The Alarm

The Alarm bio, timeline, discography, pics & more

  • Mike Peters - The Alarm

    Mike Peters photo 2005

The Alarm Biography

Formed from the ashes of the short-lived Pop-Rock Seventeen, The Alarm came together in Rhyl, WALES, in 1981 with lead singer+guitarist Mike Peters, lead guitarist Dave Sharp, bassist Eddie MacDonald and drummer Nigel Buckle 'Twist'.

After relocating to London the band recorded and self-released their debut single "Unsafe Building".
The following year they signed a deal with IRS releasing a second single titled "Marching On" and were offered the support slot on U2's War tour in America.
In 1983, The Alarm put out a self-titled EP which contained all the singles released to date with a few new tracks; the 5-song EP broke into The Billboard 200 chart peaking at #126.
Later that year, after headline tours in both Britain and America, the band recorded their first full-length album, "Declaration"; it reached #50 in U.S. and #6 in U.K. spawning the British top 20 hit single "Sixty Eight Guns" and "Where Were You Hiding When The Storm Broke?" which reached the #22 spot in the same chart.
The follow-up album, 1985's "Strength", crashed into the top 40 of the American Billboard 200 chart while the title-track peaked at #12 on The Mainstream Rock list and also made a mid-chart appearance on The Billboard Hot 100; the second single, "Spirit Of '76", charted in the top 30 of the Mainstream Rock chart and peaked at #22 in the U.K. where "Strength" hit the top 20 of the National Pop Albums chart.
The Alarm returned in early 1987 with "Eye Of The Hurricane"; mainly acoustic-sounding, the group added more instrumentation to the production and moved away from the bold Rock of their previous effort; the album reached #77 in U.S. and #23 in U.K. spawning the hit single "Rain In The Summertime", the track rose to #6 on The Mainstream Rock chart and climbed into the U.K. top 20; "Eye Of The Hurricane" spun off two more Mainstream Rock charting tracks including the top 20 hit "Presence Of Love" and "Rescue Me".
A year later, the group released a stop-gap concert EP "Electric Folklore: Live", then in September 1989 returned with a collection of new songs inspired by Wales: "Change"; the set reached #13 in Britain and #75 on American Billboard Top 200 Albums chart producing their biggest hit with "Sold Me Down The River", the single peaked at #2 on Mainstream Rock chart, at #3 on The Modern Rock Tracks and reached the #50 position on The Billboard Hot 100; the album also featured "Devolution Workin' Man Blues", a further Mainstream Rock top 10 entrant, the U.K. top 40 hit "A New South Wales" and the minor hit "Love Don't Come Easy".
In early 1990, as the band prepared to to tour the States Mike Peters' sister suffered a brain aneurysm, soon after, his father died of a heart-attack and Nigel Twist found his stepfather hanged following a suicide attempt; The Alarm then took a break and in December IRS issued "Standards", a thoroughly representative, basic collection of their singles and significant album tracks; the set featured a new song called "The Road" which peaked at #7 on The Modern Rock Tracks chart.
They regrouped for the "Raw" session, which were strained and fractious, with the resulting album suffering from lack of promotion; this album barely entered the U.K. Top 40 chart upon its spring 1991 release and didn't rise higher than #161 on the American Billboard 200 list while the title-track hit #15 on The Modern Rock chart; The Alarm embarked on a final tour of America, Europe and the U.K. with a final show at Brixton Academy on 30 June 1991.

After the band split, Dave Sharp embarked on his solo journey releasing an album that same year and a second solo effort in 1996; Mike Peters went back to North Wales to write solo material, he later set up The Alarm's official web site and oversaw the remastering and re-release of the band's extensive back catalogue; he also formed a new unit consisting of Gene Loves Jezebel's guitarist James Stevenson, bassist Craig Adams and drummer Steve Grantley which performed under the moniker The Poppy Fields.

Mike Peters recently underwent his third course of chemotherapy after being told of the illness in December 2005, ten years after he was originally diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia; the Rhyl musician is back on the road with his band, now billed as The Alarm MMVI; the new album, "Under Attack", which was released in February 2006 already contains a U.K. top 30 hit single: "Superchannel".

 

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The Alarm pictures:

  • The Alarm band The Alarm band
    The Alarm line-up 1982