"68 Guns" was a "fire in an oil barrel" of a song. A Rock classic. Not only was it a fierce Rocker but the horn section kicked. Mike Peters' vocals were passionate and exciting. The Alarm's third album "Declaration," containing "68 Guns," was a Top 10 UK album for the Wales group. Later in '84 the Alarm toured North America and the "68 Guns" video landed in MTV's hot rotation.
The Alarm spent the next two years recording and touring in support of their CD "Strength." The highlights included "Spirit of '76" which was a tribute to the UK punk scene. Starting as a Punk group appropriately called the Toilets. The Alarm then morphed into a mod band named 17. As 17 they found themselves opening for Dexy's Midnight Runners. But they were fired, allegedly for not being good enough. Not being good enough for Dexy's Midnight Runners? Time to reassess. Peters caught U2 at a London club show and decided to go that route. The Alarm, as a result, were often compared with the Dublin group.
In '81 the Alarm made their first recordings; demos to attract a record label. They spent '82 opening for U2 and the Jam and created a buzz. Signing with I.R.S., they launched "Marching On."
'87 found the Alarm back in the studio to record "Eye of the Hurricane." The U2 influence on the "Rain In The Summertime" was undeniable. The distant airy vocals, the tightly repetitive, percussive guitar lines and explosive crescendos, it was all there. If you're going to mine the same vein as another group, you could do a lot worse than U2.
A live CD and a North American tour supporting Bob Dylan followed.
"Change" rolled out in '89 and had the aggressive "Sold Me Down The River." After "68 Guns" it was the Alarm's best effort. As they entered the '90s, the Alarm cut a cover of John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (The War Is Over) and produced their last studio effort "Raw."
Both Peters and Sharp have produced solo projects. Peters also founded Poets Of Justice, New Electric Band and Coloursound with ex-Cult guitarist Billy Duffy. On his "Feel Free" solo album Peters laid down the powerful "Shine On."
1983 The Alarm (EP)
1987 Eye Of The Hurricane
1988 Electric Folklore Live
1988 Compact Hits
2001 Eponymous 1981-1983
2002 The Normal Rules Do Not Apply
Gotta give credit to Alarm's "Declaration" as being their statement of purpose. "Eye Of The Hurricane" and "Change" are good efforts. However, the "Best Of" is a great way to capture their best without much filler.