Friday, April 17, 2015

O is for Outfield


In 1985, the album Play Deep received a warm welcome in America - triple platinum, in fact. The Outfield had arrived! Though their band and sound originated in England, it was America that embraced the group above all others. 

Tony Lewis, John Spinks and Alan Jackman first got together and called themselves Sirius B, with Jimmy Boswell singing lead. The music they wanted to play and the music the public wanted to hear was out of sync. Punk was all the rage and so they drifted apart after two gigs, only to reappear later as The Baseball Boys, a name that John had doodled on the spine of a demo cassette. Other musicians came and went before the three originals returned. Their collaboration led to a recording contract with Columbia/CBS Records. Some said they sounded "American." Spinks liked that - he admired the showmanship of American sports - particularly baseball. The name "the Outfield" wasn't a far cry from "The Baseball Boys." 

With the success of Play Deep, the Outfield received plenty of air time on MTV. Though they continued to play, they would never re-create the magic of that first album. Alan Jackman left the group for a period of time only to return in 2009. Other fine musicians filled in the gap, but they would never see the popularity they had or open for the big acts, like they had for Journey and Starship. 

The Outfield never really stopped touring, however. Sure, there would be a hiatus from time to time, but they always found a reason to get back together. They even re-recorded their big hit as recently as 2013. 

Sadly, in 2014, John Spinks died after a long bout with liver cancer.

(We're just having a little fun...)
For me, the Outfield will always be the combined talents of Tony Lewis, John Spinks and Alan Jackman. It's the end of an era. They may not have reached Beatlesque heights, but they were one of a kind in their own right. 


Raise a toast to John Spinks; I don't want to lose your love tonight...






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51 comments:

  1. Oooooh!...
    "O is for: Ozzy Osbourne is Outraged!"

    ~ D-FensDogG

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    1. Oh, no! If this gets me off of his Christmas card list, I'm doomed!

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  2. Uh-no. "O is for Orleans is over you." (Sorry, had to spoof you too.) I knew both of these songs. I even knew the words. But the band name or member's names? Nope, nada, zip. Lovely "O" but I'll go find Orleans and post a dedication to you for later. (You know I will.) smile.

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    1. Ha ha! That's awesome. My son is irritated because I changed it from O is for Oasis to the Outfield. But I just found out John Spinks died...

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  3. Replies
    1. Like I said, mainly famous in America - not a big following elsewhere.

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  4. Informative

    http://serendipityofdreams.blogspot.in/

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  5. Now I remember, Since You've Been Gone. Good song! I would've fit right in with my 80's mullet! It's sad that John Spinks passed away.

    Julie

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  6. Oh, put me in coach, I'm ready to play today
    Put me in coach, I'm ready to play today
    Look at me, I can be centerfield
    - John Fogerty

    Good morning, dear Cherdo!

    Looks like you touched off another nasty milkshake feud with Stephen, this one called Ozzygate, and now he's goin' off the rails on a crazy train.

    Going into today's post The Outfield was clinging to the fringe of my memory. Your article and the two vids brought 'em back alive. Now I remember them well. These guys activated my right brain (what there is of it) and turned me into an early morning dream weaver. I can picture you and Janie and Stephen and me as an 80s brat pack. (Can we make it rat pack instead?) You play the Molly Ringwald character, Janie's Ally Sheedy, Stephen can be Andrew McCarthy (naturally) and I will be Judd Nelson because I'm too handsome to play Rob Lowe. (Maybe Stephen and I could take turns being James Spader.) Anyway, these Outfield songs form the soundtrack of our bratty (or ratty) St. Elmo's Fire type misadventures.

    Thanks for resurrecting the look and sound of 80s pop rock, power pop and new wave with a reintroduction of The Outfield, dear friend Cherdo. Have a safe and happy weekend and please remember to swing by my blog tomorrow if you can and join the birthday celebration. Thank you!

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    1. What you don't realize is this: Stephen drives the crazy train; he used to be on the crew that laid the tracks, hence my respect for him.

      We'd make a great br-rat pack. First thing's first: let's get a full soundtrack going. The Outfield will be one the list, of course. STMcC is going to insist on Howlin' Wolf; I can live with that. Janie and I will insist on a few Journey and Nilsson tunes. Do we have a set location? Is the Dell available for filming?

      It's rainy and dreary today - I'm going to ignore it and catch up on some A-to-Z visits since I finally have a morning at home. I'll see you tomorrow - save me a piece of birthday cake and a pointy hat, Shady!

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    2. CWMartin mentioned you today; go check it out:
      http://humbleauthorbsp.blogspot.com/2015/04/time-machine-week-20.html

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    3. Yessum, he told me he was linking to one of my posts today. That was nice of him and I already submitted a comment.

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    4. Shecky Shady Shaft is so funny! And you too, Cherdo! (But doggone-it! Get some new bath towels, will ya? How long you gonna stick with that 'Avocado Green'? That color went south to Mexico after the 1960s!)

      I was just telling Shecshasha the other day that I think YOU, Cherdo, are the Creative Light Bulb that draws We Weird Ones - odd moths of a feather - together. Then I wondered how you and I even "met". It wasn't long ago, really, but I already can't remember. Can you?

      Can I have a Beach Boys song on our soundtrack, too, alongside one by Howlin' Wolf? Their music is so dang similar that it makes perfect sense and it would be an ideal segue: Howlin' Wolf to the Beach Boys - some folks probably won't even realize they're two different artists.

      You know, that "putting together an imaginary soundtrack" actually sounds like fun and could make an interesting blog bit... someday... after A2Z.... after I sober up... if I sober up.

      Now I gotta go see what this Andrew McCarthy character looks like, to find out whether or not I'm mad at S-3.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      POSTSCRIPT:
      "For the record", I have never owned a single Ozzy Osbourne record. So, it's not that I'm offended by the exclusion of a favorite singer. It's just that... I feel his pain.


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    5. OMG... You don't know who Andrew McCarthy is?????

      I just fell and hurt myself.

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    6. Here is a clip from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fB7k86lqWc

      Since you have such good hair, I can totally see you as the Andrew McCarthy character, but I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanna be Ally Sheedy. Maybe Junie can be Demi Moore or Mare Winningham????

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    7. Stephen, since you don't seem to have a handle on The Brat Pack...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcsIWxu_dmQ

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    8. Robin, if you're willing to change yours to Demi Moore, then I'll change mine to Emilio Estevez or maybe even Bruce Willis or Ashton Kutcher.

      Deal?...................... or NO deal? :)

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    9. Why do I have to be Ally Sheedy and scratch my head to use my dandruff in my artwork? Gross, man!

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    10. STEPHEN:

      Where did we meet? I can't believe you don't remember. I was walking down the sidewalk that hugged the bay at Villefranche-sur-Mer in the south of France when we bumped in to each other. You were wearing a black beret; we had lunch at the cafe and then we climbed the stairs behind the restaurant to the train platform. We shared a train seat and a bottle of white wine. We hopped off at Monaco and I last saw you playing roulette.

      Yep, that brings us up to speed.

      "Creative Light Bulb" for "we weird ones." I'll take that. It makes me sound bright.

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    11. -------- GIRL WONDER --------
      The closest I ever got to learnin' my "Brat Pack A To Zs" was in watching about half of the movie 'Breakfast Club". That's all I could stands and I couldn't stands no mo'.

      OK, thanks for the crash course. I guess I'm OK with Andrew McCarthy. (You're off-a da hook, Shecshasha). Heck, I'll even be Molly Ringwald, just so long as nobody tries to make me that Anthony Michael Hall goober!

      Mare Winningham? You know Mare Winningham? When I was a young pup I had a bit of a crush on her. She can sing 'Me And Bobby McGee" for me in the bathtub any ol' time.

      -------- GFC --------
      Me, in France, wearing a beret and drinking white wine? Are you sure it wasn't two other people? I don't remember that at all, and... I don't even like white wine. (Well, at least the beret was black and not "Paris pink".) I guess I really DO need to cut down on my drinking.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    12. Shady,
      Looks like Janie rejects Ally Sheedy. I think that means I've got it. I bet she's willing to be Demi Moore, though.

      Of course I'm willing to be Demi Moore... I just didn't think I had the bod for that part. I mean Yikes! But, it might be worth it to see you work it as Emilio Estevez.

      Delete
    13. Stephen,

      I'm pretty sure the movie St. Elmo's Fire launched this Brat Pack notion. Mare Winningham was in that movie. To help you remember...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TB8q78FEwE8

      Delete
  7. I never knew who sang Your Love. Interesting,

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    1. That is an iconic song, in my humble opinion.

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  8. How sad. My wife has all of their albums. Voices of Babylon was a cool tune.

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    1. Sometimes, it's a mystery to me as to why some groups start big and then the public says, "Meh."

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  9. They don't ring a bell and I can't listen to the songs at the moment even if I am on break, since I am at work. I have to do that tonight if i get a chance. Now the titles of the songs ring a bell. What a shame this man died so young. They look so 80's:)

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    1. If you had ears in the 80s, you'll probably recognize "Your Love."

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    2. Oh I had ears back then but I don't recall these tunes but the voice sounds so familiar:)

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  10. Never heard of them either, guess Canada shunned them or something

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    1. Under the radar! Or this is a Canadian conspiracy...

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  11. I don't remember much about this group, or about John Spinks. But he sure is a cutey patuty!

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    1. My guess is that people might remember the tunes, but not the names of the members of the group.

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  12. This is my first time hearing of them too.

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    1. But don't you feel so much smarter now? Your horizons have been expanded!

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  13. Your Love by the Outfield is a great song. You're digging up some oldies here.

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    1. I am the girl with the shovel, Mike.

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  14. Outfield is a great choice. Not Ozzy. Though he led a band while Harriet sang.

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    1. He's nice like that and Harriet appreciated it. Ricky thought he was a mic hog.

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  15. A lot of good memories of playing pool in my sister's basement in this era... Say it isn't so (tell me I'm the only one)... say it isn't so (without you I can't go on...)

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    1. Ah, the basement gang...I remember those days.

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  16. What I like about you... you really know your tunes! I'd forgotten the band name, etc... but as soon as I heard the first song I flashed back to my days of black and red hair, black hat, black duster with the shoulder pads, black boots, etc... etc...

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    1. Those were the days, indeed! Thanks, Jacqueline!

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  17. How did I miss this post, and why do you have more than one O? Oasis! Where did you get permission for multiple Os? Na na na na na na na na, hey Junebug.

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    1. I must mention that I don't think I've ever heard of these outfield people before.

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    2. << Where did you get permission for multiple Os? >>

      SNICKER SNORT, SNICKER SNORT, SNICKER SNORT!

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    3. Now you've done it...Shady is in a snicker--paloosa.

      As long as I can type and I can have as many O or A or E or I...any vowel, really...that I want.

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  18. Not familiar with them, but it's been awhile since I was into music.

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    1. Music is just outside, waiting for you...put down the paint brush...

      Nevermind...I love the way you paint. You paint, I'll play the music.

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo