Perfect World

Album: Small World (1988)
Charted: 48 3


  • Alex Call wrote this song. He was lead singer of the band Clover, which Huey Lewis joined as a harmonica player. They released four albums and served as Elvis Costello's band on his first album, My Aim Is True. Despite the best efforts of Mutt Lange, who produced their last two albums, and Nick Lowe, who mentored the group, they never had a hit single and broke up in 1978. Lewis and Call remained friends.
  • In the early '80s, Alex Call wrote "Jenny (867-5309)" for Tommy Tutone and "Little Too Late" for Pat Benatar. He told Songfacts how he came up with "Perfect World":

    "It was 1985 when I wrote that song. I had a band that was like Huey Lewis & the News by then. I had a 9-piece band, I had three horns, a couple girl singers, me and the band. People told me it was a ska sort of feel, but I was just goofing around, just trying to come up with stuff. The lyric is very unconscious, I just scatted it out and used it. Later on, I looked at it and tried to figure out what it meant. It's the thing about The Quest, what are we really looking for in life? We know that life isn't perfect, but we keep on looking for it anyway because there's something inside us maybe that is perfect. That's what it's really about for me. The inner being is pretty simple and straightforward, and the outer being is quite neurotic and screwed up, and I think that's what the song is really about. It's a hopeful song."
  • In his Songfacts interview, Alex Call said: "I love the song because the horn lines that I wrote, Tower of Power had to play my horn lines, which I thought was better than having a hit single. They did a whole horn arrangement. I remember when they were cutting the song and Huey said they were coming in with all these horn parts and one by one they eliminated them and kept pretty much all my horn parts. There's some little stuff in there that's definitely not me that they did, but I was very proud of that song and I loved the recording they did of it, I think it's fantastic. Johnny Colla, Huey's guitar player/horn player, his vocal arrangements are just fantastic on that thing."
  • The Tower of Power horn section toured with Huey Lewis & the News from 1984-1988, and played on their albums during that time. Tower of Power had several hit songs in the '70s, but were struggling at the time. Their legendary horn section had played on albums by Elton John, Heart, Little Feat and many others, so bringing them in gave Huey Lewis & the News a great deal of credibility. For Tower of Power, it was a great way to promote the band; Lewis would talk about them on stage and promote the "Midnight Shows," where Tower of Power would play smaller clubs after the concerts. Members of The News often dropped by for these Midnight Shows, which made it a scene. According to Emilio Castillo, who is a founding member of Tower of Power, "We always had a kinship with them musically. They loved our band, we were big fans of their band and we saw eye to eye musically."

Comments: 4

  • David from Hazlet, NjI remember listening to this during the summer vacation before my senior year in high school. This song has always been catchy to me and wish the album could have been better received by the public. That in of itself was hard to do following the successful "Fore" album. The album "Small World" has some really good songs on it.
  • Loney from Las Vegas, NvSang this song at my graduation in 1992.
  • Rachel from North Jersey, Njvery underrated band. So many 80's bands have made successful comebacks. Why not them?
  • Justin from Felts Mills, NyHuey Lewis and the News' forgotten masterpiece...enough said.
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