Tony Lewis, Lead Vocalist, Bassist for The Outfield, Dead at 62
Tony Lewis, frontman for English ’80s pop-rock band The Outfield, has died. His cause of death has not been released.
Lewis had been actively touring with his band as Tony Lewis from The Outfield, and his last performance took place in early March when they performed on the ’80s Cruise 2020. After that performance, his remaining tour dates had been postponed due to the pandemic and were rescheduled to 2021.
Lewis was born and raised in the working class area of East End of London. One of Lewis’s early influences was The Beatles. whom he began listening to at the age of 9. Now a fan of music, he began to listen to other bands popular in the 1970s, including T. Rex, David Bowie, and The Rolling Stones. While in high school, he and friend, drummer Alan Jackman, formed their first band Sirius B. Eventually, John Spinks would become the band’s lead guitarist before the band would break up. Eventually they reunited and adopted the name The Baseball Boys, quite unfittingly for three musicians from London. As Spinks later shared, the band used the name as a joke, but to their surprise the record companies liked it, so they adopted it. Claiming that The Baseball Boys was a bit tacky, they changed it to The Outfield, even though they didn’t know anything about baseball, let alone that it is a part of a baseball field.
The Outfield had previously lost two key members, including founding guitarist John Spinks, who died in 2014, and touring keyboardist Reg Webb, who was featured in the band’s most iconic music video “Your Love.”
The Outfield hit a home run with the release of their 1985 album Play Deep that featured the band’s biggest hit “Your Love” that charted as high as number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986. The track propelled the album to number 9 album; it included two additional radio hits: “All the Love” and “Every time You Cry.” The band would go on to record a total of 15 studio albums, none of which would reach the success of their 1985 debut album Play Deep, which had sales that would propel it to triple platinum status. Interestingly, The Outfield became an instant smash in the U.S., never equating that success home in England.
Never able to repeat the success for a song as huge as “Your Love,” they became part of a steady rotation of rock songs that could be heard across radio stations worldwide. Other notable hits included “Since You’ve Been Gone,” “Voices of Babylon,” and “For You.”
Lewis’ final works included a debut solo album, Out of the Darkness, which was released in 2018.