FFWDing to the Best Part: “Your Love,” The Outfield (1986)

The mid-1980s were an odd time in popular music. In one corner were the pretty (or downright androgynous) boys making New Wave and Pop — Duran Duran, Culture Club, Wham!, Dead or Alive, etc. In the other were grizzled-before-their-time rock and rollers serving up guitar-heavy songs with side of synthesizers. Foreigner. Dire Straits. Journey (and Steve Perry by his lonesome).

Tending toward the latter group was The Outfield, a British trio that had just one monster hit Stateside. Think of them as the U.K.’s more rock-centric answer to A-Ha, the Norwegian threesome that slayed the charts with “Take On Me.”

So “Your Love” is pretty revolting, if you think about it. In the relatively recent music past, there’s an Enrique-Iglesias-featuring-Pitbull song, “I Like It,” which includes the following slant rhyme:

My girlfriend is out of town
And I’m all alone
Your boyfriend is on vacation
And he doesn’t have to know

“Your Love” is a variation on this theme, but it’s even worse. The protagonist’s girlfriend, Josie, is “on a vacation far away,” and so he is taking this opportunity to bed another.  Get some strange, if you will. But he refers to this betrayal as an act of “love,” he “just want(s) to use,” somehow making him WORSE THAN PITBULL (if that’s possible).

But it sure is catchy.

And coming from a place where I was a cougar before cougars were cool, I’ve always smiled at the line “You know I like my girls a little bit older.”  Damn right you do.

Best part: At 3:15, there is a simple but effective drum solo, during which lead singer Tony Lewis actually shuts up for second. The syncopated beats double-time us into the final wailing pleas for just one well-intentioned one-night stand. Poor, sad, cuckolded Josie.


4 thoughts on “FFWDing to the Best Part: “Your Love,” The Outfield (1986)

  1. More catchy than the equally reprehensible “Run To You” by Bryan Adams (“I know her love is true, but it’s so damn easy making love to you”) and “Hold on to the Nights” by Richard Marx (“Do we break another rule, let our lovers play the fool?… I think that I’ve been true to everybody else but me.”) I don’t have a favorite part, but my favorite element is the envious, fluid ease with which Tony Lewis hits those high notes at the top of the verses. There’s no real chorus, just a two line refrain that concludes each of the three verses, plus the vocal and instrumental bridges. I also love the guitar rhythm, which sets up a great counterpoint to the vocal. The bridge vocal harmonies remind me of “Who Can It Be Now?” by Men at Work. I bet this catchy 2009 song by Anberlin was inspired by The Outfield, too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ei1-vWL-t0 Check out the chorus harmonies at 1:10 and following.

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