Diamond Days is the fourth album by the British band The Outfield. The song "For You" was the band's biggest hit in years, reaching the Top 40. It also featured a new session drummer, Simon Dawson. Diamond Days was the first album the band released under the MCA record label, having previously recorded for Sony.
*Tony Lewis - vocals, bass;
*John Spinks - guitar, keyboard, Songwriter;
*Simon Dawson - drums.This text has been derived from Diamond Days on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
The Outfield are an arena rock-influenced British pop rock/power pop power trio based in London, England. The Outfield are unusual for a British band in that they enjoyed commercial success in the U.S., but never reached the album or singles charts in their homeland. They began recording during the mid-1980s, and they released their first album, Play Deep, in 1985 through Columbia Records. The album reached #9 on the Billboard 200 list and then reached triple platinum in America. Their single "Your Love" reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as #7 on the Mainstream Rock chart, and it became their signature song. It went on to be featured in a number of 80s-themed compilation albums, and over 1,000 covers and remixes by other artists have been released online. The other singles "Say It Isn't So" and "Everytime You Cry" also made it into the top 20 on the Mainstream Rock chart.
The band continued to record and tour through the 1980s and then into the early 1990s. While their sophomore album, Bangin', hit the top 20 on the Billboard 200 list had both singles hit the Top 40 Mainstream Rock chart, the group began losing their popular audience by their third album, Voices of Babylon, in 1989. Drummer Alan Jackman left and, now as a duo, they recorded Diamond Days in 1991. After the disappointing response to their 1992 album Rockeye, which represented a shift towards progressive rock and arena rock, the group essentially disbanded in the 90s. They resumed touring in 1998, and thereafter released two live albums via their website. The band's latest album, Any Time Now, was released by Sidewinder Records in March 2006 and constituted a comeback to their traditional pop rock sound. In mid-2009, the Outfield entered a London studio to begin recording their 7th studio album. Although popular interest in the band has waned since their 80s musical heyday, their group had maintained a devoted fan base among followers of the power pop genre.
Beginnings and Columbia era
Bassist/singer Tony Lewis, guitarist/keyboardist and songwriter John Spinks, and drummer Alan Jackman played together in the late-70s in a straightforward power pop band called Sirius B. Although rehearsing for about six months and playing several gigs, their style did not match the punk rock that was surging in popularity in England and they broke up. Several years afterward, they gathered back together in London's East End under the name The Baseball Boys. They performed in and around London until a demo got them signed to Columbia/CBS Records in 1984.
Spinks adopted the name 'Baseball Boys' from a teen gang in the cult film The Warriors, a movie that he had just seen. Although he used the name as a joke and "ust to be outrageous", record company people responded favourably. The band got a reputation as a very "American-sounding" group and signed in the U.S. after playing for just a few months in England. Their manager, an American living in England, recommended a new band name with a similar attitude since 'Baseball Boys' seemed too "tacky" and "tongue-in-cheek". Spinks has said, "the Outfield was the most left-wing kind of thing we liked."
Spinks expressed a strong love for the American sport of baseball, while also being a devoted fan of association football, saying:
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.
Spinks made a point of mentioning that band was "totally into not smoking or doing drugs" in interviews.
1987 saw the release of their second album, Bangin'. This album did not achieve the acclaim of Play Deep, but it did spawn a Top 40 single "Since You've Been Gone" (not to be confused with the 1970s Rainbow and Head East hit of the same name) and the minor radio/MTV hit "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 was a Top 25 single and "My Paradise" was a mid-sized album-rock hit, 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 Read.
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 30 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 a near Top 40 hit, and 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, the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics and the film The Mighty Ducks. Simon Dawson, who played on Rockeye, would eventually become the band's official third member.
1990s and 2000s
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 Spring 2011, and is called Aladdin's Cave. In addition, The Outfield launched their official Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and MySpace pages in November 2009.
Style and influences
John Spinks said in 1986 interview with the Los Angeles Times that he was majorly influenced by "the music that gives me a rush" and that he "grew up on the Beatles". He also cited contemporaries Journey, Foreigner, and Mister Mister — particularly the latter's hit "Broken Wings". American pop culture critic and poet Daniel Nester have stated that the group sounds like "if The Knack found a helium dispenser". The band's songs are often mistaken with the Police, due to their similar style.
*Tony Lewis — vocals, bass guitar (1984–present)
*John Spinks — guitar, vocals (1984–present)
*Alan Jackman — drums, percussion (1984–1989, 2002, 2009–present)
*Simon Dawson — drums (1990–1995, 1999–2005, 2006)
*Jeff Gish — drums (2005)
*David Kahne — keyboards, producer (1990, on Voices of Babylon)
*Reg Webb — keyboards (1990, on Play Deep)
*Paul Read — Drums (1989)
*Grahame Leslie — Guitar (1985–1987)
*Playing the Field (1995)
*Big Innings: The Best of The Outfield (1996)
*Super Hits (1998)
*Live in Brazil (2001)
*The Outfield Live (2005)
ReferencesThis text has been derived from The Outfield on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0