| gumbo wrote on Jan 11, 2011 on 03:57|
John Spinks - Guitar, Backing Vocals, Lyrics
Tony Lewis - Bass, Lead Vocals, Lyrics
Simon Dawson - Drums, Backing Vocals
Bassist/singer Tony Lewis, guitarist/keyboardist and songwriter John Spinks, and drummer Alan Jackman played together in the late-70s in a straightforward power pop band called Sirius B.
Although rehearsing for about six months and playing several gigs, their style did not match the punk rock that was surging in popularity in England and they broke up. Several years afterward, they gathered back together in London's East End under the name The Baseball Boys. They performed in and around London until a demo got them signed to Columbia/CBS Records in 1984.
Spinks adopted the name 'Baseball Boys' from a teen gang in the cult film The Warriors, a movie that he had just seen. Although he used the name as a joke and "[j]ust to be outrageous", record company people responded favorably. The band got a reputation as a very "American-sounding" group and signed in the U.S. after playing for just a few months in England.
Their manager, an American living in England, recommended a new band name with a similar attitude since 'Baseball Boys' seemed too "tacky" and "tongue-in-cheek". Spinks has said, "the Outfield was the most left-wing kind of thing we liked."[
They played a series of shows around London and recorded a couple of early demos, which eventually caught the ear of management who put them in touch with Columbia Records in the U.S. Shortly thereafter, they were signed as a CBS/Columbia Records recording artist and began polishing up the songs which would become their debut album, "Play Deep" released in 1985. This album spawned a series of hit singles including "Say It Isn't So", "All The Love In The World", "Everytime You Cry" and the most memorable of all, "Your Love". In support of "Play Deep", they mounted a massive summer tour, opening for Journey and Starship.
1987 saw the release of their second album, Bangin'. This album did not achieve the acclaim of Play Deep, but it did spawn two minor hit singles, "Since You've Been Gone" (not to be confused with the 1970s Rainbow and Head East hit of the same name) and "No Surrender", and the album was certified Gold in the U.S.. A US summer tour opening for Night Ranger followed.
For the group's third album, 1989's Voices of Babylon, a new producer (David Kahne) and sound was evident. The title track and "My Paradise" were mid-sized album-rock hits, but overall the group's popularity continued to decline.
After the Babylon LP, Alan Jackman parted ways with the band and was replaced for a concert tour by Paul Read.
With the dawn of the early 90's, John Spinks and Tony Lewis set out to record their fourth album, on a new label, MCA.
As they switched labels and began recording Diamond Days (which is East London slang for: The Best of Times) for label MCA. Playing drums on the disc was session drummer Simon Dawson. The LP, released in 1990, produced a Top 30 US hit, "For You".
Quick to follow was "One Hot Country", included on the soundtrack for the 1991 action film If Looks Could Kill.
The Outfield returned with 1992's Rockeye. Its leadoff single, "Closer to Me", was not a hit, but a second release, "Winning It All", gained some notice due to extensive play during NBC's NBA Finals coverage, NBA Superstars series featuring Larry Bird, and the film The Mighty Ducks. Simon Dawson, who played on Rockeye, would eventually become the band's official third member.
The band took an extended hiatus during the mid-1990s as changing musical fashions, especially the popularity of edgier bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, made life difficult for older bands with a less fashionable aesthetic.
The Outfield returned to their East End roots, and often played low-key gigs at a local pub, where much of the clientele were unaware that the group had sold millions of records in the US. Unfortunately, this situation was typical of the problems The Outfield had faced in their homeland: little recognition and a much smaller following than they had experienced in the US.
Nevertheless, the band would reappear with a fan club-only release, entitled It Ain't Over..., and resume touring. Soon thereafter, in 1999, they released Extra Innings, a compilation of music that they recorded over the past 5 years as well as 4 brand new songs recorded in 1998/99. The album showcases the classic style and timeless sound of The Outfield and is a testament to the band's early influences.
The early 2000s saw the band regroup with Alan Jackman and issue two live collections, issued via their official website: Live in Brazil and The Outfield Live. In March 2006, the band released Any Time Now, a new studio album.
In 2009, the original line up of John Spinks, Tony Lewis and Alan Jackman returned to a London studio to record their first album together since Voices of Babylon was recorded in 1988. The album is due in mid 2010. In addition, The Outfield launched their official Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and MySpace pages in November 2009.
• Tony Lewis — vocals, bass guitar (1984–present)
• John Spinks — guitar, vocals (1984–present)
• Alan Jackman — drums, percussion (1984–1989, 2002, 2009–present)
• Simon Dawson — drums (1990–1995, 1999–2005, 2006)
• Jeff Gish — drums (2005)
• David Kahne — keyboards, producer (1990, on Voices of Babylon)
• Reg Webb — keyboards (1990, on Play Deep)
• Paul Read — Drums (1989)
• Grahame Leslie — Guitar (1985–1987)
• Play Deep (1985) #9 US
• Bangin' (1987) #18 US
• Voices of Babylon (1989) #53 US
• Diamond Days (1990) #90 US
• Rockeye (1992)
• It Ain't Over... (1998) / Extra Innings (1999)
• Any Time Now (2006)
• Playing the Field (1995)
• Big Innings: The Best of The Outfield (1996)
• Super Hits (1998)
• Live in Brazil (2001)
• The Outfield Live (2005)
1. Daniel Nester (December 1, 2009). "Josie Reconsidered: Notes on The Outfield’s “Your Love”". Coldfront Magazine. http://coldfrontmag.com/poets-off-poetry/daniel-nester-josie-reconsidered-notes-on-the-outfield%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cyour-love. Retrieved July 3, 2010.
2. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r14676. Retrieved July 3, 2010.
3. DeGagne, Mike. "Your Love". All Music Guide. http://www.allmusic.com/song/t814792. Retrieved July 3, 2010.
4. Stone, Doug. "Bangin' - Overview". All Music Guide. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r14674. Retrieved July 3, 2010.
5. Viglione, Joe. "Rockeye - Overview". All Music Guide. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r59576. Retrieved July 7, 2010.
6. Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Any Time Now - Overview". All Music Guide. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r822178. Retrieved July 3, 2010.
7. Popson, Tom (August 1, 1986). "In This Outfield, They Root, Root, Root For Soccer". Chicago Tribune. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1986-08-01/entertainment/8602250485_1_alan-jackman-john-spinks-band/2.
10. Proefrock, Stacia. "The Outfield - Biography". All Music Guide. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p5083/biography. Retrieved July 3, 2010.
11. DeGagne, Mike. "Play Deep - Overview". All Music Guide.
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