Record Store Day April 13th 2019 – The Alarm to release ‘Strength Live ’85’

The Alarm are proud to announce the release of a brand new limited edition double album entitled Strength – Live ’85 on Record Store Day Saturday April 13th 2019 (which is also day two of The Alarm The Gathering NYC at Irving Plaza Tickets here).
Strength – Live ’85 is being released by the Twenty First Century Recording Label on black vinyl only and available from participating record stores world wide, including Generation Records in New York City (only a few blocks away from Irving Plaza and The Gathering NYC), which will host a lunchtime live in-store on the day performance from Mike Peters (Full details to be released soon).
This classic recording of The Alarm in concert from Boston Orpheum on November 9th 1985 during the Strength Tour, features 21 performances (16 of which have never been released before in any form whatsoever).

The audio was recorded by WBCN Rado Station in Boston, MA on November 9th 1985, and features all the classic Alarm material of the era. The show was then mixed a month later at Yamaha Studios, Los Angeles by the band’s live sound engineer Nigel Luby (who had also recorded the ‘Strength’ album).

‘Strength Live ’85’ captures the band live in concert in that most celtic of American cities – Boston, whose people immediately embraced the group as one their own, inspiring the band to some of the finest Alarm performances ever captured on tape.

“Bootleg tapes of the original radio broadcast have circulated amongst fans for years, but this release with a fully mixed and ‘approved by the band’ master tape release is something that collectors have longed for ever since those first few live b-sides were released in 1986.”, says Mike Peters. “The original broadcast was good but remixed a month or so later by our sound man Nigel Luby, it really does capture the essence of the original band at it’s most powerful. Dave Sharp’s guitar playing was so good at this point and his presence on stage such, that as a front man he was really giving me a run for my money and pushing us all to give everything we had. Our drummer Nigel Twist was on fire during this gig, and you can hear in his drumming that he was the engine room of all the great early Alarm performances. Eddie Macdonald was there in the background adding flourishes of musical brilliance be it on, bass, electric guitar and E-bow and of course such passionate backing vocals. Interestingly,  there are a few things that a band might not get away with in this day and age, especially the sound of First World War gunfire during Third Light, which if approached in this way today, might have people running for cover. There are no overdubs or anything like that added, just the band and an incredibly passionate audience, the pure unadulterated sound of The Alarm Live ’85”.

The full track listing for ‘Strength Live ’85’ is as follows:

SIDE ONE

Introduction by Carter Alan of WBCN
Majority
Where Were You Hiding When The Storm Broke?
Knife Edge
Dawn Chorus
The Day The Ravens Left The Tower

SIDE TWO

Deeside
One Step Closer To Home
Third Light
Absolute Reality
Walk Forever By My Side
Howling Wind

SIDE THREE

Spirit Of ’76
Blaze Of Glory
Strength
Sixty Eight Guns

SIDE FOUR

Declaration / Marching On
The Chant Has Just Begun
The Stand
This Train Is Bound For Glory
Knocking On Heaven’s Door

Four of the tracks (Where Were You Hiding?, Deeside, Sixty Eight Guns & Knocking On Heaven’s Door), were issued as B-sides and extra tracks with the band’s ‘Spirit Of ’76’ UK single release of early 1986 while ‘Howling Wind’ was issued in the USA only, as part of the ‘Live For Life’ IRS Records cancer benefit compilation album.

Strength Live ’85 is part of a collection of releases celebrating the Alarm’s Strength era of 1985-1986 with the remastered editions of Strength available to pre-order now in advance of the official release date if Match 15th 2019. (see below for further details).

Strength 1985-1986 is available to PRE-ORDER now from thealarm.com[All pre-orders will be shipped in advance to arrive in time for the the official release date of March 15th.)

Strength 1985-1986 is also available to pre-order at various international retail outlets.

All individual CD and LP pre-orders placed through thealarm.com will qualify for a Free CD that is exclusive to the alarm.com entitled: ‘The Alarm – A Story of Strength‘ featuring a host of exclusive Alarm tracks and narration by Mike Peters. This fascinating CD tells the entire story of The Alarm’s Strength period from 1985-1986.

A special Limited Edition package of 300 is also being made available to pre-order which will include both the CD and LP Editions, a free CD copy of The Alarm – A Story of Strength, along with a very special Replica Strength Era Backstage Pass personally signed by Mike Peters, that can be used to create a unique ‘collectors’  edition. The Limited Edition Collectors package is only available at thealarm.com

Strength 1985-1986 Remaster

The band’s classic 1985 album Strength has been expanded, remastered and revised for future generations to enjoy and is available to pre-order now.

All titles have been remastered from the original master tapes by mastering engineer Pete Maher (u2, White Stripes…) under the supervision of Mike Peters.

The comprehensive re-mastering process has been undertaken to allow the band’s music to fully embrace digital and online streaming services and ensure the music of The Alarm can be listened to by future generations as intended by the band, when recorded and committed to tape for all time.

Strength 1985-1986 is being released through The Twenty First Century Recording Company – which has been ‘home’ to all Mike Peters and The Alarm music since 1994.

“To see how the Strength album has endured over the years has been very gratifying,” says Mike Peters. “To still hear the title song being played in global television series such as in the Season 2 finale of ’13 Reasons Why’ and connecting with new audiences through that medium, is more than I could have hoped for when writing the song for the first time in 1985. Not to mention the fact that our charity Love Hope Strength took it’s name from within the lyrics. Back in 2008, the song was even used in the USA as an unofficial part in the Obama Presidential campaign and still has an impact wherever it gets played today. To be reissuing the album in all it’s remastered glory in 2019, provides a chance for listeners to reacquaint themselves with a story that began in 1985 with the original recording / writing sessions and continues to have so much relevance to this very day.” 

Strength 1985-1986 is being officially released to record stores on March 15th 2019, in both Double CD and Vinyl LP formats and also on all online music streaming services.
Painstakingly put together by Mike Peters from original sources, the ‘Strength 1985-1986’ CD Edition brings together all three original 1985/86 Alarm singles and B-sides from the era, two of which have never been released in CD or digital formats, including the ‘Strength 7″ single version, and the ‘Spirit Of ’76 7″ Single version.
Strength 1985-1986 has also has been restored to its original 1985 running order with the US version featuring on the CD that includes the album session version of ‘Absolute Reality’.

STRENGTH 1985-1986 CD Editon – Features the US album along with the original 1985 7″ version of Strength (with the guitar / vocal beginning), that has never been issued on CD before along with the 1986 7″ single version of ‘Spirit Of ’76’ which is also making its first ever appearance on CD. All four original ‘Strength’ period B-sides are included also. The Second disc features 22 previously unreleased album session recordings including outtake versions (with different lyrics and guitar parts), for every song on Strength including an outtake of the unreleased electric version of ‘One Step Closer To Home’. An in studio jam session of spontaneous and impromptu covers of Led Zeppelin, The Who, Free, T-Rex, Lou Reed and Deep Purple are featured between tracks along with a complete run through of the previously unreleased live in the studio version of Rod Stewart’s Maggie May which segues into re-workings of The Beats ‘Stand Down Margaret’ and Bob Dylan’s ‘Maggie’s Farm’, providing a fascinating insight into The Alarm working together in the studio on the way to creating their magnum opus.

STRENGTH 1985-1986 CD ONE – Original US album, Singles and B-sides Remastered.

KNIFE EDGE [Album Master]
STRENGTH  [Album Master]
DAWN CHORUS  [Album Master]
SPIRIT OF ’76  [Album Master]
DEESIDE  [Album Master]
FATHER TO SON  [Album Master]
ONLY THE THUNDER  [Album Master]
THE DAY THE RAVENS LEFT THE TOWER  [Album Master]
ABSOLUTE REALITY [Album Master – CD / Digital ONLY]
WALK FOREVER BY MY SIDE  [Album Master]
STRENGTH [7″ SINGLE VERSION]
MAJORITY [Strength B-SIDE]
STRENGTH [12″ POWER MIX]
ABSOLUTE REALITY [IMPROMPTU ACOUSTIC VERSION]
SPIRIT OF ’76 [7″ SINGLE VERSION]
CAROLINE ISENBERG [Knife Edge B-SIDE]

STRENGTH 1985-1986 CD TWO [ALTERNATIVE STRENGTH ALBUM VERSIONS AND STUDIO SESSION OUT TAKES] 

INTRO
GET IT ON [OUTTAKE]
DAWN CHORUS [OUTTAKE FROM ROUNDHOUSE STUDIOS]
SUMMERTIME BLUES [OUTTAKE]
KNIFE EDGE [ROUGH MIX FROM ROUNDHOUSE STUDIOS]
ALARM ALARM / RADAR LOVE [OUTTAKE]
ONLY THE THUNDER [OUTTAKE FROM MARCUS STUDIOS]
BURN [OUTTAKE]
SPIRIT OF ’76 [OUTTAKE FROM MARCUS STUDIOS]
WALK ON THE WILD SIDE [OUTTAKE]
FOR TOMORROW [OUTTAKE FROM MARCUS STUDIOS]
VICIOUS [OUTTAKE]
DEESIDE [OUTTAKE FROM MARCUS STUDIOS]
ALL RIGHT NOW [OUTTAKE]
ABSOLUTE REALITY [OUTTAKE FROM MARCUS STUDIOS]
UNKNOWN [OUTTAKE]
THE DAY THE RAVENS LEFT THE TOWER [OUTTAKE FROM MARCUS STUDIOS]
COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN [OUTTAKE]
ONE STEP CLOSER TO HOME [OUTTAKE FROM MARCUS STUDIOS]
MAGGIE MAY / MAGGIE’S FARM / STAND DOWN MARGARET [OUTTAKE]
BRASS BAND [OUTTAKE]
WALK FOREVER BY MY SIDE [OUTTAKE FROM MARCUS STUDIOS]
UNTITLED JAM SESSION [OUTTAKE]
STRENGTH  [OUTTAKE FROM MARCUS STUDIOS]
OUTRO

‘Strength 1985-1986’ Vinyl Edition also features many additional and unseen photographs exclusive to the format and the vinyl LP has exclusive unreleased demo versions of what would have been the ‘Absolute Reality’ album.

NB: All additional and unreleased tracks on the CD are EXCLUSIVE to the CD format.

STRENGTH 1985-1986 – DOUBLE VINYL LP / GATEFOLD SLEEVE

The Alarm’s most iconic and best selling album Strength is reissued on Double Vinyl LP with the original 1985 UK album pressing.

All tracks have been remastered from the original master tapes by Mike Peters and Pete Maher with extensive sleeve notes and quotes from original band members, plus a host of previously unseen photographs.

SIDE ONE & TWO – Features the UK album remastered from original 1985 mix and running order.

SIDE THREE & FOUR – Features 9 demo tapes for the original album concept of Absolute Reality including 3 previously unreleased songs ‘Sons Of Divorce’, ‘Black Side Of Fortune’ and ‘Memorial Day’. All the demos were recorded with ‘Strength’ album recording engineer Nigel Luby and feature raw versions of Knife Edge and We Are Majority both with different lyrics along with the original version of ‘Deeside’ which was then known as ‘Steeltown’. The album also includes the Strength’ era soundcheck demo of the title song and two other unreleased studio demos of ‘In The Cold Light Of Day’ (which was originally written for The Who’s Roger Daltrey), and Dave Sharp’s ‘River Still To Cross’.

LP SIDE ONE – ORIGINAL UK ALBUM Remastered

KNIFE EDGE [Album Master]
STRENGTH [Album Master]
DAWN CHORUS [Album Master]
SPIRIT OF ’76 [Album Master]

LP SIDE TWO – ORIGINAL UK ALBUM Remastered

DEESIDE  [Album Master]
FATHER TO SON  [Album Master]
ONLY THE THUNDER  [Album Master]
THE DAY THE RAVENS LEFT THE TOWER  [Album Master]
WALK FOREVER BY MY SIDE  [Album Master]

LP SIDE THREE – [ABSOLUTE REALITY ALBUM DEMOS]

ABSOLUTE REALITY [Demo]
SONS OF DIVORCE  [Demo]
ONE STEP CLOSER TO HOME  [Demo]
THE DAY THE RAVENS LEFT THE TOWER  [Demo]
STEELTOWN  [Demo]
WE ARE MAJORITY  [Demo]

LP SIDE FOUR – [ABSOLUTE REALITY ALBUM DEMOS PLUS SOUNDCHECK AND STUDIO DEMOS]

KNIFE EDGE  [Demo]
MEMORIAL DAY  [Demo]
BLACK SIDE OF FORTUNE  [Demo]
GIVE ME LOVE  [Soundcheck Demo]
IN THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY [Pluto Studios Demo]
RIVER STILL TO CROSS  [Marcus Studio Demo]

NB: All additional and unreleased tracks on the LP are EXCLUSIVE to the LP format.

STRENGTH 1985-1986 – DIGITAL RELEASE 

The Alarm’s most iconic and best selling album Strength is reissued digitally with the original 1985 US album pressing which includes the band’s preferred version of Absolute Reality (It was left off the UK Version of the album). 

DIGITAL RELEASE – Features the US album track listing along with previously unreleased and alternative 7″ mixes of 1985’s Strength single that has never been heard before, along with an unreleased alternative 7″ mix of the 1986 ‘Spirit Of ’76’ single. Also included is the band’s preferred ‘lost’ mix of the Knife Edge single B-side ‘Caroline Isenberg’, along with a recently discovered 1986 radio mix of ‘Absolute Reality’ that has never been released until now. 

The digital formats also include a remastered version of the Absolute Flexi Disc recording that was originally issued as part of the band’s tour program and remastered versions of all the ‘live’ tracks that were used as b-sides for the 1986 ‘Spirit Of ’86’ UK ONLY single release and also the ‘Live For Life’ US Only compilation album track ‘Howling Wind’ which was sourced from the same live concert in Boston from November 9th 1985.

21C105 ORIGINAL 1985 US ALBUM, UNRELEASED EXTRAS AND LIVE B-SIDES

KNIFE EDGE [Album Master]
STRENGTH  [Album Master]
DAWN CHORUS  [Album Master]
SPIRIT OF ’76  [Album Master]
DEESIDE  [Album Master]
FATHER TO SON  [Album Master]
ONLY THE THUNDER  [Album Master]
THE DAY THE RAVENS LEFT THE TOWER  [Album Master]
ABSOLUTE REALITY [Album Master – CD / Digital ONLY]
WALK FOREVER BY MY SIDE  [Album Master]
ONE STEP CLOSER TO HOME [Radio Session Version]
WALK FOREVER BY MY SIDE [Radio Session Version]
ABSOLUTE FLEXI DISC
STRENGTH 7″ [Unreleased alternative single mix]
SPIRIT OF ’76 [UNRELEASED ALT SINGLE VERSION]
CAROLINE ISENBERG [UNRELEASED Band Mix]
ABSOLUTE REALITY [UNRELEASED 1986 RADIO MIX]
WHERE WERE YOU HIDING WHEN THE STORM BROKE? [LIVE]
DEESIDE [LIVE]
HOWLING WIND [LIVE]
SIXTY EIGHT GUNS [LIVE]
KNOCKING ON HEAVEN’S DOOR [LIVE]

NB: All additional and unreleased tracks on the Digital Format are EXCLUSIVE to the Digital format.

‘Strength 1985-1986′ is available to  pre-order now in CD,LP and Limited Edition Formats at thealarm.com
‘Strength 1985-1986′  is also available to pre-order from international stores and to pre-save in it’s digital format online here:
All digital pre-sale orders will be sent immediately, one advance album track (with others to follow), leading up to the official release date of March 15th 2018.
And so, The Alarm – Third Generation 81-19, continues here, and onwards with the release of ‘Strength 1985-1986’, that will be released around the world on March 15th 2019