Farmer's Boys

Get Out & Walk

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Sometimes you just can't help but wonder why certain bands "make it" while other more talented combos get overlooked and, ultimately, forgotten. And oftentimes, the bands that fade 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) was certainly a bright spot on the music scene back in 1983 when it 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 and a dab of country & western, and you've got the Farmer's Boys -- and yes, they really did 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 percent 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 U.K. 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 Farmer's Boys did see some chart success, but usually just out of the Top 40, which meant they barely received any 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 the band's intended audience. Perhaps it was the Farmer's Boys' lack of image? Maybe because the bandmembers never really took themselves too seriously? Or could it have been just 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.

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