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Biographies: The Outfield

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Reviewer: Iluvthe80s

Ironically, given their obsession with America's favorite pastime, the Outfield got their start in London's East End. Playing under the name the Baseball Boys, the trio of bassist/singer Tony Lewis, guitarist/keyboardist John Spinks, and drummer Alan Jackman played around London and recorded some early demos, attracting the attention of Columbia/CBS Records. They were signed shortly thereafter and began working on their debut album, Play Deep, which was released in 1985. The album was a smash success, going triple platinum, reaching number nine on the album charts, and producing their biggest song, "Your Love," which was a Top Ten hit. To support the album, they launched an international tour opening for Journey and Starship. They began recording their second album in 1986 and in 1987 issued Bangin'. While not duplicating the huge commercial success of their debut, it did produce two hit singles, "Since You've Been Gone" and "No Surrender." The band's third album featured a bit of a stylistic shift and was more meticulously produced than their previous efforts. Voices of Babylon, released in 1988, produced a single of the same name, but the band's commercial success was slipping. Jackman left the band after it was recorded and they hired Paul Reed to step in as drummer for the Voices tour.

Spinks and Lewis, now officially a duo, switched labels and began recording Diamond Days for MCA. A new session drummer, Simon Dawson, joined them and helped add an electronic edge to their sound. Diamond Days produced one of their biggest singles, "For You." They followed up with 1992's Rockeye. Its single, "Winning It All" became a feature at sporting events and was on The Mighty Ducks soundtrack. Simon Dawson had become increasingly involved in the shaping of the band's sound and became an official member of the band at this time. They went on hiatus for much of the mid-'90s, returning to record an exclusive release for their fan club, entitled It Ain't Over, then embarking on a kind of '80s revival tour. In 1998, they released Extra Innings, which was a compilation of several songs they wrote during the '90s, and also featured four new songs written in 1998. Stacia Proefrock

SOURCE: Allmusic.com

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