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"I Want a New Drug" is a song by American rock band Huey Lewis and the News from their third album Sports. It was released as the second single from the album, following the top-ten hit "Heart and Soul" in January 1984. The single reached number six on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Dance Club Play chart.
According to Lewis, he wrote the song in only a few minutes. "I was on the way to my attorney's house and I thought of it in the car. I pulled up and walked in. I said, 'Bob, give me a piece of paper, I've got to write this down'."
When the similarities between this song and the theme song of the 1984 film Ghostbusters were heard, Huey Lewis suedRay Parker Jr. for plagiarism, claiming that Parker had stolen the melody from "I Want a New Drug". Lewis had been approached to compose the main theme song for the film, but had to decline because of his work on the soundtrack forBack to the Future. The two parties settled out of court. Details of the settlement (specifically, that Columbia Pictures paid Lewis a settlement) were confidential until 2001, when Lewis commented on the payment in an episode ofVH1's Behind the Music. Parker subsequently sued Lewis for breaching confidentiality.
The video echoes the song's origin, with Lewis waking up late, remembering he has a concert that night, and races across San Francisco using his yellow convertible, a public ferry, and a chartered helicopter to get to the concert on time, sighting a girl twice on his way, and finding her in the front row at the concert (the same girl is featured in the video for "Heart and Soul"). The video features Lewis' most famous outfit, a red sport jacket and pants with a plain black t-shirt and matching sunglasses (the man who takes the jacket and shades off Lewis before he goes on stage is the band's manager, Bob Brown). The video is rather fast and loose with Bay Area geography: it starts with him driving toward downtown San Francisco, then on a ferry headed from Marin County toward San Francisco...then boarding a helicopter that flies over downtown back toward Marin County where the concert seems to be held.
- 7" Chrysalis / CHS 2776 United Kingdom
- "I Want a New Drug" – 3:29 unlabelled 7" mix
- "Finally Found a Home" – 3:48
- 12" Chrysalis / CHS 12 2776 United Kingdom
- "I Want a New Drug (Called Love)" (12" mix) – 5:32
- "I Want a New Drug (Called Love)" (7" mix) – 3:29
- "Heart and Soul" – 3:55
- "(Tattoo) Giving It All Up for Love" (Phil Lynott) – 3:11
- 12" Chrysalis / CS 42779 Canada
- "I Want a New Drug" (dance mix) – 5:32
- "I Want a New Drug" (instrumental) – 4:30
- 7" Chrysalis / CHS 42766 Canada
- "I Want a New Drug" - 3:29
- "Finally Found a Home" - 3:42
- 12" Chrysalis / 601 194 Germany
- "I Want a New Drug" (extended version) – 5:32
- "Heart and Soul" (special remix) – 6:42
- "Tell Me a Little Lie" – 4:08
- 12" Chrysalis / 601 343 Germany
- "I Want a New Drug (Called Love)" (maxi mix) – 5:32
- "I Want a New Drug (Called Love)" (simple mix) – 3:29
- "(Tattoo) Giving It All Up for Love" – 3:11
- "Honky Tonk Blues" (Hank Williams) – 3:16
|Australian Singles Chart||27|
|Canadian Singles Chart||6|
|German Singles Chart||27|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||10|
|US Billboard Hot 100||6|
|US BillboardHot Dance Club Songs||1|
|US BillboardTop Rock Tracks||7|
The song has been covered by:
- Asleep at the Wheel on their 1987 album 10
- Elio e le Storie Tese on their 1998 album Peerla
- Glen Phillips on his 2006 album, Mr. Lemons
- The Greenskeepers on their 2006 album, Polo Club
The song was covered and retitled "I Need a New Drug" by Central Services on their 2005 EP Forever Frozen in Television Time. The production duo consists of independent hip hop artists EL-P and Camu Tao.
It was made available to download on February 28, 2012 for play in Rock Band 3 Basic, and PRO mode which utilizes real guitar / bass guitar, and MIDI compatible electronic drum kits / keyboards in addition to vocals.