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Monday, 12 September 2016

45RPM: #105 Sixty Eight Guns - The Alarm (1983)

Sixty Eight Guns / Thoughts of a Young Man
Produced by Alan Shacklock (A-Side) and Mick Glossop (B-Side)
Released 12th September 1983
UK Chart #17 

A-Side: Sixty Eight Guns (Full Version)
Written by Eddie MacDonald and Mike Peters

B-Side: Thoughts of a Young Man
Written ny Eddie MacDonald and Mike Peters

Vocals - Mike Peters
Guitars - Dave Sharp, Mike Peters
Bass - Eddie McDonald
Drums - Nigel Twist
Keyboards - Ian Kewley
Piano - Alan Shacklock

Trumpet - Arthur Fairlie


This is the 100th post on this blog to feature The Alarm! I know, that's quite something isn't it? They always seem to be the kind of band though that, if you like them, you have to justify yourself to others for giving them a hearing! 

If I had a Pound for every time I've heard peopple knock The Alarm as "a poor man's Clash" or "U2 wannabes" or "U2 Lite", I'd be a rich boy!

Personally speaking I do not care one iota what others say about them. Their music has been a huge part of my life and I don't need to give account of what I like to any members of the Music Police no matter who they are!

Sixty Eight Guns was the fourth single from the band and the third on I.R.S. Records. Released 33 years ago today it was also the first single to catapult them into the UK Singles chart and to get them a spot on Top of the Pops.

The 7" Single saw the song split into two parts and on the 12" there was the full version of the song that would appear on their Debut Album Declaration in February 1984 as well as Thoughts of a Young Man on the B-Side. I have included those versions above as I have to say I have never been a fan of splitting a song due to its length and releasing it as an A and B Side!

Next to the Debut single Unsafe Building this one has remained one of my favourite singles by The Alarm.

Video includes a special project that Mike Peters did at Third Man Records to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the release and also the original music video.

Video Footage is taken from Roskilde in 1984.
The audio track was produced by Mike Peters in 2013


This newer rendition and the Classic Single mixed together was performed on tour earlier this year in Leeds when The Alarm supported The Stranglers on their Black and White Tour.

With a little bit of the story of how the song came to be. Grateful to my good friend Tim Leonard for filming this one. This is the newer rendition of the song that includes lyrics cut from the single version and performed acoustically.

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