Meet Outfield [PHOTOS, VIDEOS]
You know the Outfield for “Your Love,” their biggest hit…and one of Jersey’s Favorite Hits. This London-based band is notable for the fact that they have had more success in America than England!
Bass player and singer Tony Lewis, John Spinks a guitar player, keyboardist and singer, and drummer Alan Jackman had played together in the late-1970s in a straightforward power pop band called Sirius B.
After rehearsing for about six months and playing several shows, they discovered that their timing was off…that their hard-rockin’ style did not match the punk rock wave that was so dominant in England, and they broke up.
Several years later, they got back together, under the name The Baseball Boys. The guys performed in and around London until one of their demos got them signed to Columbia records in 1984.
John Spinks adopted the band’s name from a teen gang called “The Baseball Furies” in the movie The Warriors. Although he had used the name as a joke, the record label liked it!
The Baseball Boys quickly got a reputation as a very “American-sounding” group and signed in the U.S. after playing for just a few months in England.
Soon, their manager, an American living in England, recommended that they come up with a new name…same attitude, but less “tacky.”
Outfield’s 1985 debut album “Play Deep” was a huge success!
“Your Love” peaked at #6 on the charts. The album would go on to reach triple platinum sales status and the Top 10 in the US album charts! Outfield found themselves on the road, opening for Journey and Starship!
In interviews, John Spinks made a point of saying that band was “totally into not smoking or doing drugs.”
1987 saw the release of a second album, “Bangin’”
This album did not achieve the success of Play Deep, but it gave us the Top 40 single “Since You’ve Been Gone” (#31/1987). A US summer tour opening for Night Ranger followed.
“Voices Of Babylon” was the group’s third album, in 1989.
The title track was a Top 25 single and “My Paradise” was a mid-sized album-rock hit, but overall the group’s popularity continued to slide.
At this time, Alan Jackman left the band, and was replaced for a concert tour by Paul Read.
Into the ’90s, Spinks and Lewis continued as a duo, and Outfield albums with minor hits were released in 1991 and 1992. Simon Dawson, a drummer, would eventually become the band’s new (official) third member.
By 1995, the Outfield had gone on a break…once again recognizing that their sound was not totally in touch with the times. This time, it was due to the pop success of grunge…Nirvana and Peal Jam to be specific.
The Outfield went back to their roots, once again playing the pubs in London, where the crowds were shocked to learn that they had sold millions of records in the States. The lack of recognition in England would be a problem, but the band was not to be deterred.
Albums of new material, and leftovers from previous projects (plus a “live” album) would be released into the 2000′s.
In 2009, the original line up of John Spinks, Tony Lewis and Alan Jackman returned to a London recording studio to record their first album together since 1988′s Voices Of Babylon. “Replay,” some of which was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, came out in 2011.
The single “California Sun” was heard on adult pop radio…
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