Tony Lewis, the bassist and singer for the Outfield who scored a major Eighties hit with “Your Love,” has died. He was 62.
Lewis’ death was announced on his website and social media pages. A date or cause of death was not given, though the note said he died “unexpectedly.” It continued, “He was a beautiful soul who touched so many lives with his love, his spirit, and his music. He loved his fans dearly and enjoyed every opportunity he had when meeting all of you. Please respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.”
It is with great sadness and sorrow to announce that Tony Lewis has unexpectedly passed away. He was a beautiful soul who touched so many lives with his love, his spirit, and his music. He loved his fans dearly and enjoyed every opportunity he had when meeting all of you.-Team TL pic.twitter.com/Wiif4Ldt8v
— Tony Lewis from The Outfield (@TonyLewisMusic) October 20, 2020
Per a bio on his website, Lewis was born and raised in London’s East End, and became enamored with music after hearing the Beatles on the radio as a nine-year-old. While in school, Lewis linked up with drummer Alan Jackman, and several years later they put an ad in a London music paper searching for a guitarist and met John Spinks.
The trio’s first band was a prog outfit called Syrius B, but they didn’t last long, especially after punk took hold in the mid-to-late Seventies. After several years of gigging around separately, Lewis, Spinks and Jackman reunited, this time dubbing themselves the Baseball Boys (after one of the street gangs in the cult classic The Warriors). They recorded a few demos, toured regularly and by 1984 they’d scored a record deal and changed their name to the Outfield.
The Outfield’s first single, “Say It Isn’t So,” was a solid rock hit in the U.S., but their follow-up, “Your Love,” was a Top 10 smash, peaking at Number Six on the Billboard Hot 100. The track propelled the Outfield’s 1985 debut album, Play Deep, to Number Nine, while the band scored additional radio hits with “All the Love and “Everytime You Cry.”
Though the Outfield never produced another song as big as “Your Love,” they were a reliable staple on rock radio throughout the rest of the decade with songs like “Since You’ve Been Gone,” “Voices of Babylon” and “For You.” While Jackman left the band after 1989’s Voices of Babylon, Lewis and Spinks continued to release albums on a fairly regular basis through the Nineties and early 2000s. In 2009, they reunited with Jackman and two years later released what would become the Outfield’s final studio album, Replay.
Following Spinks’ death in 2014, Lewis took a break from music but eventually found a new creative spark with the help of his wife, Carol. The result of their collaborative songwriting efforts was Lewis’ debut solo album, Out of the Darkness, which was released in 2018.