“Your Love” was one of the best-known cheating songs of the 1980s, with a lyric line revealing a desire for a sneaky one-night stand with an ex-lover. In the mini-documentary, produced by Professor of Rock, host Adam Reader conducts a ‘deep dive’ discussion with The Outfield’s lead singer and bassist Tony Lewis, into the story behind “Your Love.”
The Outfield: Building the Team
British band The Outfield came to life thanks to the amalgamated talents of friends Tony Lewis (bassist/vocals), John Spinks (guitarist/composer), and Alan Jackman (drummer). The trio had played together in the 1970s as Sirius B but had broken up when their songs didn’t fit the punk rock sound surging across England. But you can’t keep a good band down. When they came back together in the 80s, they needed a new name to go with their relaunch. They settled on The Baseball Boys, a name John came up with after being inspired by a fictional New York City street gang called “The Baseball Furies,” from the 1979 cult film “The Warriors.” Initially, the band used The Baseball Boys as a joke, “to be outrageous” they would later say, but then changed their name to “The Outfield,” at the band’s former manager’s suggestion, as John became enamored with American baseball.
Tony, who considered John more of a brother than a bandmate, fondly remembers John’s contributions as lead guitarist and principal composer for The Outfield, including the day John played the work-in-progress version of “Your Love” to him. John introduced it to Tony by feeding him what became some of the most memorable opening lyrics of any 80s song, “Josie’s on a vacation far away, come around and talk it over.” Tony instantly knew John had created something special. Of course, Tony’s own high-octave vocals are perhaps the most distinguishing component of what gave The Outfield their sound and separated them from other 80s bands. Tony had a unique style, and a powerful sustained range, something Adam Reader calls a “cross between Sting and Steve Perry.”
Nevertheless, The Outfield’s music didn’t really connect in their homeland. “Your Love” for example, stalled at #83 on the U.K. Singles chart. The song went to #37 in Canada, #17 in the Netherlands, #33 in Belgium, and #52 in Germany, but it was in America that the song truly found a massive audience.
The Title: Your Love
The Outfield’s debut album ‘Play Deep,” was hugely successful in the United States, becoming a Top 10 album on the Billboard Top Albums chart, ascending to #9, and selling more than three million copies. The first single from the album, “Say It Isn’t So,” saw moderate success, reaching #18 on the Mainstream Rock Chart in the U.S., though it did not break the Billboard Hot 100. The album’s second single, however, “Your Love,” which ironically was released on February 14, 1986, Valentine’s Day, was a smash. “Your Love” peaked at #7 on Billboard Magazine’s Mainstream Rock chart and performed even better on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart, rising to #6 for the week of May 10th, 1986. By the end of its run, the song had spent 22 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and Ranked #63 on Billboard’s Year-End chart for 1986. And the video for ‘Your Love’ went all the way to #2 on the MTV’s Top 20 Countdown, in April of 1986.
“Your Love” has a theme of seduction, but also of overt honesty. The lead character has no interest in starting a lasting, meaningful relationship, he is looking for a fling. From the line “It’s been a while since we were all alone,” we are led to believe that he may be with an ex-girlfriend, or that the two have found themselves in this position before. Fans of the
Losing John Spinks
John Spinks passed away in 2014 at the age of 60, after a battle with liver cancer. In addition to his talent as a songwriter, John was an accomplished musician who had a brilliant knack for creating memorable melodies and distinctive guitar riffs. John said in a 1986 interview with the Los Angeles Times that he was very influenced by “the music that gives me a rush,” mentioning that he grew up on The Beatles. He also cited contemporaries Journey, Foreigner, and Mr. Mister as being influential. After John’s death, surviving members announced that The Outfield had officially disbanded out of respect for their lost comrade.
The Postseason: Tony Lewis goes Solo
A few years later, Tony’s love for making music was rekindled, and he released a solo album called Out of the Darkness, in late June of 2018. The album’s first single, “Into the Light,” demonstrates that Tony hasn’t lost his vocal chops. He can still hit the high notes. The album is a true gift for fans of The Outfield, who were left begging for more when the band took a permanent hiatus in the mid-90s. And whether you are a former fan, or are discovering his music for the first time, we are lucky to have Tony back in a major way.