Tony Lewis Of "The Outfield" 1986 - The Stone Balloon - Newark, DE - Photo By Sam Cali
|Genres||Pop, Rock, Album oriented rock, Power pop, Country Rock|
|Years active||1984 – present|
|Reg Webb (keyboards, Play Deep)|
The Outfield are a British pop rock/power pop band based in London. They began recording during the mid-1980s, and released their first album, Play Deep in 1985. The album went triple platinum in America. The Outfield are unusual for a British band in that they enjoyed commercial success in the US, but never reached the album or singles charts in their homeland. They continued to record into the early 1990s, before a hiatus during the middle of that decade. They resumed touring in 1998, and thereafter released two live albums via their web site. The band's latest album, Any Time Now, was released by Sidewinder Records in March, 2006. In mid 2009, The Outfield entered a London studio to begin recording their 7th studio album.
Formed in London's East End under the name The Baseball Boys, bassist/singer Tony Lewis, guitarist/keyboardist and songwriter John Spinks, and drummer Alan Jackman performed in and around London until a demo got them signed to Columbia/CBS Records in 1984.
Their debut album, Play Deep, produced by William Wittman, was issued in 1985, and was a success. The album would go on to reach triple platinum sales status and the Top 10 in the US album charts; it also featured a Top 10 single entry with "Your Love", which peaked at #6. The band toured extensively, opening for Journey and Starship.
1986 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 Reed.
Spinks and Lewis continued as a duo, switched labels and began recording Diamond Days for MCA. Playing drums on the disc was session drummer Simon Dawson. The LP, released in 1990, produced a Top 20 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, an odds-and-ends compilation of new and older, unreleased songs.
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 of 2009.
|Year||Song||US Hot 100||US MSR||UK Singles||Album|
|1985||"Say It Isn't So"||18||Play Deep|
|"All the Love"||19||14||96|
|"Everytime You Cry"||66||20|
|1987||"Since You've Been Gone"||31||11||Bangin'|
|"Bangin' on My Heart"||40|
|1989||"Voices of Babylon"||25||2||78||Voices of Babylon|
|1990||"For You"||21||13||Diamond Days|
|1992||"Closer to Me"||43||46||Rockeye|