss the Top 10.

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