Huey Lewis and the News Sell Bulk of Catalog to Primary Wave Music

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Huey Lewis and the News have struck a deal with Primary Wave Music. They are selling the majority of their catalog to the publishing firm for a reported $20 million.

The acquisition includes the ’80s icons’ debut album and encompasses every work through their 1994 record, Four Chords & Several Years Ago, according to Variety. All of their classic tunes, including “Hip To Be Square,” “If This Is It,” and “I Want a New Drug,” are in that mix. “The Power of Love,” written for the 1985 sci-fi comedy Back to the Future, is also included in the deal.

“In the 1980s, everyone heard Huey Lewis and the News’s many smashes on radio and saw their iconic & fun videos which appeared on MTV in endless rotation,” Primary Wave Music’s David Weitzman told the outlet. “Their incredibly crafted songs still made me smile, remind me of that seemingly more innocent era, and make me want to sing along at the top of your lungs. Primary Wave looks forward to working with Huey to create new opportunities for his storied song catalog into the future.”

“We’re honored to welcome the music of Huey Lewis and the News to Primary Wave,” said John Luneau, Primary Wave Music’s senior counsel. “Our entire team is looking forward to working with them to generate new and exciting opportunities for their iconic catalog.”

The band will have access to the firm’s marketing and publishing infrastructure, which includes services like digital strategy, licensing, synch opportunities, and film and TV production.

Not included in the deal are the group’s three studio albums published after 1994—Plan B released in 2001, Soulsville released in 2010, and the most recent, Weather, which dropped in 2020. During those years, the News spent much of their time touring, however, their frontman’s sudden loss of hearing due to a rare disorder put an end to their live performances in 2018.

Now in retirement from the road, Huey Lewis and the News are looking ahead with reported plans for a documentary and a Broadway-bound musical both in the works.

Photo by Andrew Chin/Getty Images

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