This is a group who were rather popular in the early-90s, before they launched an unlikely comeback. The Farm had actually formed as long ago as the early-80s, but they didn’t have any chart success until 1990. They were often described as being leading figures in the Baggy genre. And in September 1990, “Groovy Train” was released, which for me, is their best hit.
This was a year that featured rather a lot of great singles, and this is one of them. Also featuring in the video were some cast members from Brookside, and that is definitely an endorsement. This reached no. 6, to become their first Top Ten hit single. But the follow-up to this is the one that has endured more. In December 1990, “All Together Now” was released, which reached no. 4.
This was a song about the Christmas Truce, and was produced by Suggs from the nutty boys of Madness. In March 1991, their album “Spartacus” was released, and this was a chart-topper. However, this puts them on a rather short list of acts to be an album one-hit wonder, although they did release further albums and best-ofs, none of them made the chart. Also on this list are Johnny Hates Jazz, and they must be really pleased to be in that company.
They went on to have further hits in 1991 and 1992, the most successful of them being their cover of The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me”. They had one further hit in 1993, but not long after this, The Farm went their separate ways, and little was heard of them for the next decade. But then, in June 2004, when there was a football tournament in Portugal, it was decided that there should be an official song that supports England.
Somebody must’ve remembered that “All Together Now” was a song about football to some extent, so it was decided to revive this one. This was now in the same group of songs as New Order’s “World In Motion”, The Lightning Seeds’s “Three Lions”, and most excitingly, Ant And Dec’s “We’re On The Ball”. The Farm had to pretty much reform to get involved with all of this.
This version was remixed by DJ Spoony (if you saw my piece on The Dreem Teem, you might wonder if he worked on this in his bedroom in Bethnal Green), and this was accompanied by The SFX Boys Choir. “All Together Now 2004” reached no. 5, one place lower than the original. Yet somehow England weren’t inspired to victory. They have had no further hits since, but this has gone on to be covered by various other acts, including Atomic Kitten. Er, great.