Sixty Eight Guns

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"68 Guns"
Single by The Alarm
from the album Declaration
B-side "68 Guns Part II"
Released 1983
Format 7", 12"
Recorded 1983
Genre Alternative rock, new wave
Length 3:15
Label IRS Records
Writer(s) Mike Peters, Eddie MacDonald
Producer(s) Alan Shacklock
The Alarm singles chronology
"The Stand"
"68 Guns"
"Where were you Hiding when the Storm Broke?"

"68 Guns" is a song by Welsh alternative rock band The Alarm, which was released as a single in September 1983 and later appeared on their debut album Declaration in February 1984.

The song was written by Alarm members Mike Peters and Eddie MacDonald and reached #17 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the band's first Top 40 appearance and their highest ever position on that chart. The song also reached #39 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the United States, their first ever chart position in that country.

The song was recorded at Good Earth Studios and mixed at Abbey Road Studios.[1]

Background and writing[edit]

The lyrics were inspired by a book that Peters read on the 1960s street gangs of Glasgow.[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Mike Peters and Eddie MacDonald.

UK 7" Single[edit]

  1. "68 Guns" - 3:15
  2. "68 Guns Part II" - 3:25

UK 12" Single[edit]

  1. "68 Guns (full version)" - 5:45
  2. "Thoughts of a Young Man" - 2:50


  • Vocals - Mike Peters
  • Guitars - Dave Sharp, Mike Peters
  • Bass - Eddie McDonald
  • Drums - Nigel Twist
  • Keyboards - Ian Kewley
  • Piano - Alan Shacklock
  • Trumpet - Arthur Fairlie
  • Single cover - Harry Murlowski


Chart (1983) Peak
Canadian Hot 100 -
Irish Singles Chart
UK Singles Chart 17
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 -
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 39

Other releases[edit]

The song appeared on several other 'Alarm' releases:

As a live track on the maxi-version of the single Spirit of '76

As a live studio version on the single 45 RPM released by The Alarm under the name The Poppy Fields.

A further live version of note appears of Live [From a Broadcast] by Mike Peters. It includes an additional verse that was dropped during the early stages of writing.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Interview with Mike Peters published in 'Zig Zag' magazine, 1983

External links[edit]