28 May 2010

The Outfield: Your Love

This week i was going to run another request, but i’ve had a song going through my head for several days and i figured the only way to banish the demons would be to share it with you. Therefore, i present the Outfield’s 1986 top-ten hit “Your Love”, the only major hit i’m aware of that used its music video to highlight the professional and personal issues involved when a band shares its rehearsal space with an artist specializing in representational abstract art.

Fun fact! The Outfield were, according to their Wikipedia page, originally called the Baseball Boys. This is actually somewhat interesting, since they’re from London, where baseball isn’t traditionally a big deal. It is, however, not interesting enough for me to think about any further.

The song “Your Love”, despite being an absolutely horrible song, has had many opportunities to burn itself into our brains. Aside from being utterly inescapable in the mid-80s, it appeared in one of the many versions of Grand Theft Auto, and it’s currently used as an intro song whenever a number of major league ballplayers come up to bat. I’m willing to give Frank Catalanotto and Josh Willingham a pass on using this song, since they’re outfielders and this is the biggest hit by a band named after their position, but Kelly Johnson and Gordon Beckham both play infield positions, and so they have no excuse for choosing such a terrible song.

Incidentally, as i was finishing up my comments for this song’s lyrics (yes, i write the intros last), i discovered the blog Awesomely Bad Lyrics has done its own commentary on this song, including mentioning the whole baseball connection. Interesting. Anyway, it was cool finding that blog, almost like discovering a long-lost (and somewhat fouler-mouthed) older cousin that hasn’t been updated in a couple months. Worth poking around, particularly since it seems the only songs that blog has covered that i have are this one and, since it’s so horrible that it must be mocked by everyone, Starship’s “We Built This City”. (Here’s my take, here’s the take at Awesomely Bad Lyrics.) That blog has gone over a few more that need to be discussed here eventually, though—Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, Boston’s “Amanda”, Europe’s “The Final Countdown”…

But yeah, you’re right, now i’m just stalling before having to move to the horror that is “Your Love”—the song “Your Love”, that is, i’m sure your own personal love is actually a wonderful thing, a shining light of pure crystal brightening the darkness. The love of John Frederick Spinks, member of the Outfield and writer of this song? Not so much.

Josie’s on a vacation far away

Just to orient the reader, Josie appears to be Mr. Spinks’s significant other. It’s kind of hard to tell, though, ’cause this is the last we hear of her. In particular, we never hear of her coming home, at least not in this song—maybe in another one one day?

Come around and talk it over
So many things that I wanna say

In another item to orient the reader, this song is one long seduction attempt—so, as you might expect, it’s mainly one line after another. So what sort of smooth line is Mr. Spinks going to use on the object of his desire?

You know I like my girls a little bit older


Um, okay.

I mean, points for not going the Benny Mardones route here, but i’m kind of wondering if you’re aware that stating right up front that you’re after someone older, and then strongly implying that you’re trying to seduce the woman you’re talking to precisely because she’s a bit older…Well, i’m just thinking that your odds of success have just dropped a bit.

Not to say that mom-age types aren’t desire-worthy—hey, i’m married to one myself!—but you might want to try a little more subtlety with your target demographic next time.

And speaking of subtlety…

I just wanna use your love tonight
I don’t wanna lose your love tonight

Nope, no danger of that here.

I ain’t got many friends left to talk to
No one’s around when I’m in trouble

Not trying to mess with your obviously smooth self, Mr. Spinks, but might i suggest, oh, not insulting people? And then maybe, once you get that down, you can move on to not propositioning women near the beginnings of your conversations, or at least waiting to do so until a full three or four minutes after mentioning the name of the other woman you are currently involved with. Once you get those down, you might find that you have more friends—and, in fact, not only might you find more people around when you’re in trouble, you might find yourself getting in trouble less often.

What’s that? Thanks for the advice, but no thanks? You do what works for you? No, no problem—go right ahead. Please do continue.

You know I’d do anything for you

You mean like leave Josie for her?

Stay the night but keep it undercover

Well, apparently not.

So let’s tally this up: Mr. Spinks has propositioned a woman by saying she’s old and he just to use her sexually for a night, and he wants to make sure nobody knows about the booty call.

That’s classy right there.

I just wanna use your love tonight
I don’t wanna lose your love tonight

This couplet bugs me—the second line implies what is, to my mind, a frankly unhealthy possessiveness toward the woman he’s trying to woo. I mean, fine, the first line says pretty bluntly that he’s after a one-night stand that’s all about him, but then the second line makes it sound like he’s assuming it’s a done deal.

You know what, Mr. Spinks? She’s still allowed to say no.

Tryin’ to stop my hands from shakin’

Shaking with frustration? Dude, just because you’ve always gotten everything you’ve wanted up to now in your life does not give you the right to get this angry.

Somethin’ in my mind’s not makin’ sense

It’s not just your mind, Mr. Spinks, trust me.

It’s been a while since we were all alone

I suspect that’s entirely purposefully done on her part. I know it would be if i were her.

(Warning: The audio on that link might not be entirely safe for work, depending on where you work.)

I can’t hide the way I’m feelin’

And here the logic, such as it is, comes crashing to a halt. I mean, didn’t you sing, just a few lines ago, that you want her to stay the night but keep it undercover? And now you can’t hide things? Dude, if you’re gonna talk about it, you’ve got to give her the green light to do the same—it’s just fair.

Of course, given the odor of combined uncontrolled desperation and barely controlled anger that you’re exuding in this song, i don’t know that she’d actually want to go bragging about her one-night stand with you to her friends. But you know, to each her own.

As you leave me please would you close the door

Oh, that’s real nice—hey, the sex was great, make sure you close the door so i don’t have to get up and do it myself.

Basically, continued classiness.

And don’t forget what I told you

Um, that she’s old, you’re after her for one night’s sex, and you don’t care about her feelings or opinions on the matter? Yeah, i don’t think you have to worry about her forgetting that—and, i suspect, she may end up making sure none of her friends forget it, either.

Good luck finding another alternative to Josie, dude.

Just ’cause you’re right, that don’t mean I’m wrong

You know, in general this is technically true—but still stupid.

In this particular case, though, if she’s saying no to your sexual advances, you’re wrong. Hope this helps clear things up. Have a nice day.

Another shoulder to cry upon

Emotional blackmail? Still stayin’ classy, i see.

I just wanna use your love tonight
I don’t wanna lose your love tonight

And then this gets repeated over and over, with some occasional vamping between lines.

My advice to Ms. Not-Josie: While Mr. Spinks is distracted from paying attention to his singing, run, don’t walk, to the nearest courthouse. You’ll thank yourself for it in the morning.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a friend of Heather's from a homeschooling forum, and I've got to say that I love your posts! I was listening to the radio the other day and "The Look" by Roxette came on, and I thought, "OH! I should go to Lyrics, Weakly and request a dissection of that song!"