Spartacus

The Farm, 1991

On many levels, purchasing the Farm's Spartacus, even at the bargain price of $6, is an exercise in pure nostalgia. I was addicted to this band in the early 90s—as a part of ravenously consuming the Madchester scene—but at first listen, the album sounds horribly dated. A number of songs are straight out of the Happy Mondays playbook. A clear bid for UK chart success, which, if I'm not mistaken, it worked—even if it labelled them a one-hit-wonder.

I find I enjoy portions of Spartacus in an entirely different way, now. In the years since, I've dug deeper and deeper into the post-punk era, only to find out that the Farm were (originally) a tail-end post-punk entry. In fact, Hearts and Minds, which opens Spartacus was originally a dubby rallying cry put out as a single in the middle 80s. When you dig into it, their dance-pop sound fits perfectly with Madchester's neo-hippy trends, but the Farm were true believers: instead of simply donning the paisley shirts, their songs were not hedonistic, but laced with political, peacenik messages.

This version even came with a bonus 12" collecting six additional remixes from Spartacus by Farley & Heller, a popular remix team from the rave era.