Sixty Eight Guns

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"Sixty Eight Guns"
The Alarm 68 Guns single.jpg
Single by The Alarm
from the album Declaration
B-side"68 Guns Part II"
ReleasedAugust 1983
Format7", 12"
GenreAlternative rock, new wave
LabelI.R.S. Records
Songwriter(s)Mike Peters, Eddie MacDonald
Producer(s)Alan Shacklock
The Alarm singles chronology
"The Stand"
"Sixty Eight Guns"
"Where were you Hiding when the Storm Broke?"

"Sixty Eight Guns" is a song by Welsh rock band the Alarm that was released as a single in August 1983 and later appeared on the group's debut album Declaration in February 1984. It was written by Alarm members Mike Peters and Eddie MacDonald.

The song reached #17 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the Alarm'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, the Alarm's first-ever chart position in that country. Soon after, it "bubbled under" the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at #106, becoming the band's first charting single on the American pop charts.

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

Background and writing[edit]

The lyrics to "Sixty Eight Guns" were inspired by a book that Peters had read about the 1960s street gangs of Glasgow.[2]


The song's title is written as "Sixty Eight (sic) Guns" and "68 Guns" interchangeably on the various I.R.S. releases. The back cover of Declaration and the front cover of the 7" single show the title as "Sixty Eight Guns" while the labels on the discs themselves show the title as "68 Guns".[3]

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 MacDonald
  • Drums - Nigel Twist
  • Keyboards - Ian Kewley
  • Piano - Alan Shacklock
  • Trumpet - Arthur Fairlie
  • Single cover - Harry Murlowski


Chart (1983) Peak
UK Singles Chart 17
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles 106
U.S. Billboard Top 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 45 RPM hoax single released by the Alarm under the name of the Poppy Fields.
  • As a live track on Peters' solo Live (From a Broadcast) album. 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
  3. ^ "The Alarm - Sixty Eight Guns". Discogs. Retrieved 2019-08-08.

External links[edit]