The Alarm - Alarm 2000 Collection

Sunday 1st October 2000
The Alarm - Alarm 2000 Collection
The Alarm - Alarm 2000 Collection

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: 21st Century 21C018

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

There can be few bands in pop history who have acquired such a loyal following as The Alarm. I confess that I've never been one of those enraptured devotees who make their way annually to Llandudno for the Mike Peters convention but I do fondly remember the Welsh foursome's classic years when they were masters of the song as terrace anthem with their classic hits "68 Guns", "Spirit Of '76" and "Blaze Of Glory". The Alarm's complete back catalogue has not been available since the demise of the band's original label IRS in the early '90s but now all the masters have been licensed from EMI to make the most lavish box set for every Alarm devotee. Not only do you get pristine remastered versions of "The Alarm" (1981-1983), "Decoration" (1984-1985), "Strength" (1985-1986), "Eye Of The Hurricane" (1987-1988), "Electric Folklore (Live)" (1987-1988), "Change" (1989-1990) and "Raw" (1990-1991), there are also extra tracks for each of those albums plus an exclusive 18-track CD of rare tracks, B-sides and demo tapes. Completists will find much which is fascinating: a 1982 early demo of "68 Guns", the non-album singles "Absolute Reality" and "The Chant Has Just Begun" from their 'Declaration' period; and unreleased mix of the "Eye Of The Hurricane" produced by John Porter (The Smiths); and the first ever release of the last studio track The Alarm recorded together, a raw acoustic version of "Walk Forever By My Side". Not every track here of course is of top quality. But for those who have thrilled in the past to the naked, anthemic passion of one of the greatest ever stadium rock bands, this lovingly compiled and excellently presented compilation is a purchase worth considering. And it's intriguing how many of Mike Peters' lyrics make sense only when one takes account of his defiant, if dented, Christian faith.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Unsafe Building [Listen]
4. Reason 41 (Demo) [Listen]
6. What Kind Of Hell (Demo) [Listen]
9. Lie Of The Land [Listen]
16. The Deceiver (Live) [Listen]
23. The Peace Train [Listen]
24. Declaration [Listen]
25. Marching On [Listen]
26. Where Were You Hiding When The Storm Broke- [Listen]
27. Sixty Eight Guns [Listen]
28. Tell Me [Listen]
29. We Are The Light [Listen]
30. Shout To The Devil [Listen]
31. Blaze Of Glory [Listen]
32. The Deceiver [Listen]
33. Pavilion Steps [Listen]
34. What Kind Of Hell [Listen]
35. Third Light [Listen]
36. The Stand (Prophecy) [Listen]
37. Unbreak The Promise [Listen]
38. Howling Wind [Listen]
39. The Chant Has Just Begun [Listen]
40. Second Generation [Listen]
41. Reason 41 [Listen]
42. Bells Of Rhymney [Listen]
43. Bound For Glory [Listen]
44. Absolute Reality [Listen]
46. Knife Edge [Listen]
51. Majority [Listen]
56. The Day The Ravens Left The Tower [Listen]
60. Sixty Eight Guns (Live) [Listen]
63. Newton Jericho [Listen]
64. Rain In The Summertime [Listen]
65. Rose Beyond The Wall [Listen]
66. Hallowed Ground [Listen]
67. One Step Closer To Home [Listen]
68. Shelter [Listen]
69. Folklore [Listen]
70. Eye Of The Hurricane [Listen]
71. Permanence Of Change [Listen]
72. Presence Of Love [Listen]
73. World On Fire [Listen]
74. Time To Believe [Listen]
75. Only Love Can Set Me Free [Listen]
76. Rescue Me [Listen]
77. A New South Wales [Listen]
78. Elders & Folflore [Listen]
79. My Land Your Land [Listen]
80. Pastures Of Plenty [Listen]
81. Rescue Me (Tearing The Bonds Assunder Mix) [Listen]
82. Rain In The Summertime (Thunder Mix) [Listen]
84. Knife Edge [Listen]
85. Newtown Jericho [Listen]
89. Bound For Glory [Listen]
91. One Step Closer To Home [Listen]
94. Rescue Me [Listen]
96. We Are The Light [Listen]
97. Change I [Listen]
104. No Frontiers [Listen]
110. Corridors Of Power [Listen]
113. A New South Wales [Listen]
114. The Road [Listen]
116. Raw [Listen]
121. Let The River Run It's Course [Listen]
125. Save Your Crying [Listen]
129. The Chant Has Just Begun (Long Version) [Listen]
130. Reason 36 [Listen]
131. Room At The Top [Listen]
132. Absolute Flexi-Disc [Listen]
133. Strength (Live) [Listen]
134. Howling Wind (Live) [Listen]
135. Absolute Reality (Impromptu Acoustic Version) [Listen]
136. Stength (Power Mix) [Listen]
137. Howling Wind (Acoustic Version) [Listen]
138. Bells Of Rhymney (Live) [Listen]
139. Devolution Workin' Man Blues (Demo) [Listen]
140. Firing Line (Demo) [Listen]
141. The Rock (Long Version) [Listen]
142. Rivers To Cross (Live) [Listen]
143. Working Class Hero [Listen]
144. Vigilante Man [Listen]
145. Change II (Acoustic Version) [Listen]
146. No Frontiers (Acoustic Version) [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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