The Brits had their shot at 80's rock in the form of The Outfield, consisting of guitarist John Spinks, lead vocalist and bassist Tony Lewis, and drummer Alan Jackman. And with producer Rick Chertoff at the helm, he worked similar magic that he did on Cyndi Lauper's landmark She's So Unusual and The Hooters' Nervous Night.
The first single, "Say It Isn't So", demonstrates the sound, John Spinks's guitar, which at times sounds like the Edge's, harmony vocals by Lewis and Spinks, and a catchy rhythm guitar that occasionally reminds me of the Police. It's a wonder why this song didn't make it on the charts. The hooks are worthwhile and that feeling of being dazed by some kind of girl works: "I'm staring into a space that was filled by your face" and "I'm walking in the midnight sun once again"
Then comes "Your Love", a well-deserved Top Ten hit, which contains that memorable first line: "Josie's on a vacation far away..." Keeping an illicit affair going makes for the synonymous use of "lose" and "use", as in "I don't wanna lose your love tonight." The video for this song incorporated the painting of the album cover art.
"I Don't Need Her" starts with that churning Edge-like guitar before telling of conflicting love. "I'm so glad I don't need her" he says, but then, it comes down to "But in the end I just can't leave her/Can't leave her tonight."
The last single, "Everytime You Cry", is a swaying hold-those-lighter ballads, and one of my favourites on this album. A bittersweet ballad: "When you say goodbye, I die just a little bit-cry just a little bit more."
"61 Seconds" seems to be on one hand the numbing sensation of being the clockwork 9 to 5 man and how the scheduled and timely office world is defined by numbers, in this case the hands on a clock. "There's a clock on the wall/a mirror reflecting it all/just an imageless photograph/There's a space in a frame/Can you imagine a man with no name" 61 seconds is "all it takes for the nine-to-five man to be more than one minute late"
The catchy "Mystery Man" could've been another single, especially with that "In the middle of it all-<insert rest of lyrics here>" and repeat. This is an action spy song describing a secret agent on missions in various places and the protagonist is his contact.
However, "All The Love" became the third single, making the Top Twenty, and it's one of those "I should've..." songs of a dying relationship. The full title was "All The Love In The World" and when those words on the first night become the same words on that last day, they sound hollow.
The chorus rhythm of "Talk To Me" has shades of "All I Have To Do Is Dream" by the Everlys "Taking My Chances" is a slower number that veers towards filler. "Nervous Alibi" is a languid "Where were you out last night?" interrogations to a girl. He tells her "Don't you know I hate those clothes you wear/For I've seen men undress you/And with their eyes caress you/Another nervous alibi."
Yet another memorable group contributing to that unmistakable 80's sound on a debut album that succeeds despite the few filler tracks.