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Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday Nite Retro

Welcome once again to another edition of Friday Nite Retro - where we force you to remember the music you wanted to forget! But first I'd like to offer up a huge "THANKS!" to Trader Vic for filling in last week - We all enjoyed his Hooters! I'm also experimenting with some new video sources tonight, so please let me know if anything doesn't work for you!

Tonight we're journeying back to the mid 1980's and visiting with some lads from across the pond who went triple platinum with their first release here, 1985's "Play Deep". 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. You know them as. . ."The Outfield".

The band opened for Journey and Starship while their debut album climbed the charts. "Your Love" reached #6 here in America.

Say it isn't So







Your Love


All the Love in the World






1987 saw the release of their second album, Bangin'. The album didn't 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". A US summer tour opening for Night Ranger followed.

Since You've Been Gone


For the group's third album, 1989's Voices of Babylon, a new producer and sound were evident, but overall the group's popularity continued to decline.

Voices of Babylon


After the Babylon LP, Alan Jackman parted ways with the band. 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".

For You


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 more melodic touch.

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.

You can visit their official site HERE.

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