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Hip to Be Square

"Hip to Be Square"
Single by Huey Lewis and the News
from the album Fore!
B-side "Some of My Lies Are True" (Remix)
Released October 6, 1986
Format 7" and 12" single
Recorded 1986
Genre Rock
Length 4:01
Label Chrysalis Records
Writer(s) Bill Gibson, Sean Hopper, Huey Lewis
Producer(s) Huey Lewis and the News
Huey Lewis and the News singles chronology
"Stuck with You"
"Hip to Be Square"
"Jacob's Ladder"

"Hip to Be Square" is a song by Huey Lewis and the News, written by Bill Gibson, Sean Hopper, and Huey Lewis, and released in 1986 as the second single from the multi-platinum album, Fore!. It is sung from the perspective of an individual who was once a free-spirited member of the 1960s' hippie movement, but who has now embraced the "square" yuppie lifestyle of the 1980s.[1]

The song features Pro Football Hall of Famers and then-San Francisco 49ers Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott singing backup vocals. The single reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100. In concert, Huey Lewis now normally sings the song as "(Too) Hip to Be Square", as performed on their live album, Live at 25.


  • Appearances 1
    • American Psycho 1.1
    • Sesame Street 1.2
  • Track listing 2
  • Charts 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5


American Psycho

The song is referred to in the novel American Psycho when the main character, Patrick Bateman, provides a lengthy critique of Huey Lewis and the News' career.

The song was then featured in the film adaptation during a scene in which Bateman (played by Christian Bale) gives an abridged version of his critique from the novel to Paul Allen (Jared Leto):

You like Huey Lewis and the News? Their early work was a little too new wave for my taste, but when Sports came out in '83, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He's been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far more bitter, cynical sense of humor. [...] In '87, Huey released this, Fore!, their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is "Hip to Be Square," a song so catchy, most people probably don't listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it's not just about the pleasures of conformity, and the importance of trends, it's also a personal statement about the band itself!"

The song was originally featured on the accompanying soundtrack, but shortly after it was released, the album was pulled from the shelves and the song was removed before being reissued, but a small number had already been sold. Reports suggested that Huey Lewis had objected to the context in which his song was used in the film and demanded it be removed from the album.[2][3] In reality, the film's production team had paid for the rights to use the song in the film, but overlooked receiving the rights to include it on the soundtrack. When the soundtrack was released with the song on it, Huey Lewis had it withdrawn, as the soundtrack rights had not been secured.[4] In 2013, Huey Lewis himself guest starred in a parody of the scene with Weird Al Yankovic for comedy website Funny Or Die.

Sesame Street

The popular children's show Sesame Street created an educational version of the song called "Hip to Be a Square" and used it during a cartoon portion of the program.[5]

Track listing

7-inch single
  1. "Hip to Be Square"
  2. "Some of My Lies Are True" (Remix)
12-inch single
  1. "Hip to Be Square" (Dance remix) – 6:05
  2. "Hip to Be Square" (Dub mix) – 5:11


Chart (1986/1987) Peak
Australia ARIA Charts 17
Canadian Singles Chart[6] 14
Dutch Singles Chart[7] 28
Finnish Singles Chart[8] 12
Irish Singles Chart 29
New Zealand Singles Chart 9
Spanish Singles Chart 32
UK Singles Chart[9] 41
US Billboard Hot 100 3
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary 20
US Billboard Album Rock Tracks 1

See also


  1. ^ Huey Lewis Q&A. Q magazine. August 2001. "So many of those hippie kids opted for that [yuppie] way of life; that's basically what inspired [the song]."
  2. ^ Dansby, Andrew (2000-04-11). "Huey Lewis Sparks "American Psycho" Soundtrack Recall". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  3. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie (2000-04-14). "American Psycho". Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  4. ^ Quelland, Sarah (2000-04-20). "Huey in the News". Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 263.  
  9. ^
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