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