Serving as the absolute antithesis of the music in era in which it was released, XTC's Love on a Farmboy's Wages single is about as far from Eighties music as you can get without crashing into ruin, financial or otherwise. It is a track that drove their drummer, Terry Chambers, to throw down his drumsticks and leave the band. Forever. And yet, it is a brilliant piece of pop music that defies categorization.
Almost delightfully anti-commercial but poignant and full of melody, this single has always stood out for me. Sounding like troubadors banging on homemade drums, strumming instruments of ancient delicacy, this paean to marriage, love, and rural poverty is as much substance as XTC could muster without totally de-throning the Kinks as recorders of English life.
This version of the single is shaped like a man's wallet. When opened, two vinyl singles sit on either side of the gatefold. The exterior is plain, but weathered, worn and very leathery. The inside shows the wallet of a man with very little, except a single banknote and a fetching picture of a lovely lass. Scraps of paper reveal the titles of the two extra songs delivered with the package.
XTC loved their B-sides. The three tracks that accompany the single are treasured gems.
You can learn more about the single at this site, even how to play the song.