Originally from the east end of London, the three founding members, John Spinks, Tony Lewis and Alan Jackman began recording and playing together as “The Baseball Boys” in the early 80’s. They played a series of shows around London and recorded a couple of early demos, which eventually caught the ear of management who put them in touch with Columbia Records in the U.S. Shortly thereafter, they were signed as a CBS/Columbia Records recording artist and began polishing up the songs which would become their debut album, “Play Deep” released in 1985. This album spawned a series of hit singles including “Say It Isn’t So”, “All The Love In The World”, “Every Time You Cry” and the most memorable of all, “Your Love”. In support of “Play Deep”, they mounted a massive summer tour, opening for Journey and Starship.
In 1986, they began recording the “Play Deep” follow-up album, titled “Bangin'”. This album, released in 1987, was no disappointment to fans and cranked out more hit singles, such as, “Since You’ve Been Gone” and the groove oriented ballad, “No Surrender”. No strangers to the road, they headed back out on tour with Night Ranger, in support of “Bangin'”.
The band’s third album, “Voices of Babylon” for CBS/Columbia, was released in 1988. The lead-off single, “Voices of Babylon” was well received in Billboard’s Rock Charts. Other noteable tunes from this album included “My Paradise” and “The Night Ain’t Over”. This album marked a bit of a change in the band’s sound, it was an incredibly well produced album with a very polished sound. It was definitely the band at their best. After the recording of this album, original drummer, Alan Jackman, made the decision to leave the band before the supporting tour began. Touring with a session drummer from London, that summer, “The Outfield” played a series of very successful shows that opened for “Mike And The Mechanics”. In many cases, getting a more energetic and excitable response from the crowd than the headliner.
With the dawn of the early 90’s, John Spinks and Tony Lewis set out to record their fourth album, on a new label, MCA. The band began experimenting more with electronic drums and a session drummer named, Simon Dawson. The album titled “Diamond Days” (East London slang for: The Best of Times) was released in 1990 and produced one of their biggest hits, the ballad “For You”. This single rocketed up the pop and adult-contemporary charts because of the connection many people felt to the song with the Gulf War closing in. Because of the war, the band was unable to tour in support of this album, choosing rather to go back and begin work on their fifth album and the second for MCA called “Rockeye”. This album was much more a throw back to the band’s earlier sound and featured more of an energetic “live drum” sound from Simon Dawson who was becoming more involved in the sound of the band. With songs like “Closer To Me” and “Winning It All” this album definately satisfied the rock craving among fans! The song “Winning it All” was used on numerous sports broadcasts and videos for the NBA, as well as landing on the soundtrack for the Disney movie “The Mighty Ducks”.
As music changed in the mid 90’s, the band saw classic, well written pop/rock become overthrown by the raw grunge sound of band’s like Nirvana and Pearl Jam. It became clear to them that they would need to take a few steps back and see where all this was leading. Never one to follow fads or trends, and not interested in changing their style to mimic the sound-a-like and look-a-like bands of the 90’s, they chose to stay out of the limelight and rather opted to write and record for themselves til the time was right. In 1998, as a renewed interest in the music of the 80’s began to surface, the band once again started compiling material for a new CD. In 1998 they released a self produced CD, for the fan club and tour only, that was appropriately titled “It Ain’t Over”. The band toured in the fall of 1998 and played to eager, sold out crowds all across the U.S and South America. Highlighting the tour was a show in Trinidad where they played along with “Survivor” and “Air Supply” for nearly 40,000 fans. Having received a massive response from “It Ain’t Over” and having sold out every last copy of it, they decided to look into major distribution.