Saturday, July 11, 2009

THE FARMER'S BOYS/Get Out And Walk Review

Well, Cherry Red has done it again! One of the absolute finest and most overlooked albums of the '80s has finally seen a fitting and well deserved release on CD:

Here's what I had to say about it on All Music Guide:

"Sometimes, I can bang my head against the wall, wondering why certain bands ‘make it’, while other more talented combos get overlooked and, ultimately, forgotten. And often times, the band that faded into obscurity created music that stands the test of time decades down the line. Such is the case with British pop quartet The Farmer’s Boys.
The band (Baz, Stan, Mark and Frog) were certainly a bright spot on the music scene back in 1983 when they signed with EMI after a handful of indie singles. Their sound was certainly original: imagine Edwyn Collins and his Orange Juice mates jamming with The Human League’s keyboardist (complete with programmed drums) and you’ve got more than a basic idea. Add a little bit of The Smiths, a dab of Country & Western and you’ve got The Farmer’s Boys. And yes, they really do sound that cool!
Get Out And Walk was the band’s 1983 debut album and what a debut it was! It had jangly guitars, jolly melodies, catchy synth riffs, acoustic strums, danceable beats and, to top it all off, Baz’s Morrissey-like croon floating above it all. The album was fun and extremely infectious with more cool tunes per minute than 75% of the albums that came out that year.
For some reason, insanely catchy cuts like “For You”, “More Than A Dream”, “Matter Of Fact”, “Wailing Wall” and “Woke Up This Morning” didn’t receive massive airplay in the UK when they so rightly deserved it. Even the funk-heavy “Soft Drink” (with Baz in falsetto mode) didn’t make its way to the dancefloors around Europe like it should have. Yes, the band did see some chart success, but usually just out of the Top 40, which meant they barely received much-needed television exposure.
Get Out And Walk was one of the coolest records released during the ‘80s but, for whatever reason, it just didn’t click with their intended audience. Perhaps it was the band’s lack of image? Maybe because the band never really took themselves too seriously? Or it could just be a matter of bad luck?
In any case, the album still sounds fabulous today, mainly due to the songs, which will please fans of great ‘80s guitar pop. Even synth fans can find a lot to love about The Farmer’s Boys! And with this Cherry Red reissue, there are 10 bonus tracks that make it an absolutely essential purchase. The bonus tracks include non-album singles, b-sides and three extended remixes lifted from the bonus EP that came from initial pressings of the LP. Looking back, 26 years after I bought the original import vinyl LP on a whim, it was, to quote one of the band’s song titles, “probably one of the best investments I ever made”!"

I sure do hope that they plan on releasing the band's second (and final) album, With These Hands, too!
Stephen SPAZ Schnee


Unknown said...

Some of the bonus tracks are superb. The second album is probably slightly better, but if you can get hold of the early years album, "once upon a time in the east" you'll be in for a real treat!

Stephen SPAZ Schnee said...

Thanks so much for that info, Dorothy! I can't believe I missed that Once Upon A Time In The East release! Duh! But I've already contacted Stan and I'll be reviewing that title here!
And, yes, the bonus tracks on Get Out And Walk are superb!
Feel free to contact me if you have more tips on great stuff from the '80s. I've just started a new blog at so I'll be updating both with cool stuff!