The Outfield: Extra Innings-The Best Of The Outfield


The Outfield are a British Pop/Rock group based in London. Formed in the early 1980’s, the band released their debut record Play Deep to huge U.S. success. In a clear reversal of fortune, the band had a huge impact in the United States, while they remained unknown in their native UK. The band’s debut release sold a staggering 3 million copies in the US alone!!! Despite the mass appeal of the band, each progressive release was met with fewer and fewer sales. The band went their separate ways in the early 90’s, but have recently reformed and issued a new CD in 2006 as well as two live releases on Sidewinder Records. Thus far in their career, the band has released 7 studio full lengths.

Voices Of Babylon—-From the onset, you are sucked in by the mass AOR feel of the music….the vocal is clear and soaring. You cannot dent the likeability of the band…once the melodies kick in, you are lost. The song has strong 80’s synth leanings, but set themselves apart by an underlying Progressive rock feel and a damn fine vocalist. You can’t escape this brilliance.

For You—-The song begins with trademark 80’s sounds, the voice is crystal clear and full of infection. You cannot escape the beauty of the band when they join together in perfect harmony and melody. The musical track makes me think of mid 80’s Police, but the voice…it is all of it’s own…this is fantastic.

Your Love—-Perhaps one of the band’s biggest its, it is such simply because it follows a tried and true recipe of mass appeal. the harmonies are fantastic, the music is the type of 80’s pop that you could dance to and still be acceptable. The lyrical content leans to the serious side and the emotion for the song comes through the vocal delivery. Really Nice!!!

It Should Have Been Me—-Again, this song is full of Synchronicity sounding music. The vocal is so laid back, that it borders on a slight Country feel. The vocal harmonies are stellar….at times understated but at the interlude come alive…makes you remember why you loved this band.

Say It Isn’t So—-Yet another huge Top 40 hit for the band in the US, the song combines many of the elements of the mid 80’s that almost guaranteed them a hit. At times the band reminds me of Big Country…the music is that large. The voice is so pure and clear, you can see through it…when the melodies kick in, it is like perfection. This is one of the best underappreciated bands of the mid 80’s…fantastic!

Winning It All—-With a strong piano bass, the song appears huge from the onset. The music relies on the recipe of previous releases, but the sound seems almost orchestrated at times. The voice is so clear…the harmonies are pitch perfect…the wonder that this band found a huge shining spot in time is of no surprise…Grunge was the end for them, but thank God for preservation. This really never gets old.

Everytime You Cry—-I was introduced to the Outfield by a long term partner of mine…this was a favorite song of his and I must have heard it 100 times…now when I listen back to it years later, the song is still huge and powerful. This was a large, epic sounding ballad that brings up all kinds of emotions and goosebumps…Thanks Josh!

Through The Years—-Again, the song is heavily piano based, the voice takes me back to the 80’s days of Starship and Yes. The song has clear Prog Rock leanings….one of the few songs though where the voice is slightly irritating and mundane…the harmonies with the rest of the band are magnificent, but overall the song falls short.

The Night Ain’t Over—-Ahhhh…..that is what I was waiting for….a return to the great clear vocal and the driving guitar base that makes the song a huge affair. The voice could almost cut glass….one of the few times that the other band vocal melodies impede on the delivery of the voice. When the high notes come along, the pitch is perfect and admirable. This is wonderful!!!

Closer To Me—-More bombastic and guitar based than most of the songs on this release, the voice is muddled and traded of with a tone that is not near as pleasing. You can not deny the melody and power of the chords that deliver the song, but it seems to lack real emotion…not what i would have expected from the band.

Somewhere In America ’89—-Soaring vocals cannot escape the mediocrity of the song. Although the voice is the main component, the musical deliver is almost acoustic, this is one of the times you could use a huge soundtrack with the vocal. This falls flat for me, the delivery is almost uninspired and empty. Nice, but could have been so much better.

My Paradise—-Coming right out of the gate with a huge guitar based sound, the voice is top notch and you settle yourself back for a great journey in early Alt-Rock excursions. This is incredible, a really great song both in execution and excursion. This reminds me of one of my favorite unsung 80’s bands….Rhythm Corps. Beautifully huge, yet vocally intimate…a nice delivery.

All The Love—-This was a huge International hit for the band…one of the few tracks that crossed continents. The music is driving and again relies on the classic Police sound…..the voice and the harmonies are what makes the song a classic in 1985 and 2009. The crystal clear and unadulterated tone makes the sound unprecedented. This is wonderfully pure, the lyrics are innocent and the music curls around you like a balnket…who could ask for more.

Alone With You—-Acoustically based and sounding as if it were recorded in a small room, the voice is so pure and clear, that you have tears in your eyes. this is pure pop mastery…you can’t find anything better than this. The voice just soars above the guitar…which is gentle strum that plays like a deep stream through your memory field…this is wonderful.

Since You’ve Been Gone—-Another of the band’s largest and most International hits, the sound of the track is much more straight forward and rock-based. Even though the voice retains all of the best elements of past songs, it even shines more with the heavier rock element. The melodies are impeccable…I cannot find many faults with this track…plus it provides me with a minefield of memories to ponder.

One Hot Country—-Again, this song begins with a much more rock-based sound rather than the pop leanings of earlier releases. The song does hav an undeniable driving force that keep’s everything at a great pace…the melodic/harmonic interlude makes me think of Mike & The Mechanics!!! The voice is much more Yes influenced than ever…this is nice but lacks a memorable element.

**** out of 5

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