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Articles Hierarchy
Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Outfield, The - 1985 Play Deep
 
Outfield, The - 1985 Play Deep



ARTIST: Outfield, The
ALBUM: Play Deep
LABEL: CBS
SERIAL: FC 40027 (LP), CK 40027 (CD)
YEAR: 1985

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Tony Lewis - lead vocals, bass * John Spinks - guitars, vocals * Alan Jackman - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Say It Isn't So * 02 Your Love * 03 I Don't Need Her * 04 Everytime You Cry * 05 61 Seconds * 06 Mystery Man * 07 All The Love * 08 Talk To Me * 09 Taking My Chances * 10 Nervous Alibi

WEBLINKS: www.theoutfield.com


Background
The trio of Tony Lewis, John Spinks and Alan Jackman originate from London, UK. During the early 80's the three would form a band called the Baseball Boys - their sound modeled on influential favourites of the era including The Police, The Cars and Led Zeppelin. Playing shows throughout London and producing some early demos, the trio caught the ear of interested parties. One of those showing an interest was Columbia Records (CBS) in the USA who duly signed them up. The bands debut 'Play Deep' would finally hit the streets in November 1985, and within a year The Outfield would be a name synonymous with AOR/radio rock all across the world.


The Songs
The Outfield's catchy brand of radio laced AOR is evident from the start. 'Say It Isn't So' is such a big sounding tune it's hard to imagine that only three guys are responsible for the sound. Don't we all know the lead in verse to 'Your Love'.. Josie's on a vacation far away... This track was a huge hit in 1986 for the band, racing up to No 6 on the Billboard Charts. It's easy to hear why - big chorus, pulsing bass lines, and though it might be comparable to their British contemporaries The Police, it's so much more melodic. The Outfield's successful formula is repeated on minor hit singles 'All The Love' and 'Everytime You Cry', but it doesn't just start and end with thos efour tracks. More upbeat jangly guitars and huge choruses dominant '61 Seconds' - ideal for radio circa 1986, 'Mystery Man' is best described as The Police doing AOR, while the excellent 'Taking My Chances' is delivered with a sense of urgency. Some great tracks here.


In Summary
The band toured hard on the back of this album during 1986, picking up support slots with both Journey and Starship. As a result, 'Play Deep' sold huge, eventually going triple platinum!! Big numbers indeed. The trio would take a well-earned break after this, and return with another excellent set 'Bangin' during 1987.


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Tags: The Outfield 
 
Comments
#1 | Eric on April 16 2009 00:19:22
Terrific stuff. Loved this band to death back in the day. The Police without Sting's portentousness. I remember 'Everytime you Cry' getting a lot of airplay in my area. Might have been the last single from the album?
#2 | gdazegod on April 16 2009 02:10:17
I reckon these guys were much better than The Police. They wrote hugely melodic songs and were better songwriters all around. Just my opinion.. stress
#3 | Eric on April 16 2009 14:19:40
I liked Sting's solo stuff better than The Police. It's debatable who was better and I never cared for the reggae thing they had going on with the first three albums, but The Outfield were certainly more melodic friendly. The second album 'Bangin'' was great too!
#4 | swazi on November 16 2011 18:50:30
"Say it isn't so" must be the song I played the most that year as a DJ in my favorite pub. Love it!
#5 | code4 on October 02 2015 00:37:43
I was only a wee nipper back in 85, but from my perception this one blends an interesting mixture between college rock or 'alternative' (as it became known pre-grunge) and AOR. Nice mix. I never liked 'Your Love' all that much, because as much as i enjoy it from a musical standpoint i find the lyrics sort of sleazy 'though i like my girls a little bit older....I just want to use your love tonight'. Hey i probably just never rocked though. While it's not quite as consistent as this fine debut ('Taking my chances' is my favourite song while i love 'Mystery Man' and 'All The Love' too among many others)i prefer the second album 'Bangin'. The song 'No Surrender' is my all time favourite cut by The Outfield. A bit like 4 out of 5 doctors (which glorydaze have showcased much to my delight), they were worthy of recommendation to AOR fans upon their debut but when it came to the second album they became almost a 'must recommend' for AOR fans. I also much like 'Playground' from that second album. The 'Voices of Babylon' album, while it has a few superb songs, i feel is too highly rated by the band (i seem to recall them claiming it to be maybe their strongest work, or at least before the more modern album releases, naturally) and many fans too if i remember the amazon reviews right (love the title cut in particular though). Relatively enjoyed 'Diamond Days', then found my next favourite Outfield album with 'Rockeye'. A bit like Survivor 'When Seconds Count' (not that the bands share much similarity that aside i suppose).. the band had been working on the same tree for a tad too long maybe, yet really reached perfection of their formula with that one for me ..even if a certain portion of their fan base may have stopped listening by then sadly. Less the quality bridge sections, Outfield have become a prototype cloned for modern 'pop punk' bands of the commercial variety and pop in general i feel over the latter 90's and up till now. Very influential to pop music particularly post grunge. To get back to the way i started my comment, i feel as if they sort of confuse the line between alternative pop as it was (now somewhat more incorporated into mainstream pop) and AOR. Cool band. Cheers
#6 | super80boy on January 10 2016 16:07:59
Play Deep was a clear runaway success with ten perfectly crafted songs. What I've liked about the album is the quality of the deep cuts, '61 Seconds', 'Mystery Man' and 'Taking My Chances' are all single worthy cuts. The album's lyric inner sleeve picture has an interesting take on the album's title 'Play Deep'. The Outfield's second offering 'Bangin' doesn't quite scale to the same heights, but it gets pretty close, definitely a worthy candidate for a review here at some point.
 
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