spartacus25 years ago today Spartacus went straight it at No 1 in the UK album charts.

It had been a remarkable year for The Farm – frustrated at the lack of interest/vision from UK record companies we decided to set up our own record label – namely Produce Records – probably one of the most ‘indie’ labels ever.

There was no business plan, just a rush of determination.  I contacted Kevin Sampson who was living in London at the time to see if he was able to help out in ‘another cunning plan’ (there had been many) to take on the established music industry.  Kevin agreed.  He had the contacts and the vision.  He produced a blueprint ‘how to get The Farm into the top 40.’









The document was distributed to band members and the fledgling record company associates – some people read it in disbelief with murmurs of ‘this is impossible’.  It was pure DIY stuff driven by the genius of Ruthless Management – Kevin and Suggs of Madness.

After a club hit ‘Stepping Stone’ which was the everywhere during the summer of 1990 and two massive hit singles ‘Groovy Train’ and ‘All Together Now’ the group were on the crest of a wave.  Remarkably after numerous magazine front covers face2 vox1 and music papers the group were the toast of the nation.   We were reliably informed that A & R departments of record companies were told ‘get me the next Farm!’

The album was recorded in Mayfair studios in Primrose Hill, London during October/November 1990 and was produced by Graham ‘Suggs’ McPherson and DJ Terry Farley.  The cover was designed by our bass player Carl Hunter and the soapbox cover proved extremely popular with fans.  In just over a year from an initial meeting in January 1990 to discuss setting up a label, to release Farm material the group had sold hundreds of thousands of records.  The people running the record label Barney Moores, Ian Croft, Wayne Chand and Paul McKenna had no background in record labels or how to run one.  They literally learned on the job.  They were still attending seminars about the music industry and how to run a label when the album went straight in at No 1.  We were on tour in Brighton when we were informed that Spartacus was top of the album charts but there were no wild celebrations just a few handshakes and hugs as we had a gig to do.  It had been a remarkable journey but above all it had been an inspiration to many young bands struggling to find a record deal.

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