Tony Lewis, musician; songwriter and record producer is probably best known as co-founder of The Outfield. Together with John Spinks, the two took the 80s by storm with their infectious pop songs, including “Your Love,” “All the Love,” and “Say it isn’t So.” Their debut album, Play Deep, was issued in 1985, and would go on to reach triple platinum sales status and the Top 10 in the US album charts. “Your Love” peaked at No. 6 and is still featured in a number of compilation albums, commercials, and has been covered or remixed over 1,000 times by other artists.
Tony’s love of music started early. Born and raised in London’s East End, a notorious and diverse area. The radio was always on and his first influences were the classic 1960s singles played on an old radio gram. At age 9 Tony first heard the Beatles, and immediately he was hooked. Later he became a huge fan of T Rex and other glam rock bands, even modeling his hair on the great Marc Bolan.
Tony knew Alan Jackman at school and they formed a band, with Tony playing bass. Since he could only afford a 3 foot guitar lead, he was never able to sing because he couldn’t reach the microphone. A few years later, Tony put an advertisement in a London music paper and met guitar player John Spinks. They later formed a prog rock band called Syrius B with Alan.
When Punk Rock exploded onto the music scene in London, the group disbanded. Tony went out on his own, playing in various local bands in pubs and clubs all over London, by this time he had a longer guitar lead and stepped up to the microphone to take on the vocals. Tony was playing one night in a pub in East London, John Spinks was there and John said “With your voice and my songs, we could form a great band”. John asked Tony if he could play bass and sing on some demo’s he had written, Alan played drums on the demos and the chemistry felt right and the songs started to flow, so “The Baseball Boys” named after a street gang in the popular film The Warriors became a real band.
While holding down full-time jobs, The Baseball Boys toured the UK, tightening up their act and honing their craft. A local recording studio, Scarf Studios allowed the band to make their demos on a shoestring budget. Their hard work paid off when they were introduced to an American management company. Along with advising a name change, they helped get the band a record deal. In 1984, The Outfield signed with CBS Columbia and began working on their first album, Play Deep. Tony was now officially a professional musician.
Play Deep was well received in the United States, eventually becoming a multi-platinum selling album, with the single “Your Love” reaching No. 6 in the billboard charts. The Outfield began touring with bands including :-The Hooters; Nightranger; Howard Jones; Asia; Starship; Mike and the Mechanics and Journey. The Outfield toured extensively through the US and South America headlining their own shows on the club, festival and theatre circuit.
After the success of the first album, Tony and John went on to record many more albums with various drummers. The two were great friends and wrote and recorded together until John’s passing in 2014.
After the death of his longtime friend and collaborator, Tony took a break from music. He had always written and recorded solo work since before the creation of The Baseball Boys, and eventually Tony was inspired to get back into music. He revisited his early lyric ideas, and even with a body of backing tracks, he just couldn’t seem to find anything that worked. Tony told his wife ‘none of this sounds right’ so she agreed to help him and soon Tony discovered that Carol had a talent for writing lyrics and telling a story. Together with his ability to form song structure and melody arrangements an album emerged.
The new album takes on the spirit of The Outfield, while letting Tony’s own style shine through. On the new album, Tony plays all the instruments, as well as producing and recording everything on his own. After signing with Madison Records, Tony is excited to announce the release of his new CD, Out of the Darkness, in the Spring of 2018, featuring the debut single “Into the Light” mixed by Tanner Hendon and Wyatt Oates of Madison Studios.